Exam Stress: I remember it well. In college our signal that exams were just around the corner was when the maintenance men cut the lawns for the first time in the year. Round 1 – revision begins! Second round of cutting, instilled fear. Easter was taken over by extra tutorials and then the big day arrived. Day by day the exams passed and soon it was over. We could breathe again.
If Exams = Panic and Anxiety for you then I can help you to combat these nerves. The purpose of exams is to demonstrate your knowledge within a set time period.
They are designed to put you under pressure.
It is no different to going for a job interview. It is about how you perform under pressure.
How about re-naming exam to a demonstration of your knowledge. Would that make it easier to cope with exam stress?
- anxiety and sleepless nights worrying about exams;
- disturbed eating patterns;
- put off studying and then try to cram;
- bad exam memories e.g. panic attacks during exams; going blank;
- underachieved in past exams.
If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, the neurological re-patterning which is NLP and hypnosis will benefit you enormously. Exam stress is no different to any other kind of anxiety or panic.
In general you need to be well rested and fuel your body with the right nutrients. Heavy, sluggish foods will have that effect on your brain.
Some proponents will say to listen to music as you study but since you can’t play music in your exams, your recall will be affected if you depend on this trigger. By all means have a song in your head, it will immediately relax both parts of your brain and induce feelings of calm. But you cannot rely on external triggers that will not be present in the exam hall. The calmer you are, the better your recall.
Start with the most difficult subject first when you plan your revision. You are at your most fresh and it isn’t looming over you. We have a tendency to do what is easy, as though some how it will make it easier to deal with more difficult tasks. It doesn’t.
Have a mantra: “I can do this”, “I know this”.
There are two types of stress essentially –
- recognises something as a challenge and seeks to find solutions i.e. the answers;
- the other recognises a situation as a threat thereby setting off the fight or flight chain of events inside your mind and body resulting in panic or anger i.e. exam anxiety is threatening your life!
In an exam you want to feel challenged, so the mind activates to give you the answers you desire. Here’s the caveat – if you haven’t learned the information, it is not there to be retrieved!
Your mind needs to understand the delicacy of time management and information spew so that what you write is relevant and demonstrates your understanding of the topic – all within a certain time frame.
When you feel overwhelmed by stress, your mind thinks your life is under threat and thereby “thinking” goes out the window and your mind becomes blank as it is looking for a way to run away/escape or to fight the foe. You can recall nothing. Because memory recall is not to your advantage when you are fighting for your life.
How I use NLP and Hypnosis to work for you:
- Hypnosis in itself is a relaxation and this restores balance to the mind and body;
- In this relaxed state, we use NLP (neuro linguistic programming) to overcome negative past experiences;
- See you as you want to be – pen moving across the page, happy with the questions, etc.
- Promote confidence in your ability to demonstrate your knowledge. You have put the work in, now is the time to shine.
What NLP and Hypnosis do not do:
- Give you information you haven’t learned – you have to study;
- Wipe your brain.
- Eliminate stress altogether. You need the good stress to work within the time pressure and focus on the task in hand.
If you feel you could do with some help whether you are a secondary or university student, please let me help in your exam preparation. Appointments in Limerick.