Jan 142011

ScienceDaily (2011-01-13) — Students can combat test anxiety and improve performance by writing about their worries immediately before the exam begins, according to a new study. Researchers found that students who were prone to test anxiety improved their high-stakes test scores by nearly one grade point after they were given 10 minutes to write about what was causing them fear.

Apparently, unloading their anxieties before the test freed up mental energy needed to recall and perform better. Worry, stress or pressure ties up working memory, like too many programs on a computer ties up RAM. This can cause the mind to freeze up, just as a computer can freeze when too much is required of it.

Studies have found that expressive writing, journaling or freewriting, can help cleanse the working memory and help people process information better. So, write about your worries a few minutes before a test, a meeting with your boss, or beginning a project. If it works in one area, it works in others, as well.

For the full article, visit Writing about worries eases anxiety.

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