pack up your troubles in your… pencil case?

A worry shared is meant to be a worry halved, but apparently writing down your worries on paper can help ease anxiety and prevent the memory getting blocked (especially before an exam).

Expressive writing – where people can let their problems spill out onto the page, and is known to have psychological benefits in terms of making it easier to cope with issues – is just one of the techniques used by teachers in Washington County to help students deal with test anxiety.

The study tested students about to take their high-school final exams, asking those with high anxiety to write down their fears for 10 minutes before the test. The students who did the writing outperformed their non-writing peers in the test by 6%, according to the study.

While the benefits of writing therapy are usually seen over many months, the study  concluded: “If expressive writing alle- viates the impact of worries on performance, then students most prone to worry during exams (i.e. students highest in test anxiety) should benefit most from the writing intervention. Expressive writing eliminates the relation commonly seen between test anxiety and poor test performance.”

I’m the first person to turn to pen and notebook (usually new!) when I feel emotionally overwhelmed. I may just try scribbling a few notes next time I feel performance anxiety creeping up on me.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s