Do exams bring out the worst in you?
"I love exams" is said by nobody, ever. For most people, exams create a sense of impending doom. You study hard for a number of years and it all comes down to those few hours of desperate recall and scrambling to try and prove just how much you know.
Exam time is stressful. How do you know if you are well prepared? How do you know that the questions will be on the topics that you chose to concentrate on? How do you deal with the exam itself in that whisper-quiet formal setting? How do you avoid talking about it with friends afterwards and realising what you missed?
So many negative thoughts and feelings
In the lead up to exam time, your mind can be a jumble of thoughts of potential outcomes, most of which are negative, and this starts to have a detrimental impact on your body.
Your mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so when you think that something bad is going to happen, you will feel bad. Your body goes into stress and it triggers your 'fight or flight' instinct, so you may feel sick in your stomach, or have difficulty eating. You may find that your heart starts to race, or your breathing becomes more laboured. You may struggle to get to sleep, or wake in the night worrying. You may become irritable or have irrational mood swings. None of these things are helpful to you when you're trying to study and do your best. You can try to tell yourself to feel calm or that it will be ok but it feels like there's a part of you that's not listening.
This part of you is in your subconscious mind and its role is to protect you. If it decides that studying is not in your best interests because it makes you feel bad, it will come up with all the reasons in the world not to do it. Perhaps it gets you to think of all of the things that it thinks you would rather be doing, like watching TV, checking out Facebook, or messaging friends and you know it's hard to fight that temptation.
Here's the good news :)
Babies are born with two fears - the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Everything else is learned, based on our experience. So these feelings of dread when it comes to exams were not always there. You learn new things and outgrow old behaviours all of the time. This learned response to exams that makes you feel stressed and overwhelmed, the pressure to succeed, or a fear of failure can be unlearned.
In hypnosis, your subconscious starts to learn that exams are important and that the stress response is no longerin your best interest. Hypnosis can help to focus your mind so that you are motivated to study and also help store what you have learned in a logical manner. It helps you to look beyond the exams and visualise how great you will feel when this time is behind you. And best of all, it helps you to feel calm, relaxed and confident during those exams, so that you can easily recall all of that information and perform to your best ability.