Back to school anxiety and university student stress are very real for many starting or returning to the classroom. However, there are helpful tools and useful techniques that can be quickly learnt to overcome university or school anxiety.
How Does School Anxiety Or University Student Stress Start?
Back to School!
Off to University!
For many children – and adults too – these 3 little words have a massive, negative impact on their mental health, their thoughts and their feelings. So much so, that it not only affects the individual, but can also impact on the entire family.
The thoughts and feelings of anxiousness can start and continue for weeks beforehand. That’s the immense power of our mind, but unfortunately, it’s all a negative impact.
There can be so many reasons for these types of reactions:
- Transitioning schools, towns or cities.
- Changing classes, new teachers or additional subjects.
- Leaving the safe, love & support of parents and the family environment.
- Previous unhappy, frightening “first time” experiences.
- Being amongst large groups of people.
Covid-19 Has Increased Anxiousness Among Students
Some children have never previously displayed any signs of anxiety. However, events such as the Covid pandemic, have strained many peoples’ mental health.
In the past couple of years the world has been turned upside down. New habits have been developed. Furthermore, new patterns of behaving and living have been introduced. This has meant that transitioning to more disciplined, regimented routines away from home has become particularly distressing and debilitating.
Unfortunately, all too often, the overwhelming cycle of bombarding thoughts invariably trigger, at the very least:
- Butterflies in the stomach
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Clammy feelings
For some children, the bodily reactions are even more worrying and more extreme:
- Heart palpitations
Either way, when children and adults feel out of control of both their thoughts and their feelings and their body starts to react in unpleasant, distressing and concerning ways, the never ending cycle becomes unbearable and almost impossible to break.
Make Positive Changes To Overcome School Anxiety
If any of this resonates with you. If you hear and see these traits in your children or young adults, know with absolute certainty, life does not have to remain this way for the ones you love.
There are immediate and very effective coping techniques that you can use to help calm your child and handle these episodes.
Use Distraction And Breathing Techniques
Distracting techniques are very effective. Start by taking their mind away from the negative thoughts to focus initially on breathing.
Get their attention and ask them to focus on you and to follow your lead, then:
- Inhale to the count of 5
- Hold breath in to the count of 4
- Exhale breath to the count of 6
As their breathing starts to become more regular, ask them to start imagining:
- Breathing in fresh, clean air – what colour is it?
- Breathing out stale, old air – what colour is it?
- Picture breathing in cooler, calming air
- See yourself breathing out warm, used, stale air
- Imagine breathing in happy thoughts
- Imagine breathing out unhappy thoughts
Once calmer, steadier breathing is established:
- Ask the child to imagine a time, occasion or event when they were really happy – perhaps a birthday, Christmas, sports day etc.
- Ask them to describe in detail what’s happening? Who’s there? Are they inside or outside? Are there any sounds?
When they are fully back, imagining this memory:
- Ask them to describe how it makes them feel?
- Where do they feel these sensations in their body?
- Tell them how you can almost see what they’re seeing and hearing and feeling.
- Compliment them on being a great storyteller.
This experience demonstrates how powerful thoughts are.
The imagination can create and conjure up whatever we ask it to.
We are in control of our thoughts. Thoughts are not in control of us and we must choose our thoughts carefully and wisely. To do this, we must regularly check in on our thoughts – are they as you would like them to be?
Thoughts Create Feelings
It’s extremely important to know and understand that thoughts create feelings. So, if you’re not feeling great, review your thoughts. Create good feelings and keep in touch with them regularly. Make time to check-in with them throughout the day.
EMDR Therapy Helps To Overcome School Anxiety or University Student Stress
These basic coping techniques can be very effective, but they do not address the root cause of school anxiety or university student stress fears. EMDR therapy does deal with the root cause.
EMDR therapy enables anyone who suffers with nerves, anxiety or fears from going back to school or heading off to university, to release them. In this way, the person can let go of the distressing feelings and emotions in order for them to be replaced with much more preferable feelings of excitement and happy anticipation. As a result, they are able to look forward to what’s to come rather than dreading it.
Let’s talk About Your Back To School Anxiety Or Off To University Student Stress
Get in touch for a complimentary chat about how EMDR therapy can help you cope with Back To School Anxiety or university student stress. Just book a time that’s suitable for you to take the first step to empowering yourself.
Furthermore, why not read what some of my recent clients have to say about their life changing experiences.
It’s time for change for the better!