Relaxation Techniques to Decrease Test Anxiety
A. The Tensing and Differential Relaxation Method
- Put your feet flat on the floor.
- With your hands, grab underneath the chair.
- Push down with your feet and pull up on your chair at the same time for about five seconds.
- Relax for five to ten seconds.
- Repeat the procedure two or three times.
- Relax all your muscles except the ones that are actually used to take the test.
B. The Palming Method
- Close and cover your eyes using the center of the palms of your hands.
- Prevent your hands from touching your eyes by resting the lower parts of your palms on your cheekbones and placing your fingers on your forehead. Your eyeballs must not be touched, rubbed or handled in any way.
- Think of some real or imaginary relaxing scene. Mentally visualize this scene.
- Picture the scene as if you were actually there, looking through your own eyes.
- Visualize this relaxing scene for one or two minutes.
C. Deep Breathing
- Sit straight up in your chair in a good posture position.
- Slowly inhale through your nose.
- As you inhale, first fill the lower section of your lungs and work your way up to the upper part of your lungs.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Wait a few seconds and repeat the cycle.
Relaxation techniques and notes about positive self-talk appear in Dr. Paul D. Nolting's book Math Study Skills Workbook: Your Guide to Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Study Strategies.