Exam stress can have a negative impact upon learning. Using Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness techniques can really help your learner to cope.
Exam stress season is well and truly on it’s way, with Y6 SATs beginning 9th May, A-levels and GCSEs close behind them and every learner sitting exams in 2016 is feeling the pressure of exam stress around now. The effects will vary ranging from a gentle niggling feeling, a constant reminder that the pressure is on right the way across the spectrum to full on melt-down mode and despair, depending on the individual.
The good news is that there are many ways in which you can help your learner (s)!!
Here at Halcyon we have been working closely with local primary schools to promote wellbeing and to enable Y6 learners to deal with stress effectively. The sessions are fully interactive and begin with exercises to understand the nature of the Human mind and to teach acceptance of the self as being driven at times by our feelings. By understanding that we have a choice whether to react to our feelings, or that by slowing down and considering our options as well as by using calming techniques, we can make the best decisions for ourselves and others.
Understanding that the inherent aspects of our personalities mean that we are all different and that we instinctively handle situations in ways that are specific to our main personality type. This may not always be the most helpful way of dealing with the situation. By suspending our immediate instinctive reactions whilst we explore other options, we regain control over our decisions. We can choose not to be a slave to our instinct and use our analytical minds instead. This can also help us to deal with situations much more effectively, and to understand areas where we may need to work on or ask for help.
Practicing mindfulness is also key to giving the mind a much needed break, using meditation, breathing exercises and discharging excess energy in the body using movement and exercise are all ways of keeping the body and the mind healthy.
Advanced learning techniques for example using hypnosis to improve focus, making sensory links during study and using the imagination to help store and retrieve information, will help the learner to maximise their learning potential naturally and easily.
For example the naturally exuberant learner who quickly bores and who’s instinctual response is to run from responsibility may struggle in a study / exam situation as they are easily distracted and may not feel the full gravity of the consequences of not studying. This type of learner can learn to tap into their inner resources to find the strength and the drive needed to focus when necessary.
The highly driven / focussed learner who excels in study and focus and may be coping well with the stress of exams, can suffer from burnout as the all work and no play ethos goes against their need to destress, to let their hair down and have fun. This type of learner will benefit from tapping into their inner fun and creativity and may even discover that working “smarter” not harder can be achieved.
The personality type that perhaps suffers most during this time would be the worrier, the nice friendly learner who can lack confidence due to feeling overwhelmed. They understand the importance of study and achievement, yet can often be their own worst emery in sabotaging enough self-confidence to damage the learning process. This learner type can benefit from finding and drawing on their inner strength to learn how to focus without having an emotional response to the situation. This gives clarity and prevents the “exam block” mentality whereby the stress level interferes with the ability to think, analyse and process information.
GCSE and A-level
Learners at this level often have an acute idea of where they would like to go next on their learning journey and this ramps up the pressure levels. Coupled with the added pressure of becoming adolescents and leaving the comfort and security of childhood behind can make for a real tempest of emotions to deal with. On top of the stress and strains of education, teenagers often have added worries to deal with for example, moving home or school, relationships, bullying, self esteem issues and so on. Here at Halcyon we include hypnotherapy, mindfulness and advanced learning techniques as standard, however sometimes learners of this age benefit from more in depth therapy. During these formative years the subconscious is instilling core beliefs which are strengthened by experience. If negative self beliefs are allowed to take hold, the learner can be very deeply affected as they are often unequipped to deal with them. Our goal is to work with the learner as a whole in order to free up the mind and enable quality learning to take place.
Top tips for exam stress busting
- Healthy body healthy mind – Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to take care of your bodying to keep your brain running effectively.
- Draw on your inner reserves to study and focus better – Spend some time getting “in the zone’ and blocking out distractions when both learning and when taking exams
- Use ALL the senses – using aromatherapy, music for study focus and including lots of colour in your notes all forms stronger links with the information in your memory.
- Regular breaks – Take a break from study, move around, stretch, go for a walk, use meditation to clear the mind.
- Reframing mistakes – Accept that making mistakes is part of being human and that ultimately everyone will make mistakes. Forgive yourself and seek to find the lesson to be learned from mistakes to help prevent making that same mistake again. If you have learned something from an experience, then it was never a mistake.
- Know when to seek help – if you are really struggling speak to a trusted adult about how you are feeling and perhaps seek professional help if necessary.
For further information about how we can help you see the video below or contact us now on 07788230304 firstname.lastname@example.org
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