If you are on any type of course that requires you to take exams and you are someone who suffers from a lot of exam-related anxiety, here are two signs that you should use one of your local anxiety counselling services for this problem.
You can't study because of your paralysing anxiety
It is common for people to experience a surge of anxiety in the run-up to an exam; however, if you are suffering from a level of anxiety that is so high that it leaves you paralysed with worry and, therefore, unable to concentrate on your course materials, then you might need get professional advice from a counsellor about this issue. If your anxiety is interfering with your ability to study and absorb the things you're supposed to be learning on your course, then it will be incredibly hard for you to revise properly for your upcoming exams. This could then lead to you getting much poorer results than you are actually capable of achieving (if you were able to concentrate).
Using an anxiety counselling service in this situation could help to acquire a few psychological tools that could help you to avoid reaching a point where you feel so overcome by your anxiety that you cannot think of anything else and cannot, therefore, properly prepare for your exams. For instance, they may teach you about mindfulness, a practice which involves focusing on a specific element of the present moment (such as the sounds you can hear, your own breath, etc.); this can not only quell your anxiety but can also fine-tune your concentration skills. This, in turn, should help you to revise and perform well in your exams.
Your anxiety makes it hard for you to look after yourself in the run-up to exams
If your anxiety gets so bad during the weeks leading up to your exams that you cannot sleep or eat properly, and you usually end up dropping out of your normal social activities and giving up exercise, then you would probably benefit a lot from meeting up with a counsellor.
If your anxiety is leaving you unable to participate in normal life during this time, you need to get help, because your failure to take care of your physical, social and mental needs will leave you feeling emotionally and physically depleted, which could, in turn, make the exam process even harder. Not sleeping or eating properly could hinder your immune system and cause you to get sick just before your exams, whilst not socialising or exercising might leave you feeling too down to study.
If you were to go for counselling once or twice a week during this period, when your anxiety is at its worst, the counsellor could not only remind you to, and support you in your efforts to eat well, socialise and exercise, but could also be someone you can safely cry in front of if your anxiety feels like too much for you to handle. In short, they can hold your hand through this process and ensure that preparing for your exams does not result in you being left ill and exhausted afterwards.Share