Exam Stress

Hello and welcome!

So it’s coming up to exam time . . . well, much of your success is up to you, as you know, to do the work and revision, yet the most important thing is to be fresh and ready, feeling as relaxed and confident as possible.

So let’s tackle that bit here to shift those exam nerves.

I am going to give you a simple visualisation, that if done properly will make a big shift for you and will be something you can use for ANY event in your life that you feel anxious about, be it a first date, facing someone, your driving test, a job interview, a presentation, your wedding, and so on and so on, so it really is worth practising this to be able to turn to it whenever you need.

I’ve written it below so if you want, you can read it through a couple of times and then do this yourself where you can be still and quiet, or you can go to the link below and have me guide you through it. It might be that you choose to have my voice guide you for the first time and then do it on your own so that you can stay with each image in a time frame that suits you. Do whatever works for you. To hear the audio click here.

Firstly, make yourself comfortable and be somewhere quiet, on your own, where you can concentrate. Just chill and close your eyes . . . and just for a moment I want you to forget everything around you . . . nothing exists except you and this moment . . . just focus on your breathing, gently breathing in calmness and breathing out tension and tightness . . .

let your breathing become just a little bit slower . . deeper . . more relaxed . . .

Now I want you to imagine a big picture - a big picture of you with all that stress and worry, the exam room, or anything else that’s bothering you that you want to shift to a more confident place . . . fill your mind’s eye with it . . . make it full colour and brilliantly lit . . .

this is your anxiety picture.

Now put that picture to one side and create another picture in your mind, this time of how you DO want to be and feel . . . calm and relaxed, perhaps smiling as you walk to the exam room, feeling focused and ready . . . you sitting there working away with it all going well. Fill your mind’s eye with all the detail, in full colour and brilliantly lit. In the middle of the picture see yourself with a big smile on your face, going “Yes!” with the pass note in your hand. Yes, you’ve done it! Feel it, the relief and excitement . .

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel you’re good at visualising - whatever you do will be good enough . . . just focus as best you can . . . Now shrink that achievement picture down till it’s about the size of a postcard, black and white and dull and just tuck it in the side of the frame of the big colourful anxiety picture . . .

In a moment, I want you to Swish them over so that the achievement picture is the big one and the anxiety picture is the small, dull, black and white post card one tucked in the frame

. . . when you’re ready . . . Swish! See that achievement picture - big and colourful and detailed . . you in the middle smiling - “Yes - I’ve done it” - and make the anxiety picture

the small, dull postcard. Now put them back as they were, with the anxiety picture big - and the achievement picture the small black and white postcard . . .

Now let’s do that again . . . and Swish . . . see that achievement picture - big and colourful and detailed . . . you relaxed and calm and working well . . . your face in the middle of the picture, smiling, looking so confident - “Yes - I’ve done it” - and shrink the anxiety one down to the small, dull postcard . . .

Now put them back as they were again, the anxiety picture the big one and the achievement picture the small black and white postcard . . . and again Swish . . . yes - feel that feeling - seeing yourself there calm and relaxed - working well - yes - I’ve done it . . .

that big smile in the middle . . . “Yes” . . . see the anxiety picture as the postcard . . .

And again, put them back as they were, the anxiety picture big, the achievement picture the postcard . . . you may even already be finding it harder to see that anxiety picture - perhaps it’s a bit faded or broken up . . . just do the best you can . . . and again Swish . . .

yes - see that achievement picture, big, bright and clear - feel that feeling - how calm and relaxed you look - that smile - yes - I’ve done it . . . yes . . . really buy into that achievement picture - see it, feel it . . .

Once more - put them back again, get up the anxiety picture, even if it’s fragmented or faded . . . and Swish - see that achievement picture easily - big and colourful and detailed .

. . you in the middle smiling - “Yes - I’ve done it” - the anxiety one the small, dull postcard . .

And now for the last time, put them back again, bringing up the anxiety picture as best you can and now flash the achievement picture on top, on and off, 5 times in quick succession: flash it On - see that achievement - that smile - feel it . . . Off . . . On - yes - so calm and confident - you’ve done it . . . Off . . . On, that big colourful picture - clear and feeling good .

. . Off . . . On . .see it, feel it . . . Off and for the last time On . . . you in the middle with that big smile - “Yes I’ve done it” . . . hold it - hold it - and Off to a blank white screen. It is done.

And then just very gently bring yourself back to the room and time you are in and open your eyes. . . .

If you do that properly the anxiety picture will gradually get more fragmented and feint and the achievement picture will become stronger and far more dominant. The achievement picture will have replaced the anxiety one in your mind and you will feel the desired positive feelings - the anxiety no longer being an issue for you.

I have found it often only takes about 6-8 times to Swish the pictures back and forth to feel ownership of the ‘achievement’ image. However, depending on your level of anxiety and connection with this visualisation, we sometimes need to do the Swishing quite a few times over until our mind lets go of the anxiety picture and is willing to take on board the achievement picture, but I promise if you keep doing that for as many times as needed, or maybe repeat it over a few days, you’ll find you’re a whole lot calmer and less stressed.

Just know that you can only do your best and that any exam mark is just a measure of your knowledge or ability at a subject, not your worth. You may well have other talents and things to offer the world that are outside the school curriculum, so don’t get too hung up on them . . . even if you need the grades for uni or to get a job.

I promise, you feeling good about you so others can benefit from what you have to offer is far more important in life in the greater scheme of things, so relax, rest well and keep that achievement image in your mind! You can do it.

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