Exam stress - Why does my mind go blank in exams?
The answer is usually because of something called state dependent memory.
Memories are laid down in our minds with a unique chemical signature and also an emotional charge, depending on how we feel at the time.
Research has shown that memories are best retrieved whilst in the same emotional state, and in the same context or surroundings that they were laid down in.
Studies have demonstrated that students who took an exam in the same classroom in which that they were taught, did significantly better than those who were examined in another room.
So when we revise in a relaxed state in a familiar place, it’s going to be more difficult to retrieve that information when we are stressed out and anxious to perform well in a strange place.
Added to that ,when you’re stressed and in “Fight or flight” mode your brain kicks out of clever thinking and into reflex thinking because you need to just react quickly to get out of danger.
So what’s the best way to resolve this?
How can you find a way to control your feelings of anxiety, to turn down that stress response - and quickly re-focus your attention to get into your Zone- that place where you are being the “best you” that you can be to do the task in hand?
I’ve heard so many well meaning suggestions to answer this – from taking Rescue remedy, using prescription meds, to telling yourself that you’re just excited!
But In my experience the fastest, easiest and simplest way to train your brain to relax and quickly get into your zone is hypnosis.
Two to three sessions in the comfort of an armchair, are usually all that are needed to address this worry and any other issue that might be holding you back.
Then you’re all set to get out there and just put into practice what you’ve already brain rehearsed.
I hope this has been of help, and of course I'm always happy to chat with you about any issues you'd like to resolve.