On February 3, I’m offering a new workshop on developing good study skills and erasing test anxiety. It’s at Whatcom Community College.
The College is close to my heart—I’m a proud community college graduate and a former college teacher—and I expect that most of the people who sign up will be students. But I didn’t develop this workshop specifically for students.
A client will get a raise at work if he passes a series of demanding classes; another wants to improve her bridge game, and my own history with crippling test anxiety—these led directly to my developing this 2-hour workshop.
The first hour will start with hypnosis for relaxation and motivation. Relaxation because when we can relax, we perform better, naturally. Motivation because hypnosis helps us tap into our deeper motivation—not the desire to please others, for example, but our own, intrinsic reasons to want to succeed.
The second hour will build a pathway into good focus and concentration—when you leave, you will already know what it feels like to study well and to retain what you learn (that’s the power of hypnosis at work).
Finally, you’ll learn how to take the power away from test anxiety. You’ll learn to stop it before it starts—literally changing the chemistry of your brain, ensuring a relaxed and confident state as you approach a test.
Test anxiety is a result of our hind-brain at work—the infamous “fight or flight response”—triggering a cascade of chemicals into the brain designed to get us out of danger. But the side effect of this response—so helpful if you’re facing a stampeding herd of elephants—is that the same chemicals turn off your ability to reason. In a test situation, of course, that’s the ability you need. (Here’s a link from West Virginia University with some more information specifically about dealing with test anxiety for students.)
By the way, it’s not just for exams—this technique works for any performance anxiety, including public speaking. I always think of the Jerry Seinfeld line, “at a funeral, most people would rather be the guy in the coffin than have to stand up and give a eulogy.”