Thursday, May 12, 2011


Dr. Ernest Mastria: TEST ANXIETY AND HOW TO HANDLE IT: "TEST ANXIETY AND HOW TO HANDLE IT By Ernest Mastria, Psy.D. For more information vis..."



By Ernest Mastria, Psy.D.

For more information visit:

I define intelligence as your contact with your surroundings. Attention or focus on our surroundings is how we maintain our intelligence. Attention is a quantity from zero to one hundred percent. The more focused we are, the more intelligent we are. An important characteristic of intelligence is the ability to see differences between situations.

When you sit down to take a test, negative thoughts that you will not know the answers to questions and fail the test and your entire life will be a disappointment creep in and distract your attention. When attention is paid to these thoughts, less is available to focus on the things in front of you, your test. Remember, attention in the present is how we maintain intelligence (contact with our surroundings). As a result of attention paid to the negative thoughts, intelligence decreases so that you can't read properly, find accurate information, and respond correctly. As a result of decreased intelligence, it’s important characteristic, the ability to see differences decreases. You become nervous since you see the negative thought as real and true. In this frame of mind, you have failed the test and your life will be miserable.

You question your initial response to a question with a second thought and go with it rather than your initial reaction. As a result, you get the answer wrong.

You failed the test even though you had studied and had the material down. Now you begin worrying about the next test, anticipating negatively that you will fail just as you did the first one.

How can you possibly do your best on a test with all this going on???


1. Study for the test and when you are completed know that you have studied and let the cards fall where they may.
2. Don't think about the test until it’s on your desk and in front of you. Get rid of your negative anticipation of it by saying to yourself, with your intelligence, "I'll handle it when it’s in front of me and I'm not going to worry about it now."
3. When you sit down to take the test, don't get yourself upset by trying to take in all the questions at once, you'll become overwhelmed. Remember how I showed you to handle multiple situations in class? One at a time while ignoring those that are not in front of you. You will want to use the same technique for test taking.
4. Look at the first question and ignore all the rest. Some students put a sheet of paper over the other questions so that they can focus only on the first question.
5. Read the question slowly and deliberately and word by word. Read it at least twice. Once you have total comprehension of the question, retrieve the information from the material you have studied.
6. Go with your first impression and answer. Second thinking most often comes from the bad habit that doesn't want you to be successful and insists on questioning your judgment. Answers from second thinking are most frequently incorrect. While your first impression answers may not always be correct, they usually are.
7. Use the same procedure with the remaining questions and when you've completed the test, realize that you've done your best and leave it at that.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dr. Ernest Mastria: The Importance of Energy Levels and the Concept of...

Dr. Ernest Mastria: The Importance of Energy Levels and the Concept of...: "By Ernest Mastria, Psy.D. For more information visit: Pressure refers to any conditio..."

The Importance of Energy Levels and the Concept of Pressure

By Ernest Mastria, Psy.D.

For more information visit:

Pressure refers to any condition that reduces your energy. There are four:

1. Illness and medical – Illness refers to any physical condition such as: colds, viruses, infections, headaches, fevers, muscle aches and pains, and any other condition with a physical cause. When you are ill, your body mobilizes against the condition and absorbs your energy to fight the condition. Since attention or focus requires energy, reduced energy will allow habit negative thoughts to be more frequent and intense.

If you don’t feel well, recognize that you are ill and attribute your negative thoughts and discomfort such as nervousness to the bad habit and low energy. If you can get rest, then do. If can put off things till you feel better than do. If you can’t and must do some tasks, do them slowly and deliberately. Many people tend to get racy and push out energy to accomplish things. This is the wrong thing to do. You will tend to waste energy. Instead, do things slowly and be sure that you’re focused.

2. Medical conditions - Are common to females and are not illnesses. Menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause are medical conditions that, when they occur, reduce a woman’s energy level and with reduced energy, the habit is triggered. The major symptom or reaction to this condition of low energy is irritability. When experiencing a medical condition, do as above. Get rest if you can. Put off what you can until your energy is recovered. If you must handle situations, do them slowly and deliberately, making sure that you’re focused and attentive.

3. Fatigue – We all know what it feels like to be tired. You can’t think, you’re inattentive, and you tend to make mistakes. At these times, do as stated above. Get rest if you can. Put things off till you’re rested. If you can’t, do what you have to slowly and deliberately. Don’t get speedy and waste your energy.

4. High Value – This pressure occurs when we put too much importance on a thing. At these times we will takes too seriously. Our thinking becomes racy and confused and we feel nervous. We often make our worst mistakes while in this condition.


1. Realize that you’re not at 100%. You don’t feel well, you’re tired, or you may be menstruating. (High Value will be dealt with separately).
2. Blame your Habit Thoughts and any discomfort on your physical condition.
3. Get rest to recover your energy of you can.
4. Put off things and accomplish them when you have more energy.
5. If you must handle situations, chores, and events, accomplish them slowly and deliberately. Do not push out more energy, you’ll waste it. Instead conserve energy, again, do them slowly and deliberately. Be sure to be focused and do one thing at a time. Don’t think about any other chore except to one that you are handling, that will only distract you and cause mistakes. Get the chore behind you and forget it, knowing that you were there to witness that you handled it, then do the next, SLOWLY, DELIBERATELY, AND FOCUSED.

Whenever you put too much importance on a thing, you will tend to take it very seriously and you will be pulled inside your head with your negative thoughts to keep you company, having you worrying about making mistakes, failure, and negative consequences.
Your ability to decide whether to have chocolate or vanilla ice cream and your ability to decide to buy a house are equal and the same in that each reflect your taste (likes and dislikes). A decision to buy a house is more significant than your choice in the flavor of ice cream so that your intelligence (contact with the world) is important. You must decide whether you like the neighborhood, school for the kids, taxes, a mortgage, and more. You can only make good decisions with clear and accurate intelligence. Again, being slow and deliberate are key characteristics to have your decisions be good ones rather than bad.
Of course, decisions concerning very high valued situations that may pertain to your family, friends and the future are important. More the reason to be slow, deliberate, and as intelligent as possible so that you may make GOOD DECISIONS.