Test Anxiety & How To Treat It
Most people get nervous before taking a test. In fact, feeling nervous motivates us to study so we can pass! But for some students, it goes beyond feeling nervous to the point that it causes them to freeze up and be unable to perform well. In this section, we discuss the definition and symptoms of test anxiety and how students can prevent it from getting out of control.
Uncertainty About The Future
In high school, kids have to start thinking about what kind of career they want to pursue. They also have to choose a path: college, work, vocational training. Kids with IEPs will go through a formal process to plan that transition. But that alone may not lessen the stress.
What you can do: Remind kids that feeling unsure or worried about the future is normal. Explain that there are many ways to thrive and be happy in life. You can also:
- Encourage your child to watch the documentary Being You. Its about three young people who learn and think differently who travel around the country to explore what the future may hold for them.
Break Down The Homework
A big term paper or a science project can be overwhelming, particularly for teens who struggle with organization and attention. Work with your teen to break the project down into chunks. This will make the task more manageable. Keep a calendar or checklist with steps your child can check off. After each step is completed, celebrate the win. This will help your child feel less overwhelmed about whats next.
Also Check: What Pills Are Good For Stress
Create An Organized Workspace So You Can Reduce Your School Stress
If you feel like you are always running low on time and trying to get things done in the windows available, you wont want to continually waste spare time digging around for the things you need.
This includes electronic files as well do you have hundreds of papers and projects saved to your desktop, waiting to be organized in a folder and back-up drive? Its okay this happens to everyone.
It might not seem like a priority at the time, but it will save you from taking an hour of your precious time down the road if you take two minutes to create a hard drive or Google Drive folder and drag over your work once its complete.
It feels good to stay on top of your organizing. Knowing that everything is there should you need to quickly reference something in the future. Its better than digging through stacks of paper or a computer desktop with icons scattered everywhere.
To the best of your ability, keep your workspace and surrounding environment neat and tidy. Too much visual noise can make your mind feel scattered and distract you from the task at hand, which might further set you back and leave you feeling more stressed than when you started.
How To Cope With Depression Or Anxiety
The best way to cope with depression or anxiety is to talk with someone else and, if you need it, get specialized help. We all have our off days , but persistent or severe anxiety or depression often require professional help. Still, there are things you can do on your own to cope better with school when youre dealing with these disorders.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Dry Eyes And Mouth
Talk To Someone About It
If you are feeling anxious about going back to school it is important to speak to someone about it. Whether your fears are about classes, teachers or your classmates, talking to someone can help to give you perspective on the situation and find a solution where possible. If you are worried about bullying, make an appointment with the school counsellor or a teacher you trust before term starts so they can be aware of the issue and help to support you during the year.
Get Into Nature Go Outside Or Even Look At A Plant
Teens: Emma Seppälä is the science director at Stanfords Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and is the author of The Happiness Track. She says we grossly underestimate how much nature helps decrease anxiety and depression while increasing creativity and altruism and connection to other people. If nature isnt available, research shows going into a park is helpful. If thats not possible, bringing a plant into your building or home helps.
The research has found that…even if you don’t have windows in your office or school, wherever, even just having pictures of plants and vegetation on the walls or even on a desktop has an impact.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Acne Caused By Stress
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
Make An Effort To Be Present
As your child transitions back to school, make every effort to be there for them, especially during the first few weeks. One way to do that is to try to be home more during the back-to-school time if that’s possible for you.
Right before school starts and during the first days back, try to make it a point to be available to support your child through this transition. If you work away from home, try to arrange your hours so that you’re able to drop your child off at school as well as be there after school if you can.
Alternatively, if you can’t be there, ask another trusted relative, friend, or caregiver to fill this role for your child. Leaving them an encouraging note in their backpack or calling them before they leave for school can help them feel more secure, too.
You can also plan a special time to do something fun together to celebrate after their first day. Giving them something to look forward to, while also honoring that going back to school is hard for them, can help them feel more at ease.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, try to focus more on your child and put nonessential items on the back burner when they are home. Spend some time talking to your child about their day, such as what they liked and what they might have questions about.
Don’t Miss: Can I Sue Someone For Causing Me Stress
What To Expect From Your Call
Please plan for a 15-30 minute conversation for us to learn a bit about you and your student’s needs to see if Executive Function Coaching is right for them.
You’ll learn more about the two levels of coaching we offer, both of which include a weekly 45-minute 1:1 virtual coaching session. Depending on your student’s needs, we offer:
- Level 1 Coaching $134 per week
- Level 2 Coaching $174 per week
You’ll also have the opportunity to ask our team any questions about Beyond BookSmart, our process, and next steps to get started.
Things That Could Be Causing Your Child Stress At School
Many students worry about getting a good grade or simply making time to study if there is more than one upcoming test. Test stress doesnt just affect struggling students, eitherhigh-achievers usually experience a lot of stress about doing well on tests.
When your child is overwhelmed or frustrated by homework, it makes it harder for him or her to complete assignments. This can cause a stressful cycle where homework piles up and your child doesnt have the time or energy to complete it allleading to even more stress.
Whether its advanced-level classes or the amount of studying required, a heavy workload can be a major source of stress for students. This is especially common for older high school students as they start making their post-secondary plans.
Students with poor organizational skills tend to experience more stress in school. This is usually because they arent properly prepared with the tools or the understanding needed to learn. If those organization skills dont improve they may continue to fall behind, leading to more stress and frustration about school.
Students with busy schedules can quickly become overwhelmed because they are left with no free time to relax. As your child progresses from elementary school to high school, the amount and difficulty level of schoolwork increasesand students without good time management skills can experience even more stress.
