3 Anxiety: Fight, Flight, Freeze & Flop Adaptive response: Changes to physical feelings, thoughts & behaviourMust be a perception of DANGEROr that we are THREATENED or VULNERABLEThis can be physical, social or mental
6 Physical Impact Sleeping difficulties Tiredness Aches & Pains e.g. Headaches, backache, knots in stomachFeeling sickShakyFast heart rateDry MouthNeeding the toiletDizzySweating
7 Cognitive Impact Concentration (Short Term) Memory Making Decisions Confused, annoyed over small thingsProcrastinationNegative thinking e.g. always thinking the worst, low self confidenceConstant worryingTHINKING ERRORS
8 Thinking Errors The Downers Blowing things up E.g. negative glasses, positives don’t countBlowing things upE.g. all or nothing, magnifying the negative, snowballingPredicting FailureE.g. the mind-reader, the fortune-teller,Feeling ThoughtsE.g. emotional reasoning, dustbin labelsSetting yourself up to failE.g. Shoulds, musts, can’t, shouldn’tBlame meE.g. feel responsible
9 Behavioural Impact Avoidance Refusal to go to school Walking out ArguingObsessiveness – spending more time on work, checkingTime ManagementTaking thing out on other peopleEating more or less than usualSleeping more or less than usualSelf Harm, Alcohol & Drug useDisengaged from social activities, friends, family members
13 Exam Stress: Facts 92% feel anxious about revision & exams 14% turn to alcohol8% use self harmChildline, 2011
14 A Teenager’s Perspective It’s very hard to write this as it’s an awkward subject, but I’ll give it a go. I’m in top set (set 1), Year 11 and it’s really hard to manage the expectations teachers put on you. And the pressure to get things right just adds to the stress. Comments like “you must do this otherwise you’ll fail” aren’t helpful. I know I need to do well. I have those expectations of myself. The constant reminders of course work and upcoming exams keeps the stress and anxiety alive. Also the pressures from home don’t help. For example, my brother has 2 degrees and was studying for a PhD. He was an example to the family and I don’t want to fail my Dad. The concept of failing adds to the constant anxiety, which keeps you up all night and then you’re more tired, which makes the stress worse.
18 Pocket Health Series (Robinson, 2014) Exam Stress It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the pressure of exams. You’ve worked hard all year and you want to do well. It is normal to feel some stress – this is actually important and can help you stay focused and alert. However, too much stress can have a negative impact and may lead to changes in your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Recognise the symptoms of stress and take action. Here are a few tips to help you through your exams…Let’s RelaxTime for a break? Let’s RELAX… Sit comfortably. Rest your arms by your side and close your eyes. Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and feel the air go all the way down in to your stomach. Slowly breathe out through your mouth and imagine all that tension and stress leaving your body. Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4…and slowly breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…Breathe in…and breathe out.
19 Mindfulness A skill that takes time to develop “here and now” Observing your experience in sensing modeDescribing detailsParticipating FullyBeing Non-JudgementalFocusing on one thing at a time
20 Thank you for listening! Any Questions? Reflections?