Jul 2011

By Bunny Vreeland

Forgetting is a part of life. We forget 99% of everything that enters our head and we can be thankful that this happens. If all of our thoughts, impressions and ideas stayed with us our minds would become hopelessly cluttered. We would be unable to retrieve important facts buried under mountains of trivia.

There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been frustrated by not being able to retrieve useful information—names, directions, what we came in the room for…

It is safe to say that, after Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation, and Stress Management, Memory Improvement is the area that most people will see Hypnotherapy services for. And, why not? Since the seat of the memory is the subconscious mind (The Hypnotherapist’s field of expertise).

One of the most reliable uses of Hypnotherapy is in the field of student studying and test taking. For most of us the use of Hypnotherapy can greatly reduce anxiety concerning tests and examinations. One client of mind, Sara, was dreading taking the DMV driving test, and after one session together, passed with flying colors.

There are many types of test anxieties. Such as, fear of tests, freezing and forgetting material that “you know you know” but cannot recall during a test, confidence problems, and mental blocks that sabotage testing performance. The relaxation of the hypnotic trance itself lowers anxiety and lets your body, mind, and mind-body relearn a positive, confident, and comfortable response to taking tests. It has been used successfully to treat test-taking anxiety at the high school, college, graduate, and professional board examination levels.

Hypnotherapy for memory and concentration is a natural and it works (when done by a professional). Seth, a lawyer, shares his experience with hypnosis as he was preparing for the Bar exam: “I met Bunny Vreeland in Napa in 1999 when I was struggling to pass the Bar. I had taken the summer off to study as I had taken, and failed, the test twice. If I didn’t pass the third time, I would have to wait for 6 months to take it, again, and it would cost a lot more money. You can appreciate the pressure I was under. My wife told me about Bunny, having met her at an event. As I was down to the wire and ready to try anything, I called her. We spent two sessions, together, and I passed the Bar. What relief! I am now setting up my practice as a Family Attorney in Napa, CA.”

How does memory work? Simply stated, memory is nothing more than a basic record of the events that have been picked up by our nervous system. Even single-celled animals can store information. Yet, everyone has had the experience of knowing something well enough but not being able to access it—no small source of frustration when taking a test.

A UCLA research study published in the June 2006 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that stress reduction, among other lifestyle changes, can improve cognitive function (perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering). According to WebMD, deep relaxation in the form of “meditation can increase blood flow in the brain and improve memory.”

Similarly, hypnosis is known to improve brain function by reducing stress and anxiousness, which can impair your memory. In addition, pleasant feelings experienced under hypnosis, such as joy, peace, and excitement, stimulate pleasant feeling hormones, which are known to enhance memory. Hypnotherapy for exam and test preparation can help to reduce stress and enhance memory storage, while increasing focus, positive-thinking, motivation, and self-esteem—all key components to successful test taking.

As Jim, a realtor explains, “Last week I faced a serious deadline of taking and passing four difficult tests to retain my Realtor’s license. I was very uptight and full of anxiety, thus my studying was not producing good results. I changed my expectations from just getting by to getting over 90% in the tests. I looked in a mirror, into my eyes, and repeated some of the affirmations I have listened to in our sessions. Then, I went into the last two tests with a changed attitude. When the Test Monitor pulled up my test results, my marks were both 92’s. What a happy ending to a stress filled few days. The results make me believe that I can and will apply the same strategy to my sales career with equally good results.”

Here are some additional tips and strategies for successful exam preparation:

1.    Make a study schedule.
2.    Manage your time.
3.    Get organized.
4.    Create an environment that is free of distractions.
5.    Take frequent breaks.
6.    Study the most important information first.
7.    Engage in exercises that increase short-term memory—such as creating flashcards and listening to classical music, attributing meaning and building associations, and repeating and reviewing new information.
8.    Speak up in class and ask for help from instructors, tutors, classmates, and your friend the math genius.
9.    Get plenty of rest and eat well before the exam.
10.    And remember to breathe…and relax!

Would you like to know more about how hypnosis can help you with Exam Preparation? Dr. Bunny Vreeland is a board certified, Clinical Hypnotherapist and founder of the Vreeland College of the Healing Arts.  She is also an experienced speaker and has authored many articles for newspapers and magazines. Dr. Vreeland is currently working on a book illustrating how the mind impacts our behavior. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical Hypnotherapy and has been featured on radio and television.


Contact Dr. Vreeland at (805) 482-8111 or E-mail: Bunny@BunnyVreeland.com

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