Students, and their loved ones often feel increasingly stressed around exam time. Share these fast, and powerful stress-busting techniques with all those whom you know are struggling right now.
Are you winding yourself up into massive state of anxiety over your up, and coming exams?
When you think about sitting a test does your catastrophic thinking make the room spin, and your mind turn to brain-fog no matter how hard you have worked at learning your subject, and revising?
When you visualise yourself in the exam room turning over your exam paper do your eyes swim, and blur your vision so much that the questions are barely legible?
In a state of high anxiety it is a challenge to read an exam paper let alone compose accomplished, eloquent, high-scoring answers. Your hyper-stressful state simply blocks comprehension, and gets in the way of you presenting yourself to your full advantage. Let’s face it under performing due to exam nerves is the last thing you need to do.
So, what can you do that is fast, free and effective to zap your exam anxiety so that your mind is clear, focussed and enables you to perform to the best of your ability?
Therapists Sally Baker, and Liz Hogon specialise in resolving a wide range of anxiety issues. They are experienced working successfully with a mix of therapy tools both face to face with clients, and the world over via Skype. The techniques they have found to be the most powerful, and effective are easy to learn, and are ideal self-help tools to deal with performance related fears, of which taking exams, job interviews, auditions, and driving tests are the most common.
You can access their tried, and tested therapy techniques here with full instructions for free.
The first technique they favour to dispel rising anxiety is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It looks a little strange but only takes a few moments to learn so they suggest you suspend your skepticism, and see how much your anxiety has reduced and how much calmer you feel after just a few rounds.
The technique involves tapping with two fingers on various points mainly on the face, and upper body. It works on the same principals as energy lines, or Chi meridians that are used in acupuncture, the traditional, ancient Chinese medicine. Whereas acupuncture is used to relieve physical conditions EFT works on dispelling uncomfortable emotions such as fear, and anxiety. EFT is measurable so you can see how well it is working for you.
EFT for you to try
(Follow the link at the end here for full instructions and free pdf).
To begin with try using EFT on the following set-up, and as you tap around allow yourself to become aware of changes in your emotions, or thoughts as they will provide insights for further tapping rounds.
“Even though I feel really panicked and anxious about my exams I fully and completely love and accept myself as I am now, even though that is hard for me.” Repeat the set up statement three times. Take a breath and pause. As you consider your set up statement give it a SUD rating. SUD means Subjective Unit of Discomfort. It uses a scale from zero to 10 to assess the degree of uncomfortable emotions you feel about the specific issue you are working on, in this case the level of anxiety you feel about sitting your exams, or taking a test. Zero is none at all and 10 represents the highest level of anxiety you can possibly feel.
Next step is to use a reminder phrase like the one we suggested here for you to repeat as you tap round on each EFT point, “Feel really anxious”. Equally you can customise the set up statement, and the reminder phrases with your own words. There are no right or wrong words to use with EFT, and your own words are always more powerful, and effective.
Think of EFT as peeling back the layers of an onion. Your exam anxiety is merely the outer layers but as you tap more you will reveal to yourself your real feelings underlying your anxiety, many of which will centre on negative limiting beliefs about yourself such as “I can’t do this”, or “I always fail”, or “I'm not good enough”. This process will reveal what your limiting beliefs are. After a few rounds of EFT, especially if you customise the words to suit your own unique experience you may notice a change in how you feel or think about the prospect of sittings your exams. You can check this for yourself by re-assessing your SUD rating.
As you continue to tap around, and when it feels appropriate you can make changes to your reminder phrases and alternate between “Feel really anxious”, and “Doing the best I can”. Just freeform and experiment with your words to express your emotions giving voice to your other feelings that prior to this have been overwhelmed with exam fear. The aim is to feel calmer and allow yourself to acknowledge to yourself some positive aspects until ultimately whole rounds of EFT focus on the following kind of reminder phrases They may include: “ I’ve worked hard for this”, or “Whatever happens I’ll be OK”.
Percussive Suggestion Technique
Percussive Suggestion Technique (PSTEC) was created by Tim Phizackerley in the UK well over a decade ago. It involves listening, and interacting to an audio click track. The listener taps with the fingers of both hands to a complex sequences of three rhythms that Tim devised. As an expert in artificial intelligence Tim used his knowledge of how the brain processes information, and in particular memory to effectively turn down, or break the connection between negative emotions attached to memories, or events from the past either real, or imagined.
PSTEC for you to try
(Follow the link here at the end for full instructions and two free MP3 downloads.)
There are no reminder phrases with PSTEC. It works very differently than EFT. A good way of working with PSTEC for exam nerves, and other performance related anxiety is to remember an occasion when you failed at something in your past. It can be something quite unconnected to sitting an exam, but you can remember the disappointment on the face of your family, or teacher or how it felt for you to feel such a failure. Really focus on how you felt with all those feelings of disappointment. For many people, negative memories about being unsuccessful can trigger them into thinking of themselves as failures. Focus on one, or two particularly strong memories, and then set a SUD rating. Listen and interact with either one of the two free click tracks, and you should very quickly begin to feel less negative. You can decide how much better you feel by reassessing your SUD rating.
Once you have resolved old negative memories and cleared limiting beliefs you may feel a great deal calmer about your exams, and being calmer improves memory, and recall which will assist you in achieving the results you desire.
Now, the exam is one thing. If you haven’t done your revision then that’s another thing. Luckily you can apply EFT, and PSTEC to end your procrastination habits too, and get productive and focussed. Good luck!
You can learn more about these powerful techniques for yourself and download the free EFT pdf guide, and two free PSTEC Mp3 click tracks from www.your7simplesteps.com (see Therapy Tools for easy quick email registration for free access).
Sally Baker & Liz Hogon are co-authors of ‘7 Simple Steps to Stop Emotional Eating’ (Hammersmith Press 2015 - out now).