As a test is given out, a feeling of pressure is generated, some people will take this well, while others will fall under this tension. These individuals have just been caught victim in the mind trap known as test anxiety.
What is test anxiety? Is at an emotion brought on by stress or a natural instinct?
Test anxiety is actually a form of performance anxiety, a stress generated by a situation where the individual’s abilities are put to the test. Test anxiety can be experienced in all forms of implementation, including trying out for the school play, being processed in a job interview, or giving a presentation in your class. When anxiety is experienced, symptoms will often include having trouble concentrating, irritability, tense emotion, twitches, even muscle tension. So when we come across our mind producing anxiety, how do we overcome it and prevent it in the future?
The simplest answer is to accept yourself in the situation you are experiencing, wither it is good or bad.
Anxiety is the result of feeling inadequate in your ability and letting fear overtake your mindset and control you. In order to fight these panic attacks, you must meet your yourself with life’s terms, that you have a problem but that you can change the way you do things.
Three ways to overcome this state of mind is by writing your anxiety out, exercising, and approaching the exam with confidence.
1. Writing your troubles away.
At the University of Chicago, researchers have found that students who were given ten minutes to write out their fears about their exams, improved their grade point by five percent. In situations where working under pressure is extremely high, some of the brain’s processing power is overburdened by this added on stress, preventing the mind to properly use its “working memory” Inhibiting it’s ability to retrieve and use information. Writing about anxiety related problems relieves stress about consequences of failure, enabling the test taker to have a clear mind when he or she begins a test.
2. Exercise to cool down
Exercising has many benefits including fat loss, muscle hypertrophy, immunity improvement, and a stronger cardiovascular system. However, at Princeton University, scientists have discovered that exercise has led to the creation of new brain cells while simultaneously creating a neural pattern of calmness. “Studies in animals have shown that physical exercise creates excitable neurons in abundance, especially in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain known to be involved in thinking and emotional responses.” (NY Times; July 3, 2013, How Exercise Can Calm Anxiety.) Not only does your brain create these neurons but release an amino acid called GABA (Gammainobutryric Acid) that works as a neurotransmitter towards brain activity, shushing out the part of your brain enabling stress. Exercise will keep your emotions under control will stimulantiously keeping you sharp and focused.
3. Believing in yourself
According to the online Webster dictionary, confidence is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something, and that is the only thing you require to battle your anxiety. When in a pressured state, an individual will constantly doubt themself, worrying about the consequences about what could go wrong, and that is the exact reason he or she fails the test. You solve nothing by adding continued stress onto yourself when freaking out, you must allow yourself to breathe and believe in yourself. It is only when you stop thinking about the future and live in the present moment, only then will you achieve your goals.
Embrace yourself in the mindset that you can do anything you desire; let go of the doubt that inhibits your creativity, become still and alert in your peace of mind, and you will have all the tools you need to succeed at anything.