Get in the zone for Exams, Tests and Interview Nerves
We have all felt from time to time how nerve racking exams, tests and interviews can be. That feeling of churning stomach (butterflies), getting sweaty palms, perhaps perspiring, heart race increases and a sense of doom or panic begins to kick in as we begin to succumb to self doubt about our own abilities. This is a natural experience and for many these kind of feelings actually help them to focus and get motivated within their own minds. For most however, the feelings can be so intense they can threaten the ability to perform well and we fail to reach their true potential.
Who gets exam nerves?
Exam nerves can affect anyone, no matter how clever they are or how much they’ve prepared. There is a great emphasis in today’s society to use exams to measure an individual’s ability (e.g. for certain jobs, to drive a car etc.) and the pressure of this can be overwhelming. Nerves can become out of control and cause anxiety attacks and stress, creating a vicious circle leading to more intense nerves. This can have a negative impact on our unconscious mind and lead to more general, longer term performance based anxiety.
Preparing for an exam and successfully completing it is not just about how knowledgeable an individual is, but also about their state of mind. Feeling calm, relaxed, focused and confident when studying and sitting the exam means an individual will be much more likely to achieve their full potential. Accessing this state of mind is a skill and can often be learned by implementing new ways of thinking using different techniques.
Symptoms of exam nerves
- feeling sick
- sweaty palms
- loss of appetite
- bad tempered.
Treatment for exam nerves
Hypnotherapy is a common method used for helping to control exam nerves. The power of suggestion and visualisation techniques can encourage an individual to clear their racing mind and approach the exam with a cool, calm state of mind. If an individual is anxious, their mind may not be able to focus. However, controlling this anxiety often leads to increased concentration levels, allowing the knowledge to be accessed with more ease.
Hypnotherapy can be used to:
- increase confidence
- increase motivation
- learn how to control anxiety
- increase memory and concentration
- encourage an individual to focus
- overcome fear of failure
- learn how to relax.
Get in the zone for Sports Therapy
Glenn Catley used mind games with chilling effect to destroy Neville Brown mentally and physically in one of the best British title fights in recent history. Bristol Evening Post, January 1998
Engaging in athletics with any degree of intensity involves a large measure of physical control and mental concentration. It is now accepted by many enlightened sportsmen and women that hypnosis can provide both of these with an extraordinary amount of efficiency. It is also the only area of intervention that can increase our skill and flair.
Coaches and managers the world over are all aware that the difference between a confident athlete and one in doubt is recognisably profound. “Sportsmen can do better than they think…when they think they can do better.” This obviates the problem known in modern day parlance as “choking”.
Maximising Drive, Determination, Commitment, Motivation
“Winning isn’t everything…but wanting to is.” Any contest between individuals or teams of equal ability will be decided by who has the greatest will to win. One quality that will set an athlete apart from his lesser peers is in the intensity of his motivation to improve.
Regulating Stress and Anxiety
Obviously we need a certain level of stress to perform and when we increase stress, performance will initially improve but will then reach a point beyond which it will begin to deteriorate. Maximum performance must depend on maximum tolerable arousal. Understandably athletes are not necessarily exempt from the anxieties and depression that affect most of us from time to time.
Our subconscious mind does not differentiate between imagination and actuality. This has tremendous and largely unexplored implications. We all have inherent skills that we develop and commit to memory by practising them. Often a sportsman does not have the time or stamina to physically practise sufficiently to continue increasing this skill. It is now fully understood that mental rehearsal is as improving as physical practise, the muscles “remember” the action in exactly the same way, and so much more time efficient.
The other obvious advantage of mental rehearsal, of say passing a ball, we can get it right every single time.
If two teams are equal in terms of skill then it will be the difference in their mental preparation that will determine the outcome. What, however, if as England found in Euro 2000, that almost every team was mentally well prepared, skill now becomes a priority.
Hypnosis is not new in Sports Achievement the Russian Olympic teams, in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, took no less than 11 hypnotists to develop mental clarity and help the athletes with visualisation. Most Champions use some form of hypnosis whether it’s visualisation or affirmation and many seek the help of a professional hypnotist or sports psychologist to assist in their mental training.
This type of preparation will typically include a whole package of approaches tailored to the athletes requirements and will nearly always include methods such as:
- Mental rehearsal
- Increased confidence
- Increased self belief
- Increased motivation
- Increased concentration
- Increased focus
- Reduce nerves
- Better sleep pattern