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Test and Performance Anxiety In School

Stress Management for Sensitive Children in School

ribonWebLgHypnosis Works Wonders for Test/Performance/Social Anxiety

WHAT IF I get the answer wrong?  WHAT IF I fail?  WHAT IF (friends, peers, teachers, parents) think I'm stupid? WHAT IF I make a mistake? Argh, I'm running out of time! If I don't pass this test, my parents are going to freak out!

 
TESTS! They can be totally stressful!
 
Did you know that these days, students in the U.S. take more tests than ever before? It seems like no matter what grade or school you're in, you're always taking tests. And if you get anxious or nervous before and during a test, you're not alone! In fact, even students who do great in schoolwork can have trouble in the exam department. Fortunately, test-taking can be a lot easier -- and less crazy-making -- if you pick up some useful habits and skills.
 
From the fear of turning in their first homework assignment to the anxiety caused by ACTs and final exams for the college-bound, stress affects kids of all ages. The first thing a parent can do to help their child manage stress is to teach skills and lifestyle choices that reduce the susceptability of developing emotional patterns that cause low-self esteem, low self-confidence and an inferrior self-identity.
 
Testimony

We got a call from a mother, next to tears, wondering if we could help her son who has performance/test anxiety. Getting ready to take his ACT AGAIN, in less than 10 days, we booked two sessions. 1st one on Thursday where we taught stress management tips and did NLP work. Within 15 minutes after the session she texted me and said "Lori, thank you so much. After my sons session with you, it is as if a load had been lifted off his shoulders. He is happy, smiling, and appearing much more confident and calm. He told me all about what happened and is really excited for the next session. Again THANK YOU!"  He came in for his second session, smiling and said he felt much more confident and in control. After his second session, a complete hypnosis session for confidence building, reducing test anxiety, and reducing stress, Myles said, "Lori, I have never felt so relaxed in my entire life! I believe that I now know where I've struggled and what I can do to be a better test taker and performer in sports."

Recognizing Signs of Stress 
Kids that struggle with communication skills, memorization, and tests display stress physically. Based on research working with busy minds at the Mindscapes Unlimited Mind Coaching Center, like adults, they are usually more sensitive to noise, feelings, touch, smells, and visual stimulation. Often stress is internalized and most noticeable in physical symptoms such as frequent flu-like symptoms including headache, stomachache, and even nausea. Your child might experience Irritable Bowl Syndrom, muscle tension, or even an uncomfortable racing heart before performing an activity they are insecure about.
 
Children under stress may regress to behaviors like isolation, not wanting to talk about problems, and can be more moody; sad, reactive, angry, or shut down emotionally-cold. Behavioral symptoms may be extreme at both ends of a behavior spectrum. A normally active child becomes either unmotivated or chasing in numerous unstructured directions, a usually docile child might show fits of anger or a child that “acts out” becomes docile and introspective.
 
Some signs of stress in kids can be easily confused with children’s mental disorders. For instance, if schoolwork slides or grades decline. Situations like these may simply indicate a child’s inability to handle a stressful situation or they are feeling insecure in their performance.   
Helping Kids Reduce Stress
Children primarily learn by example. The best way to teach your child how to manage stress is by using the tools and articles on Stress Management Tips to learn to effectively manage your stressors. In addition, your kids can learn stress management techniques in our Test/Performance Anxiety Reduction Program to help your kids recognize and manage their stressors.
 
Eat healthy. A healthy body is better able to withstand stress-induced illness. Schedule regular meals and snack times. Eat protein at every meal, with a vegatable or whole fruit. Avoid soda pop-diet or regular, high sugar food and drinks; juice (24g or higher eliminate), sweets, candy, junk food.  A 20 fl oz of Coke has 40g-about 10 teaspoons; over recommended daily consumption.
 
BE AWARE...
 
