EFT / tapping is the best thing I have found to help with exam stress.
Or to reduce any feelings of anxiety or stress in the moment.
It’s quick, it’s simple, and very effective.
You can do it in the car on the way to an exam, for instant relief.
Because tapping on the end points of the meridians sends a calming signal directly to the amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for your stress response.
By tapping you are telling your brain to “chill out dude”.
Once the amygdala receives that message, and it only takes a few minutes, you are more able to feel calm, to think clearly, and to remember what you have studied.
EFT/tapping is particularly good if you do it in a more preventative fashion.
So if you are predicting that exams will be stressful for you, then you would do it leading up to the exam period on a few occasions.
This will give you good results, as there is what is called the “generalization effect”.
This means that after you address a few of your problems around exams with EFT, the benefits from the tapping start to flow on across all of the related problems.
So you don’t usually have to keep tapping on the same things over and over, because the tapping helps you to rewire your brain to think and feel differently about exams.
It’s like watching the concept of “neuroplasticity” in real life action.
Simply put, neuroplasticity refers to research done by neuroscientists that proves that we can actually change our brains.
When I started tapping with my youngest daughter Naomi, who is currently doing year 12 (HSC) her confidence around her academic ability was very low, and she was pretty down about it.
It was hard for her to talk about, but she agreed to let me try to see if tapping could help.
(She has given me permission to write about her as a case study).
In her mind, she truly believed that she was not “intelligent” like her friends.
She felt she was always “second best” academically speaking.
She had vivid memories of her friends being put into “higher classes” for English and Maths, which started happening in primary school, and obviously had a profound effect on her.
She also perceived that her friends “bonded” over this status of being smart.
Which left her feeling on the outer. In a sort of different category.
This pattern continued into high school, and so her beliefs were continually reaffirmed.
So by the time she got to year 12, she had a very firm core belief that she was not going to do well in HSC. Because she was not intelligent enough.
And it didn’t matter what I said about how I believed in her, or how if she tried she could do well. I know she is very capable.
But as the saying goes, whether you believe you can or you can’t, you will always be right.
Our beliefs about our self are so important, and tapping is great for working on these.
I was not really aware that Naomi felt like this until we started tapping together.
I had assumed she was just more in to the social side of school than the academic side.
We joked that if socialising was a HSC subject, Naomi would get a fabulous ATAR.
But here we were at the pointy end of HSC, and it was not funny that Naomi firmly believed she just did not have the smarts to do well.
Why even bother trying if you know you will fail?
Enter EFT/tapping to the rescue.
We started with tapping on those core beliefs and traumatic memories from the class room about not being smart enough.
“Trauma” may seem like a big word to use here.
But you can see how much childhood events like these can negatively affect the way a person feels about themselves, and prevent them from fulfilling their true potential.
In Energy Psychology, childhood events like these are seen as logs stuck in the stream of wellbeing, preventing a smooth flow of energy in the person’s body.
These “logs” prevent the person from healing, either physically or emotionally from that issue.
Tapping helps dislodge the logs so that the stream of energy flows freely in the body again.
Like when you get a splinter in your finger, you just need to remove the splinter, then the body knows how to heal itself naturally. There isn’t anything you need to “do” to help it.
The same with the energy system, once the “logs” are out of the stream, the body returns to it’s natural state of wellbeing, and the person feels better.
My first few tapping sessions with Naomi around this issue were quite long and emotional, which left her feeling exhausted, but very relaxed.
Her SUDS (Subjective Unit of Distress Scale) would often go from 10/10 down to 2/10.
In those early days she would have to just have a bath and go to bed after a session.
But the next day she would wake with a fresh burst of energy, feeling more capable somehow to tackle her studies or assignments.
It was fascinating to observe this change in her behaviour, mood and self concept, knowing it was a direct result of the tapping.
In the days and weeks that followed, when I asked how she felt about not being smart enough, she would say she just doesn’t feel like that any more.
Other “layers” appeared, around motivation and organisation, self sabotage. And we tapped on those too. It’s a fascinating process to observe.
Despite her good results, Naomi was almost put her off doing tapping in the future, as she associated EFT with lots of emotion, and being wiped out.
Certainly not in the right frame of mind for studying.
She didn’t want to do it for a while, and I just had to respect that.
But when she asked to start again, we had to learn to be strategic about when we tapped.
But it basically got easier and quicker, because her “logs” were gone.
She has just needed little “tune ups” along the way.
As we got toward HSC trials, we focused more on actual past exam experiences which had been traumatic. Like times she had studied (or crammed last minute), only to get into the exam, and have a complete mind blank.
On these occasions she would sit staring around the room at others doing “better” than her.
She would look at the clock, stressing about the time, telling herself over and over she can’t do it. She would run out of time.
Her brain was so stressed she couldn’t remember anything.
And then she would do poorly in that exam.
So we learned there are quick tapping sessions she can do before exams, to clear and calm her mind, which helps her to remember what she needs to.
And these usually worked really well, building her confidence.
Of course Naomi still gets frustrated with herself for leaving everything until the last minute.
And she still prioritises friends and socialising over her HSC.
EFT has not changed her personality or solved all of her issues.
But it has really helped her to give it her best shot.
To just be able to sit down and concentrate, doing the best she can, when she needs to, without all that pointless but damaging negative self talk going on in her head.
I am so grateful to her for allowing me to learn about EFT through practicing it with her.
And that she now has a skill for life which she can take with her when she leaves home, to use in any situation she needs it for.
The gift of being able to manage your own stress and emotions is priceless.