Rapid Relief: Self-Hypnosis and Mindfulness Techniques to Reduce Exam Stress Instantly

Picture of a student from the BAME community revising for exams

Are you familiar with that sudden surge of anxiety that creeps up on you the moment you sit down for an exam? It’s a common experience, but the good news is, there are practical techniques you can use to reduce exam stress quickly and effectively, right in the moment. Let’s explore the power of self-hypnosis and mindfulness exercises that can provide rapid relief when you need it most.

The Power of Self-Hypnosis:

Self-hypnosis is a technique that allows you to enter a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus, similar to a trance-like state. By accessing your subconscious mind, you can quickly alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, allowing you to approach the exam with calm confidence. Here’s a simple self-hypnosis exercise you can try:

  •         Find a comfortable position in your seat, with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting gently on your lap.
  •         Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths, allowing your body to relax with each exhale.
  •         Visualise a peaceful scene or imagine yourself in a place where you feel calm and relaxed. It could be a serene beach, a tranquil forest, or a cozy spot by the fireplace.
  •         As you continue to breathe deeply, repeat a positive affirmation to yourself, such as “I am calm, focused, and fully capable of succeeding on this exam.”
  •         Allow yourself to sink deeper into this state of relaxation, feeling all tension and stress melting away with each breath.
  •         When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and return your focus to the exam, feeling calm, centred, and ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.


Mindful Breathing:

Mindful breathing is a simple yet powerful technique that can help you regain control over your thoughts and emotions in the midst of exam stress. By focusing your attention on your breath, you can anchor yourself in the present moment and quiet the racing thoughts in your mind. Here’s how to practice mindful breathing:

  •         Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, counting to four as you inhale.
  •         Hold your breath for a moment, allowing the air to fill your lungs completely.
  •         Exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to six as you release the breath.
  •         Repeat this cycle of deep breathing for several rounds, focusing all of your attention on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body.
  •         Notice how your body begins to relax with each breath, and how your mind becomes more calm and centred.
  •         As you continue to breathe mindfully, bring your awareness back to the present moment, feeling grounded and focused on the task at hand.


Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR):

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body, helping to release physical tension and promote relaxation. Here’s how to practice PMR before or even during an exam:

  •         Start by tensing the muscles in your feet as tightly as you can, holding the tension for a few seconds.
  •         Then, release the tension suddenly, allowing your feet to relax completely.
  •         Move on to the muscles in your calves, thighs, and so on, working your way up through your body until you reach your head and neck.
  •         As you tense and relax each muscle group, pay attention to the sensations of tension and relaxation, noticing the difference between the two.
  •         By the time you’ve completed the exercise, you should feel a deep sense of relaxation spreading throughout your body, helping to alleviate exam stress and promote a sense of calm.


Remember, these techniques are like tools in your mental toolbox – the more you practice them, the more effective they become. So, the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by exam stress, take a moment to pause, breathe, and try one of these exercises. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can reduce stress and regain your focus, allowing you to perform at your best on the exam. If you find any of them difficult to put into practice please contact me so we can work on developing your self relaxation skills together.


Clinical Hypnotherapist

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If you are ready to start making positive changes to how you feel contact Gabrielle today to book your complimentary Zoom consultation. Or go right ahead and book a session Once we’ve built up your confidence who knows what you will be capable of!