Yesterday marked the end of my second term at medical school. Was I happy?
Not really, considering the end only brought me perilously close to my end of term exams next week. Panic doesn’t even cover half of what I’ve been feeling. Luckily for me I got the opportunity to experience some relaxation techniques. This wasn’t just any random made up jazz, nor was it a ‘magical’ cure to exam nerves. Hypnotherapy, when done properly or with the guidance of a trained professional (not necessarily medical) has a strong evidence base for reducing anxiety-like symptoms and improving relaxation. Both, I guarantee, every student has felt the need for!
I can only speak of my experience and I guess it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But I really enjoyed it. Granted, I did it in a group, at university, with loud music playing next door but those ten minutes in a busy day allowed me time to think. It gave me a chance to close my eyes, focus on my own breathing and gave my brain a chance to not have to think about exams, medicine and revision. For the first time in years I brought up this particular memory from my childhood. I learnt that apparently my ‘happy’ place is my own bed and when I was brought back to the present my brain definitely felt less ‘buzzy’.
I don’t think this technique is a replacement for revision. Of course not. Still got to slog through hours of learning objectives, histology slides and names of drugs. There’s no escaping the hard-work. However, it is nice to know that where ever I might be: the library, the bus or a busy exam hall – it’ll only take me a few seconds to imagine my bed and find a way to relax mentally. Particularly important to me is the fact that it doesn’t require training, anyone can do it and take from it what they will. In fact I tried this on my brothers. Their experience was a little different but they too said that it was calming if nothing else. (I’m guessing that they probably didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I did considering my voice isn’t the most calming and our dog kept sniffing at us..slightly distracting)
It’s worth a shot. I mean, what is there to lose?
(and happy revision to me)