Hypnosis Can Help You To Pass Exams

by Bill Hard - Date: 2007-02-27 - Word Count: 1584 Share This!

Hypnosis is now widely used to assist you or your child to pass exams. With the pressure to succeed in education becoming ever greater, knowing how to improve your study skills and pass exams is increasingly more important. Yet there is a simple tool that is easily learned that can help with both of these areas and more.

Hypnosis can not only help you overcome the stress and anxiety connected with taking exams, but can also help you improve your study skills and overcome self-sabotaging behaviour.

The areas that Hypnotherapy can help with related to learning and exams are many: Improved memory Better study skills Overcome procrastination & self sabotage Improved concentration and focus Remove stress from exams

What is Hypnosis?

Many people have an inaccurate idea of what Hypnosis is because they have picked up their ideas from stage shows and movies. Hypnosis is a very natural and very safe state of mind. All of us have probably had the experience of drifting off into a kind of waking daydream, where we don't hear what someone says to us. Or perhaps you've had the experience of driving a familiar route only to find yourself arriving with no clear memory of the journey! These are examples of what has been called 'everyday trances', people go into and out of these hypnotic states several times a day. It is often the case that sometimes when we are in these states we can practise negative self hypnosis. For example, take the case of 'driving amnesia' sometimes we don't remember the journey because we are caught up in some pleasant reverie, other times it can be that the reason we don't remember the journey is because we spent the whole time playing an internal 'video' perhaps of the specific ways that the meeting was going to be boring and unpleasant. Because we are focussed on the process of driving a route we know well, it is the unconscious mind that is predominating, then when the conscious mind runs the video based on our fears and expectations this acts like a hypnotic suggestion, distorting our experience of the meeting.

Hypnosis occurs when we have a focus of concentration that is relaxed. This focus helps the unconscious mind to be more receptive, by reducing the activity of the part of our brain that analyses and criticises. You have probably had the experience of making a resolution to do something that rationally is a 'good idea', getting up earlier and going for a run perhaps, and you may be familiar with that self critical voice which suggests that you wont keep it up etc. Hypnosis is about creating a state of mind where this part is almost entirely inactive. This means that when we imagine doing the new activity it feels real, and is accepted as a valid part of our internal experience by our unconscious mind which will then relate to it as a new set of operating instructions.

Myths & Legends

The legacy of stage hypnosis and the stereotypes we see in movies has led to the propagation of various myths and legends about Hypnosis which I would like to deal with here.

Hypnosis doesn't involve the domination of a weaker mind by a stronger mind. In fact the more intelligent and well developed someone is in their character the easier it is for them to enter hypnosis!

Anyone of average intelligence can be helped into hypnosis. Some people may need more help, others less. However, it is important to understand that nobody can be hypnotised against their will.

Nor can you get 'stuck' in trance, there has never been any record of this ever happening. If you were in the most deeply hypnotic state possible and the Hypnotherapist left the room, you would either immediately bring yourself out of trance and go to look for them, or, more likely, fall into a natural sleep and awaken normally.

It is absolutely vital to understand that in Hypnosis the hypnotised person is very much in control, you can't be made to say or do anything against your will! If you have seen people do strange things during stage shows, please understand that these people were carefully selected, and at some level they wanted to perform!

How can this work?

To explain about how hypnosis can help you with the whole area of learning and study and in particular exams, I need to say a little about stress and how it affects us.

We could say that stress is what happens when our unconscious mind perceives some kind of threat to our wellbeing. So when we are faced with a situation like an exam for many people that will come with its own threat perception, the problem is that this affects our physiology. We get what is known as a 'flight or fight' response. This means that we may notice symptoms such as butterflies and palpitations, this tends to make us focus even more on the threat, and start in with negative self talk, e.g. "I can't face them if I fail", "I just know this going to be too hard" etc…

This in turn increases the stress response and a vicious cycle is initiated. The effect of all this on the brain and memory is unhelpful. It becomes much harder to concentrate and think clearly and because of the agitation in the brain produced by the stress hormones it is difficult to remember things, and difficult to trust the memories that you can access.

There is a very well known phenomenon in Hypnosis known as state dependent memory, what this means is that it is much easier to remember something if your state i.e. your emotions and physiology match the state you were in when you learned it. To learn well we need to be in a state of enjoyable relaxed focus and emotionally engaged with the topic. When you are in an exam situation, or trying to study something that is really difficult you need to be able to replicate that state. This is where Hypnosis can be so very effective.

A skilled Hypnotherapist can help your unconscious mind to strongly associate a calm relaxed state with any kind of learning demand. So this means that as soon as your unconscious mind see's the open book or online classroom or even the examination invigilator it knows that you need a calm relaxed state of concentration, and produces it for you. A good Hypnotherapist will also teach you how to use self hypnosis in this situation so that all of your resources are available to you. The more you come to associate learning and exams with these states the more enjoyable they become. This will have the effect of naturally and organically increasing your confidence, which will automatically reduce the likelihood of a stress response!

Another area that Hypnotherapy can help you overcome is procrastination and self sabotage! Whenever we struggle with this kind of problem it is usually about motivation. Our motivation can be down because we have chosen the wrong course or subject, but very often it can be down because of negative beliefs about ourselves. Some people do not have the permission to succeed; others may suffer from a perfectionism that is paralysing. In both of these cases the unconscious mind will set up patterns of self sabotage. This could be just never finding the time, or even just falling asleep when you should be studying. For example this might be because the person has come to believe that succeeding might mean that they will be disliked for getting above themselves. This would be an unconscious belief though, not a consciously held opinion. The result is that when the person tries to 'push through' or overcome this with conscious will power and determination they will fail. It really is no contest; the unconscious mind will win in this kind of contest every time. This means that the whole process of learning becomes linked to an experience of trying and failing. This an area where a Hypnotherapist can be of great help, in hypnosis we can talk directly with the unconscious mind in Hypnosis and usually we can find a way to reengage the unconscious mind by gently challenging negative beliefs and evolving new and more constructive ones.

What can I expect?

It is important that any hypnotherapy is designed to address the specific needs of the individual. Different people can enter trance in different ways, and it is important to find the way that works best for the individual. Hypnotherapy is something you do with someone not to someone. I always spend a large part of the initial session listening to my client, so that I can respond to their concerns and on the basis of this we can then agree a series of aims and goals, so that we can measure how effective the work is

The procedure of Hypnotherapy is very straight forward. The first part of the session will be spent gathering information or reviewing progress. The Hypnosis session itself will consist of being guided by the hypnotherapists voice to enter a very comfortable and relaxed state a bit like a daydream. You will always be in control and will probably be fully aware of everything that is being said. I like many other Hypnotherapists will give you a self hypnosis C.D to listen to in between sessions. Almost without exception people report feeling relaxed and refreshed when the session ends. You will be wide awake and well, able to drive or go to work or back to school or whatever comes next in your day!

Related Tags: stress, hypnotherapy, hypnosis, study skills, pass exams, exam anxiety

Bill Hard runs Expert Hypnotherapy in London & Oxford. He is a qualified and internationally registered practising Hypnotherapist and a Certified NLP practitioner, a member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy in the UK and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists in America (NGH) (the largest and oldest hypnosis organisation in the world). He is also a Board Certified hypnotherapist and a certified instructor of hypnotherapy, trains Hypnotherapists for The UK Academy of Therapeutic Arts and Sciences (incorporating the Washington School of Clinical and Advanced Hypnosis) In London & Oxford. For more information please go to http://www.southcotswoldshypnos.co.uk or email billhard@southcotswoldshypnos.co.uk

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