We all know the feeling – your stomach clenches, your palms sweat and your heart races. Whether it’s speaking in front of group, taking a test or staring at a to-do list that is much too long, we all get anxious, especially when school is in session.
Why not have your students learn self- calming techniques during the low-stress summer to use when things get hectic later in the year?
And there’s good news and bad news about anxiety.
It’s no surprise that students perform poorly when they’re anxious. They forget what they’ve learned or can’t express what they know or feel so uncomfortable that their mind goes blank. As a parent, there’s nothing worse than watching your son or daughter suffer physically or emotionally. But there are steps you can take now to make it less likely that your student will experience an unhealthy level of anxiety.
In general, encourage behavior that “soothes the soul.” For example, have them get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat nutritious food (stay away from the junk, which can wreck your mood), connect with family, develop a spiritual practice, whether it’s praying, relaxing for a certain period every day or learning to meditate.
Meditation is the state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm. Doing it is easier than it sounds. Go somewhere quiet, sit comfortably, close your eyes and simply breathe. Pretend your stomach is a balloon and slowly fill it up as you breathe in. Then let the air out just as slowly. In just a few minutes, you’ll be completely relaxed.
Most important, parents, set an example yourself. You can use these techniques to help alleviate stress and anxiety in your own life.