Exam anxiety

What is anxiety? What causes it and what can we do about it?
There are a number of different kinds of anxiety:
Generalised anxiety is a condition where the cause of your feelings of anxiety cannot be pinpointed. Often you feel afraid of something without knowing why but you experience physical discomfort in the form of sweaty hands, shivers and rapid heartbeat.
Panic attacks occur suddenly and feature pressure on the chest, shortage of breath, sweating and an experience of suffocation.


Exam and performance anxiety occur often amongst those who demand much of themselves and those who experience that others have high expectations of them in terms of successful achievements. The reactions are the same as those of panic attacks in an exam situation. Some describe it as ‘blacking out’. The condition can worsen with repeated bad exam situation experiences.


Performance anxiety: a condition that can affect the sex drive and in some situations result in impotence amongst men and women. Performance anxiety can also feature in situations where you are in a situation when you are on show for others, for example colleagues, family etc.


I apply different techniques which work on the different types of anxiety conditions. Exposure through visualisation of anxiety provoking situations is one of them. Therapeutic conversations whereby we discover more appropriate ways of envisioning yourself and your boundaries in relation to your surrounding is another strategy through which to alter the condition.


Finally, a traumatic event can be the cause of anxiety. In these situations it is important to work out what the anxiety refers to and develop distance from the incident