So, what is Exam Phobia! Well, everyone of us has experienced it. Admit it.
I know people who are so stressed out before exams that they have physical symptoms like a headache, loose motion, stomach ache( even a stomach migraine) and body ache. Exam stress may cause one to go blank during the actual exam like Ghajini. There may be sweating, palpitations that disturb so much that one cannot think straight and end up messing up the paper. Also, in subsequent exams it becomes worse and the fear intensifies. The person may end up feeling a failure, feeling guilty and may even be suicidal!
Why does this happen ? Exams are an integral part of our growing up. The competition today is very intense. We are tested, judged by a single exam. They may be important in deciding our career. In our perception, exams become like an insurmountable mountain that seems difficult to climb. Sometimes, the failure in previous exams worsens the situation. Sometimes, the person may have a critical parent who makes one feel like a good for nothing with the message that he/ she can never succeed.
Let us understand what can be done or rather, undone!
After identifying the problem, it is important to de-anchor from the negative effects of the previous bad exam experiences. This can be done by simple visual/auditory exercises.
Close your eyes and relax. Think of your previous exam where you had the fear. Notice if you are visualizing it or having negative thoughts about it.
Put the negative images in a colorful balloon and let go of it.
Take the thoughts that make you feel fearful and hear them in a sing -song fashion in your head, with the tune of your favorite song!
Notice now that you are able to rid yourself of the stress and feeling calm.
Now add visual exercises to instill confidence.
Visualize the time you did well in some exam or sport, something that makes you feel confident and proud of yourself. Associate with these images ie. imagine being there in that moment or time. Hear the thoughts that give you confidence. Now, see yourself studying and doing well in your future exams. .
In this way you can train the brain to focus on doing well, through different techniques using N.L.P. (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
In rare cases, anti anxiety medicines may be added.
Yes, you can definitely succeed. All the Best!