Exam Stress

Posted on May 24, 2016

Many people will suffer moments of stress and often feel overwhelmed when having to sit an exam. Many of us will also be able to recall how nerve-racking it can be to take a test. Weeks 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.

Feeling stressed and anxious before an exam is expected and feeling nervous is a natural emotion. Lots of people will find these feelings a motivator and a way to focus on the task, but some of us will find the pressure overwhelming. When these feelings become intense, they can threaten performance. Sometimes the stress can cause a person to achieve below their true potential.

Who will experience exam stress?

Exam nerves can affect anyone, at any age. It doesn’t matter how much a person has revised or how much experience they have, the chances are they will still have a feeling of panic.

There is a great emphasis in today’s society to use exams to measure a person’s ability (for example, to drive a car, to study or for a certain job). We may expect it, but the pressure can be overwhelming. 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, they can create a vicious circle of more intense emotions. Over time, this can have a negative impact on the unconscious mind 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. Feeling calm, relaxed, focused and confident when studying and sitting the exam means you will be 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 will help you recall the information easily and correctly, as well as help restore your self-belief.

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, generally, the treatment will begin with an initial consultation. This is often a short meeting before booking a session.

After the initial consultation, I will begin by helping you to enter a relaxed state of mind. I may then ask you to focus on the exam. You may also be asked to focus on the physical sensations you feel when stressed, anxious or under pressure. Once you have recognised these feelings, I will offer calming words and ‘suggestions’. These suggestions will differ for your individual needs and situation. For example, if your mind goes blank when you enter an exam room, the suggestion may be, “You are in control, you know the information and you can do it.” Or if you are experiencing exam stress during a driving test, the suggestion may be a way of coping, such as “slow your breathing, remain calm and focus.”

The idea behind the suggestion method is that when you start to feel under pressure, overwhelmed or stressed about an upcoming exam, the suggestions and visualisations will enter your conscious mind and help you cope. You may also be taught valuable techniques that can help you relax and remain calm when you start to feel worried.

Hypnotherapy can also be used to overcome fear of failure. It can encourage you to focus, believe in yourself, increase motivation and boost concentration.

You may find that one session if enough to help you overcome your exam nerves and stress, or you may feel you need more. We can discuss this and work together to decide what techniques and how many sessions will be most effective for you. I may also offer self-hypnosis techniques for you to practise at home.

Staying calm

An important part of hypnotherapy for exam stress is knowing how to remain calm and relaxed, even when the pressure is building. A little bit of stress is good for us and can give us the boost we need, but too much stress can hinder our abilities.

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 relaxation

Testimonials

I would like to thank you so much for all the work you have done and I’m so pleased I  came to you because I’ve changed so much. Thanks to the hypnotherapy I no longer have negative thoughts about myself and I’m eating healthier and more controlled and have more energy .

I can honestly say now that I like who I am

So thank you .

- L.St

Like almost everyone else (I imagine) I had very little idea what to expect when I first contacted Kim about hypnotherapy, but she put me at ease very quickly.  Kim has the rare gift of being highly professional in her manner but also treating you as a friend; she’s a genuinely lovely person.  My four sessions with Kim have, quite simply, changed my whole life.  I find that my way of thinking is completely different now, and it’s all positive!  The things which used to weigh me down are so much more manageable.  I really feel I’m a happier person, better mum, better wife, better friend, more effective at work…the list goes on and on!  My self-esteem is dramatically improved, and I’ve got more energy and motivation.  I’d have no hesitation in recommending Kim’s work to anyone.

- B.L

After one session with Kim for troubling sleeping and slight pain management I was so relaxed! Well aware of things going on around me but able to focus on the words without being distracted by it all. Amazing.

- L.S.

Kim has helped me so much with my nerve damage pain following spinal surgery. She listens to your needs and hopes and made me feel very relaxed and also gave me the confidence I needed to get through every day. Thank you Kim

- K.W.

Since having hypnotherapy my mind has settled, calmer way of thinking. My confidence is higher then before. I’m less stressed at looking for approval and constant reassurance for my ideas. I’m taking in pieces of information from lots of different sources and making my own decisions and not second guessing myself all the time. After the first session, I’ve already seeing results, waking up refreshed and full of good positive thoughts and energy.

- K.M.

Kim Rowan has helped me through hypnotherapy for depression and anxiety over the last 6 months and her technique has proved invaluable.

At first I was apprehensive at using hypnotherapy for my depression, but after the first session I knew this was definitely a way forward.

Kim gave me some excellent advice on how to calm myself when I became nervous that worked extremely well when on my own, previous to this I would become extremely anxious and would need to come home and take medication.

We talked through some tough periods in my passed life and my stresses of today, and after each session I always felt calmer and able to cope with my busy demanding lifestyle.

Kim is such a caring, calm professional person and is always on the end of a phone when needed – I would recommend her to anyone who has issues where hypnotherapy would definitely help.

- L.C

I had a number of sessions with Kim Rowan to help me with my anxiety prior to an operation. I felt this helped to relax me and get me through my operations. I would recommend Kim.

- I.W.

Although not vastly overweight, for most of my adult life my weight has fluctuated and I have always felt the need to diet to keep on top of it. Last year I was feeling on the heavy side and a bit fed-up with myself. I have always been a bit of a sceptic, so when Kim suggested hypnotherapy I was unsure. However, I thought ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ so decided to give it a try.

I had a couple of sessions with Kim, where she tried different techniques to establish which were most effective, with a follow-up audio track, which I try to listen to on a daily basis.

I couldn’t honestly say whether it has been the hypnotherapy, willpower or a mixture of the two but for the first time in years I have lost the weight I wanted to and, more importantly, kept it off. In any case, the hypnotherapy sessions are a really relaxing and enjoyable experience that I would recommend anyone to try.

- M.A

I approached Kim to see if she could help me overcome a couple of issues I had at the time. She was very welcoming and non-judgemental, putting me at ease with the situation.

She was professional at all times yet managed to make the experience personal to me. I do feel that I was helped to face and deal with my issues through this process and would have no problem in revisiting or recommending Kim to others.

- N.M

I have used Kim’s services over the last year. I feel we all have the ability to help ourselves but we do not always have the tools. Talking with Kim gave me the tools I needed in which to change my outlook on how I saw people, and how I thought they saw me. Kim’s therapy has given me the confidence to change my life in a positive way.

Kim had me feeling relaxed and comfortable at all times and the different forms of therapy that Kim has taught me I will always use or refer to.

I highly recommend Kim to help anyone overcome a change within themselves, a fear they have or to help with relaxation. Kim has changed my life and she could change yours too, thank you Kim

- E.A