Tips for managing test anxiety
- Our body properly responds to the messages sent to it by the mind. If we label a situation as dangerous, and then begin to approach that situation, the body will secrete hormones that prepare us physically for crisis. Even if the situation appears relatively safe, if the mind interprets it as unsafe, the body responds to that message.
- If we become mentally involved with thoughts of a past event, the body may respond as though that event were taking place now.
- When we question whether we can handle a fearful situation, we tend to unconsciously predict failure. Our body responds to our fearful thought by becoming tense and on guard.
- If we visualize ourselves failing to cope with a future event, our body will tend to respond as though we are currently in that event.
- Within the panic cycle, the body is responding appropriately to unnecessarily alarming messages sent by the mind.
- By changing our images, our thoughts and our predictions about our ability to cope, we can control our physical symptoms.
- When we become anxious, our rate and pattern of breathing change. These changes can produce hyperventilation that may cause many of the uncomfortable physical symptoms during panic. By changing the way we breathe we can reduce all of those uncomfortable symptoms.
Tips for dealing with stress
- Don’t worry about things you can’t control, like the weather.
- Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, like a job interview.
- Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not a threat.
- Work to resolve conflicts with other people.
- Ask for help from friends, family or professionals.
- Set realistic goals at home and at work.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Eat well-balanced meals and get enough sleep.
- Get away from your daily stresses with group sports, social events and hobbies.