Most students feel anxiety when confronting exams, whether it's a second grade spelling test or the SATs. I still suffer whenever I have to take the test to renew my drivers license. How about you? While some of us seem to handle it well, others become so frazzled that it is hard to think or remember what they worked so hard to study for. Unfortunately, our schools don't help students learn methods for calming their jitters, therefore test anxiety remains a problem into adulthood.
I will never forget a significant moment that occurred just before taking a final exam in Latin when I was in High School. I was so worried about forgetting a certain verb form that I was about to cheat by writing it on my hand so I could call it up if needed when suddenly this thought popped into my head: "The answer is in my brain. I don't have to write it down because it is stored there, and I can bring it to mind."
My astonishing awareness took place long before we all had computers and understood the concept that our brain is like a computer. Today students can gain access to their own brain's files in minutes and breeze through tests by applying an easy to learn acupressure technique called EFT tapping. You will find complete instructions and a tapping chart in my free book Creating Happiness. Gentle tapping on a few energy points raises the serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical that relaxes and soothes. As the serotonin rises fears diminish. As fear dwindles, the body relaxes and the student is able to get in touch with the information that is blocked due to stress and fear.
It is this simple: Ask your child how worried or stressed she feels when she thinks of an upcoming test and rate the anxiety on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero means no fear. Have her begin by tapping along the outside edge of either hand below the little finger while repeating this statement 3 times: "Even though I get very scared whenever I have to take a test, I am making it go away right now." Next, as she thinks about her test fear, ask her to tap, using the index and middle fingers, for 3 seconds on each of these 7 easy to reach acupressure points on her face and upper body.
- Where the hair starts to grow on the eyebrow near the nose
- The outer edge of the eye socket
- Under the lower eyelid above the cheekbone
- Under the nose
- Under the lower lip
- Underneath the collarbone
- Under the arm on the side of the body about 4 inches down
Tap 3 rounds and then take a deep breath and rate the fear once more. Keep doing this until the child reports that she is at zero and not feeling fearful. Next, help your student explore other negative convictions he might have about himself that contributes to his fear. Some examples are:
- I am stupid.
- I can’t get a good grade.
- I am afraid I will fail.
- No matter how hard I study, I can’t think during the exam.
- I should do better.
- I get flustered when I read the questions.
If your son or daughter has already developed a longstanding dread or panic before tests, use EFT to eliminate other negative beliefs that create this anguish. You may be surprised to learn that these thoughts often become self-fulfilling prophecies that last a lifetime. Tap to dissolve any blocking beliefs your child is holding on to. Here are some common examples. Add any others that your student shares.
- I'll never get over this test anxiety.
- It's impossible to get over this test worry.
- I don't deserve to get over this test fear.
- I'm not smart enough to get over this test problem.
- Something is keeping me from getting over this test panic.
Help your child choose one negative belief at a time and, while tapping the side of the hand, say, "Even though I tell myself _______, I am making this awful feeling go away now". Keep tapping around and around asserting "Goodbye test problem," until the negative belief transforms into a positive statement.
Remind your children that they can use the EFT tapping steps any time they feel anxious before any test or even during a test if they get nervous. If they are worried about having the teacher see them tap, they can simply touch the points very gently, take a deep breath and remember this mantra: "Even though I am feeling anxious right now and scared that I will do badly, all the information I studied is waiting inside my brain, and I can get hold of it now as I relax."
As you help your child get over this fear you can also treat your own test anxiety. Improved test scores will convince you and your children of the power of EFT tapping to bring rapid and positive results. Share this wonderful technique with your child’s teacher so it can benefit all the students who have the same problem. You will find 63 other ways to use EFT tapping for common life problems in my book EFT Tapping: 64 Quick & Easy Tips.
Consider discussing your child’s fears with Gloria in a free phone consult.
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