Read Also: How To Test Your Stress Level At Home
What To Say To Someone Whos Stressed About Work Or School
While work and school are a part of life, theyre also a source of anxiety and stress. Its important to not minimize this stress but to listen with empathy. This is the type of anxiety we can all relate to in some shape or form.
5. You are strong and capable
Sometimes we all need a reminder that were strong. A little bit of assurance goes a long way when someone feels burnt out and unwilling to continue. Even if it feels impossible, moving forward is possible.
6. Can you tell me the problem?
Its not always easy to articulate how you feel if youre overwhelmed with stress. Working through these feelings together is a great way to find the source of the problem, potentially finding a solution.
7. I understand why this is frustrating.
Many times, people just want to feel heard. They might just need to vent about their problems, and letting them know that you understand their feelings of frustration helps them feel less alone.
8. This all must be really hard for you.
Again, its all about sympathizing and lending a listening ear. This is a sign of genuine support, and it shows youre paying attention to their words and feelings.
Recognize And Accept All Emotions
Turovsky says kids and teens need to understand that coping skills do not mean that all negative emotions, such as feeling unhappy, irritated, frustrated, deflated, or anxious, will be eliminated. Instead, coping skills should allow them to recognize these emotions, label and validate them, and engage in behaviors to ease them.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Symptoms Of Stress And Anxiety
Building Stress Management Skills
Kids and teens have been exposed to a far different environment of study and socialization, with many losing interest in academics and reporting a waning in attention span and ability to concentrate for long periods of time, says , PhD, clinical psychologist, anxiety expert, and founder of QuietMindCBT.
More specifically, many students spent the last year studying and working for shorter durations and in different environments. Turovsky points out that students may also have lost socialization skills due to a lack of access to other kids, especially in groups.
Students, teachers, and even parents have described having a social battery that is more easily depleted, meaning they get overstimulated and tired from socializing with both individuals and in groups, and need to return home to rest and recharge, she says. This can lead to high levels of stress for all ages.
However, planning for these changes can prepare everyone for a smoother transition when school starts. Developing stress-management skills can ensure that students, parents, and teachers have the tools they need for a successful and productive 20212022 school year.
Incorporate Relaxation Techniques Into Your Life
Teens:Learn how to relax. Colorado State University has a handy tip sheet for dealing with test anxiety. There are some additional resources and tips listed on the Stress Management resource page of CSUs website, teaching you relaxation methods such as Deep Breathing, The Calming Response, Imagery, Progressive Muscular Relaxation, and Guided Meditation Podcasts.
Here are some articles from the University of Colorado Boulders Health Wellness Services on de-stressing and other mental health issues. These are the most common signs of distress. Here are some tips for responding to a friend in distress. And here are some more tips for a friend who might be suicidal.
Also Check: How To Make Your Dog Not Stressed
Register For Youth Today
At Ev Youth, we want to see kids build strong friendships and partnerships centred around exploring who Jesus is from the Bible. Our youth groups are for students in school years 6 to 13 and take place on Friday nights and Sunday mornings. We want to provide a safe community for kids to make real connections, have heaps of fun, and engage with the big questions of life during these formative teenage years.
Top 10 Stress Management Techniques For Students
Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades. For example, a study by the American Psychological Association found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.
That means teens are experiencing significant levels of chronic stress, and that they feel their levels of stress generally exceed their ability to cope effectively. Roughly 30% report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of it.
Stress can affect health-related behaviors like sleep patterns, diet, and exercise as well, taking a larger toll. Given that nearly half of APA survey respondents reported completing three hours of homework per night in addition to their full day of school work and extracurriculars, this is understandable.
Read Also: How Does Stress Affect The Heart
Quick Student Stress Busters
Learning how to recognize signs of stress and practicing ways to address these symptoms are important steps on the path to good mental health. Here are some activities from our mental health experts that parents and educators can teach children and teens to get them started.
This activity requires complete silence, so children should be instructed that there is no talking at all. Use a lightweight ball such as a nerf ball to ensure nobody gets hurt. Tell the children to throw the ball to each other but that they canât throw it to the same person who threw it to them. If they miss, they must sit down. This activity can relieve stress and calm down an anxious classroom.
Learning to stretch
Teach older children how to stretch correctly to relieve tension and help their bodies relax. It can be done at any time of day for a quick break.
Neck: Put your hands behind your back, grasping your right wrist with your left hand. Use your left hand to gently straighten your right arm, pulling it slightly. Lower your left ear toward your shoulder and hold for 30 seconds. Switch to the other side. Repeat with your left wrist and right hand.
Back: Lie on the floor stretching your arms above your head and pointing your toes. Bend your right leg to your chest with your hands behind your knee and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the left leg.
Is Your Worry Solvable
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if youre worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. What if I get cancer someday? or What if my kid gets into an accident?
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After youve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, youll feel much less anxious.
If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. If youre a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. Worrying is often a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesnt work. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesnt make life any more predictable. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worrying, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers.
Donât Miss: How To Relieve Stress For Kids
Recommended Reading: How To Combat Stress Hormones
Scheduling Tips And Tools
ADDitude magazine offers time management tips for teens who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that could be helpful to any teens who may be facing stress. These include effectively prioritizing important tasks, selecting needs over wants and estimating how long it will take to complete given tasks. The website Understood suggests additional tools to help teens stay organized, such as a multicompartment backpack and a watch or timer. Color-coding belongings also is recommended.KidsHealth offers ways that parents can help teens succeed in school. Some of these tips are related to scheduling, such as supporting and establishing firm homework expectations and ensuring that teens have time to get a healthy amount of sleep. Creating a calendar and having prioritized lists for certain tasks can help teens avoid and mitigate academic stress.