It’s “that” time again…
It is that time of the year again when young people prepare for their school examinations. But for many, this is a time of anxiety. While some anxiety is normal and may motivate us to work hard and do our best, it should not intefere with our ability to prepare for or write an exam. When the feelings of anxiety become intense or overwhelming they can threaten our performance and cause us to achieve below our true potential.
Most of us can recall how nerve-racking it can be to take a test. Some time before the exam, we can experience the sensation of butterflies in our stomach. Our palms get sweaty, our hearts race and we fear our memory will let us down. Usually we are able to get this feeling under control and focus our attention on the task at hand.
When nerves become out of control, they can lead to anxiety attacks and stress. If a person does not know how to cope with these feelings, it can create a vicious circle of more intense emotions and failure to cope. Over time, this can have a negative impact on the mind and body and result in more general, longer term performance-based anxiety.
Preparing for an exam and successfully completing it is not just about how knowledgeable you are, but also your state of mind. All learning is state dependent, meaning that the emotional state we experience when we learn will impact how we are able to recall the information. Feeling calm, focused, relaxed and confident when studying and sitting the exam means you are much more likely to achieve your full potential. While accessing this state of mind is a skill, it can often be learned by implementing new ways of thinking.
How hypnotherapy can help you cope with exam stress
Hypnotherapy is a common method used for helping control exam nerves as it can help boost confidence and reduce feelings of anxiety. It can help you develop the ability to access the calm state of mind needed to sit an exam, or cope with a potentially overwhelming situation.
The power of suggestion and visualisation techniques can encourage an individual to clear their racing mind and approach the exam with a cool, focused head. Your mind knows the information you need to pass the exam, but when experiencing exam stress or anxiety, your ability to focus and concentrate will suffer. Hypnotherapy can help you recall the information easily and correctly, as well as help restore your self-belief.
Hypnotherapy has a long history of been an effective intervention for dealing with anxiety and panic. If you are interested in some of studies regarding hypnotherapy in dealing with exam stress, read more here.
What to expect from a session
Hypnotherapy has proven effective for many people dealing with anxiety and fear. This is why many of those suffering with exam nerves consider the idea of hypnosis as a form of treatment. While all hypnotherapists will differ in their approach, generally, the treatment will begin with an initial consultation. This session is used to assess the level of anxiety experienced and determine how hypnotherapy can be used to help the client.
Following sessions are determined based on the needs of each individual client. It is however recommended to have 2 sessions per week, especially in the time leading up to the exam.
Sessions typically range between 30 and 45 minutes in duration.
Alongside your hypnotherapy sessions and self-hypnosis techniques, it is important to remain healthy. In order for your mind and body to function properly and cope with the nerves that come with exams, you need to be well rested, continue to eat a balanced diet and remain hydrated. Stress can affect us at any point in our lives. It can sometimes appear unexpectedly, causing us to lose sleep, lose our appetite and forget to take care of ourselves. If you feel your exam stress is affecting your daily life, hypnotherapy can also be effective for sleep disorders such as insomnia, panic attacks and anxiety.
What will it cost?
These sessions are not “treatment” and is better described as performance enhancement or coaching. The goal is to enhance the normal ability to regulate feelings of anxiety and panic and to learn to focus attention. The sessions will therefore not be covered by medical aid.