Anxiety and Dealing with School, Tests and Presentations 


It’s the time of the year when those in school may be going through midterm testing before school breaks. Being in school alone is enough without anxiety is tough enough. For a person with anxiety, the triggers can be tremendous.  If you suffer from anxiety attacks, and chronic worry it can cripple your potential to achieve your goals. The stress of wanting to do well can trigger your anxiety. How do you deal with the anxiety triggers that come with this? You are not alone. Anxiety disorders, such as phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are the most common group of mental illnesses in the United States. There are so many aspects of the day that can be overwhelming. You might want to avoid school altogether, or your body might be sending you danger signals. For people who are perfectionists, it can be especially troubling for them to cope with anxiety during exam season.

Why do you experience anxiety and anxiety attacks?  No one is sure for certain. For a long time, debates argued the causes with nature versus nurture; a concept that you have probably heard of in one of your science classes. However, what we have agreed on is that anxiety is probably the result of both. A person may have genes that make you more vulnerable to anxiety, and the person may have experienced situations or stressors that are activating their anxiety. Whatever the case it may make it quite difficult to know the exact causes, and everyone is a different case.

There are effective ways to take control of your anxiety and your life! Here are some proven-effective, practices to help you cope with your anxiety and prevent anxiety attacks by identifying common triggers like school performance for example. Hopeful these tips can help you in case specific situations such as;

  • Public speaking (presentations)
  • Group work
  • Test anxiety

If you get nervous about speaking in front of crowds, you are definitely not alone. Public speaking is like many other skills. Most people are not born good at it; they get that way through practice, lots of it, in order to look as though they are speaking in a way that is completely natural and spontaneous

So how can we get better at public speaking? We can prepare in advance, and we can prepare in the moment. We don’t want to get ourselves worried and, in the moment before we are there, visualize catastrophes, but we do want to be prepared.

  • Practice as much as possible
  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before
  • Eat well
  • Relieve stress by exercise

Next time you have an event try this breathing exercise to help calm you in moments of panic, and guided visualization exercises to help you stay cool and collected. Before you give a presentation or take a test try this exercise to help calm yourself.

  • Close your eyes, and place one finger lightly on your forehead.
  • Take a breath, and just notice what this sensation feels like.
  • Notice what your finger feels like against your forehead. Notice what your forehead feels like against your finger. Become aware of texture, temperature, maybe even your pulse, and any other aspects of sensation from this simple action of awareness in this very moment.
  • Take another ten seconds to just notice and allow for any sensations and thoughts.

Remember when midterms come, to look after yourself health and wellbeing first and foremost. Do not procrastinate in studying or starting your project preparations. Practice your presentations as much as you can to elevate some of the stress that comes with feeling unprepared for a speech. Before your presentations and exams, calm yourself down and prevent anxiety attacks by trying the breathing activity.

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