Got a kid in your house who gets stressed out by schoolwork and tests? Never fear, Dr. Tim is here. Here are some suggestions for them to consider before the school year starts up.
Stay in the here and now. Fear and anxiety are always about living in the future, about what might happen. So bring yourself to the present moment by focusing on your breathing, doing progressive muscle relaxation, or focusing on any of your senses. In this moment, it’s all good.
Do a reality check. Many of the kids who get most stressed out by schoolwork are the ones who actually do quite well. I have them focus on their past school history which typically reads like this: whenever they have put in a reasonable effort, they’ve gotten good results…period! That is the truth about them, so keep their thoughts on that vs. the stinkin’ thinkin’ that tries to tell them they’re going to fail.
Focus on the journey, not the destination; the process, not the results. People from the eastern parts of the world have taught us this way of being, and it helps to keep you sane. If you just do your typical reasonable effort and use your normal study strategies, history tells you that you will do just fine. You can bank on it.
Allowing yourself to get all worked up and stressed out is a complete waste of time. It actually takes away from your focus, draining you of motivation and energy.
It’s a choice, so choose wisely!