Exam Stress

Whether you have a primary aged child who is going through their SATs, a young person in secondary school who is embarking on mock GCSEs, GCSEs, or A-levels, or some other kind of exam (even up to the age of university students), the pressure that those young people can feel can be absolutely tremendous. It’s drummed into children from a very early age that these sorts of assessments are going to predict their future, and that if they fail to do as well as they could have done, then their future could look bleak.

Of course, you and I know, having gone through exams years and years ago, and then reaching the stages that we’re at in our lives right now, that this is not always the case. People can go on and thrive even after failing their GCSEs, but good grades do help and provide more options for our young people in terms of being able to decide what steps they might like to take next in their lives. I strongly encourage you as a parent to help your child to prepare as best they can for the exams that they are going to undertake, and to work with someone like myself around: concentration skills, confidence for exams, overcoming anxiety about exams, memory recall, and all of those other positive skills that can enable them to perform well when the time comes.

However, I also find myself working with many young people who have put so much pressure on themselves, that even the most talented student can lose the information they require from their minds when they sit down in front of their exam paper. These levels of pressure are unhelpful and unhealthy. They do not put the child into a psychological mind state whereby they can readily access the answers to the questions that they are being asked.

At times like this, hypnotherapy can be incredibly valuable. As a qualified hypnotherapist, I work with both adults and children around ways in which they can relax their mind. The mind is more effective when it is in a calm and relaxed state. Of course, a little bit of pressure can cause some adrenaline to make us work faster or more conscientiously at times, but we’ve all had the experience of being stressed out and in a rush, and having lost our keys. It’s only once we’ve calmed down that we realise that the keys were on the table in front of us the whole time. That’s because stress can cause our brains to fog up and fail to see things that are right in front of us. This is not an experience that any child should be having during an exam or test. The other benefits of hypnotherapy are that I am able to install suggestions about feeling confident, recalling information easily, feeling creative, and feeling like time is moving at a reasonable pace.

Whilst hypnotherapy isn’t appropriate for every child or young person, there are always NLP solutions that do the same kind of work in just as an effective way. NLP is a more cognitive form of therapy which means that most of the processes can be undertaken simply by performing some simple exercises and having a straightforward conversation. During our sessions, I will also provide your child with notes and guidance that they can take home with them to help support them whilst doing activities such as revision. I’ll provide them with memory skill techniques so that cramming information into their brains is no longer something that they have to do in order to remember all of the details that they need. Instead, they’ll be able to use some skills and techniques used by the world record-holding memory skills champions, and quickly and easily recall information that will get them through their exam at the highest possible level. These sessions take place at my office in Essex, where I offer a free consultation to people who live in and around: Basildon, Billericay, Wickford, Southend on Sea, Chelmsford, Colchester, and Brentwood. If you would like to book a free consultation, please get in contact with my assistant Olivia on 07958 203 274

By Gemma Bailey

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