Do you struggle wih exam anxiety and exam nerves?

It may be that exams have become an ordeal for you because of your panic and nerves. Whilst most people get some nerves before exams, if those feelings of anxiety and panic get too overwhelming they can stop you performing to the best of your ability (or sometimes you can't even do the exam at all).

And the added pressure of knowing that, if you perform badly, you will disappoint family, teachers and yourself can intensify the anxiety. 

Recently I was working with a student who was overwhlmed with exam anxiety and panic. The nearer the exams got, the worse the anxiety and, based on previous experiences, the worse he performed in the exam room.

In his mind, he saw himself panicking in the exam room and being unable to continue. While imagining this worst case scenario, he would feel more and more anxious in his stomach and chest. His palms would become sweaty and his heart rate and breathing would get faster. Every day he would think in this way and re-enforce those feelings of exam nerves.

From Exam Nerves to Exam Calm

If you struggle to stay calm enough to perform in your exams then start doing this:

1) Learn to physically relax more - every day spend at least five minutes sitting with your eyes closed and relax your breathing and relax your body. Play some relaxing music or download my free relaxation MP3 (just fill in your details on the right of this page). Treat this as part of your exam preparation - give yourself a chance to mentally unwind and let go of the exam stress and worry.

2) Imagine pushing any worst case scenarios far into the distance - make them smaller and darker like they are on a tiny TV set that shrinks into nothingness all the way over there, taking all those old feelings with it.


3) Start focusing on what you do want - imagine a fresh screen in front of you and watch yourself going through your revision looking calm and in control. Run it forwards and see yourself looking calm and confident in the exam room, easily performing to the best of your ability. Continue running it forwards until 15 minutes after the successful completion of your exam.

4) In your mind take a photo of that moment, 15 minutes after you have succesfully completed your exam. Make it big, bright and colourful so it feels good to think about achieving it. Store that image in your mind so that whenever you think about your exam, or anyhting to do with it, you bring this image of success to mind and instantly feel calmer, in control and confident.

If you have an exam coming up then I wish you every success in achieving your potential!

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket