I had a conversation with a college chemistry professor recently, and she told me that her students did great at remembering formulas and such in class, but experience brain-lock when trying to remember them in exam conditions. Test anxiety is a common problem with students and it can interfere with remembering the things you need to remember during an exam. Test anxiety is characterized by a panicky feeling, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms. You can read an excellent guide to symptoms, causes and even find some tips for alleviating test anxiety here.
Anxiety of all kinds responds well to hypnosis techniques. One effective way to beat that panicky feeling at the exam itself is 7-11 breathing. Breathe slowly in while you count to 7 in your mind and breathe slowly out on a mental count of 11. This slow and measured breathing will slow your heart rate, ease that fight-or-flight adrenaline response and make you feel better.
Another powerful hypnotic trick is to use an anchor. An anchor is anything that brings to mind a feeling or mental or emotional response. You know that icky feeling you get when you are at the dentist when you hear the drill sound from the back? That is a negative auditory anchor. A positive auditory anchor is when you hear your favorite song and want to smile and sing along.
You can create positive anchors for yourself. To create an anchor to help with test anxiety, sit down in a quiet place and take two or thee deep breaths. Think of a time when you felt relaxed, calm and in control. See the sights and hear the sounds. Imagine you have an internal dimmer switch and dial up that feeling of calm, relaxation and control. When that good feeling is about to reach its peak touch your thumb and forefinger together like you’re making an OK sign.
Make a strong association between the finger-pinch and that relaxed feeling.
Practice this technique once or twice a week to build and strengthen that association. Then when test day arrives, if you begin to feel that anxious feeling, then simply touch thumb and forefinger together to recall that calm, relaxed feeling.
If you have severe test anxiety, contact Dan Perez at Hypnosis Works! for help. Call 800-481-5949 for a free consultation.