Fruit juice. Many people are suprised that juice, hailed to be healthy and containing “no added sugar” and (the added) benefit of vitamins, is often more sweeter than soft drinks. While having 3 teaspoons of sugar in an apple is fine, it takes 2-3 apples to make a full glass of juice and no fibre to hold back your appetite. You do the math. Read labels.
 
Sports drinks. Notice the obvious: bright blue, yellow and red screams artificial colouring known to cause adverse affects. Then there is sugar, about 16.5g per cup. Sure many of the drinks claim to have the added benefit of vitamins and minerals, but that’s what they are – synthetic versions of the vitamins and minerals created in a lab.
 
Exercise.  This is a good stress reliever. Just like adults, kids need time to unwind. If your kids are bound to video games, television, or a computer, get them on their feet by providing and encouraging activities like playing outdoors, riding bikes, taking up a sport. If your child presently appears to be stressed, make a point of playing with them. Time spent with your kids is a great vehicle for getting them to open up the lines of communication.
 
Relax.  Before doing a stressful activity it is important to bring calming oxygen into your body. To remove tension and anxiety, increase a peaceful feeling and calm mind, as well as improve confidence.  AND an easy and fast way is to listen to our best selling audio; Breathe and Be Empowered MP3.  Effortless listening and Empowering Results!
 
Routine.  Have structured times for daily living.  When to wake up, what to do after you wake up, when to eat, what to eat, when to do home work, when to do chores, when to go to bed, when cellphones, computer, TV or video games are acceptable.
 
Be clear. When setting rules make them attainable and be consistent with discipline when not followed. Kids live in a “black and white” world. Blurred guidelines and inconsistencies are even more confusing for them than they are for adults.
 
Loving touch.  Gentle physical touch is a great healer. Sometimes a hug is worth more than a thousand words. Another physical stress reliever can be a gentle massage of your child’s neck and shoulders. Like you, your kids can also get knotted up with stress!
 
Listen and explore. Learn to be a good listener. Ask open ended questions more than you tell kids what to do.  Instead of saying I want you to wear this blue shirt and these jeans to school today, ask, "What would you feel comfortable wearing to school today that looks nice and matches?"
 
When your child wants to talk about his or her problems, refrain from criticizing or immediately solving. Remember, it isn’t always necessary to give advice. Sometimes kids just need to talk. Encourage them with open-ended questions like, “So what happened next?” “How do you feel about that?”
 
Teach your kids that everyone (including you) makes mistakes. A good start is admitting your mistakes to your children and say “I’m sorry” or “My mistake” when you slip-up. Stories are a great way to teach. Use personal examples of stressful situations you encountered during your childhood. Even if you were unsuccessful in dealing with your situation, you’ll teach your kids that you can learn from and even laugh at your own mistakes.
 
Stress Relief. Finally, teach your kids stress relieving exercises like breathing deeply and counting, or imagining something that helps you feel happy, confident or calm, and help them find stress reducing activities like tossing and catching a small ball from hand to hand while counting backward from 20 - 1.
 

This article was written by Lori Bestler-Strategic Mind Coach and Award Winning Motivational Speaker with MindScapes Unlimited Mind Coaching Center.

Lori Bestler, know as the Mind Mastery Expert, specializes in working with high level entrepreneurs and independent business professionals with busy minds. Most Lori’s clients are struggling to take control of their life, possibly feeling overwhelmed, unfocused and stressed out. She teaches people the mechanics of the mindset that enables them to overcome barriers in thought patterns, beliefs and behavior to improve health, wealth and well-being. Through her Strategic Mind Coaching program, products and speaking engagements, Lori has helped thousands of individuals achieve the success they want and live the life they desire most. Ms. Bestler runs a private coaching and hypnotherapy practice in Lino Lakes MN, assisting clients all over the U.S. and in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding Twin Cities Metropolitan Areas.

For a no cost consultation contact Lori at www.mindscapesunlimited.com .  And please join our email list for a FREE "Be Revived and Energized 10 minute MP3 download and Monthly Newsletter.

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