Techniques to Overcome Your Exam Anxiety: Visualisation Techniques

You may notice that if you focus on a happy, exciting or positive event, your body also feels positive - happy. excited, elated or relaxed. This is because you are drawing experiences from your memory that link to your body. They are interconnected - your mind sends messages to your body and vice versa - and we can use this to help our moods, including getting rid of anxiety.

Here's how you could put it into practice: Imagine a place of peace.

Think of an experience you had that is calming and peaceful. It may have been a holiday or a childhood memory. It is important to choose one that does not have any fearful or unhappy associations, as we do not want to introduce any negative emotions.

If you can't think of one, invent one for yourself, for example: lying on a beach, scuba diving, walking in the countryside, being with your gran when you were little. Many people seem to like memories associated with the sea, because of its calming effect.

Any childhood memories must be happy. If you are remembering someone who has died it is important not to have sadness associated with this memory.

The exercise works best if you are on your own so you can focus your mind without distraction. It is also important to make this memory as sensory as possible, For instance, if you're remembering a sunny day on the beach, focus on feeling the warm sun on your face, perhaps the smell of the sea air and sea gulls calling in the distance.

You can make it into a moving scene and be creative, adding to it. For example you may want to go for a relaxing swim in the sea, then go and look for shells and watch the sun go down. This all helps to keep the experience going.

Remember, what you add to your memory must be experiences that soothe you, not cause excitement, worry or stress.

If you are not used to doing this it, you may only be able to create something a few minutes long. Be content with that to start with: if you over do it and it fails you won't keep trying it. But with a bit of practice you'll be able to develop this happy scene to last much longer.

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