What Is Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. Social anxiety is more than just feeling shy. People with social anxiety have an intense fear of situations where they could be watched, judged, embarrassed, or rejected by others. The symptoms are so extreme that they interfere with the persons daily routine and prevent them from taking part in ordinary activities.
Why Some Kids Get Test Anxiety
There are a number of different reasons why some kids might be more susceptible to anxiety. Test anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with learning issues. Children who have ADHD or a learning disability are often already feeling anxious about school, and when its time to take a test that sense can be heightened. If I have ADHD and I am prone to inattention, if I start feeling anxious on top of that Im going to have a lot more difficulty, notes Dr. Schuster.
Likewise, when a student has a limited amount of time to take a test and knows that he processes things slowly, hes probably going to start feeling anxious.
Kids worried that they wont do well, for whatever reason, are prone to more anxiety. Kids with an anxious temperament who worry about making mistakes or performing in generalfrom singing in music class to going up to bat at baseballtend to feel more test anxiety. Kids who believe that they wont do as well in a particular subjectlike girls influenced by the stereotype that boys are better at mathmay also be more prone to test anxiety in that subject.
Q Can Suffering From Test Anxiety Have Long
Driscoll: Yes, definitely. People who have achievement anxiety are less likely to go into the higher fields of achievement, such as being a captain of industry or a major scientist. They’re scared, they feel they’re not worthy, that they can’t do it, that they’ll embarrass themselves. It’s a really important point. If test anxiety continues, many of them will be underachievers.
Kissen: The quicker you deal with it the better. Or it can become years of Oh, I don’t want to take that test so I’m going to take a different major, now I’m not happy and I feel unsatisfied, and I feel like a loser because I don’t have a career I believe in and now I’m depressed and it’s impacting my relationships, and so on. The longer it goes on the more it starts impacting other things. It’s when you start changing your life to not have those feelings or experiences that you start taking your life off track.
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Recite A Saying A Quote Or A Poem
This shouldn’t be something you compose on the spot this is about recalling information. It doesn’t have to be anything very meaningful, either it can be the jingle from a fast-food ad. Focus on the words that are running through your mind. Recite the saying several times, if you need to get a rhythm going, and let that soothe you. For an added twist, or if it’s not engaging your mind enough, try spelling the phrase out.
Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
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Causes Of Test Anxiety
In the medical student population, test anxiety can be heightened due to the intense nature of the academic environment. Often times it is a combination of reasons that contribute to test anxiety. Here are some potential causes:
- Perfectionistic tendencies/fear of failure. Maladaptive perfectionism is prevalent amongst the medical student population. Connecting ones sense of worth and identity to performance can cause test anxiety.
- Stress around testing history. If previous test experiences have been anxiety-provoking or led to unexpected poor outcomes, this can add more anxiety with each additional testing experience.
- Underlying anxiety. Often times, students have a history of anxiety that can be exacerbated around testing experiences. This anxiety can contribute to one feeling like they havent studied enough, and it can cloud the academic journey leading to a sense of dread around studying and testing.
Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.
Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.
You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.
Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include:
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Immediately Before The Exam
Get a good nights sleep the night before the exam. Your ability to think clearly and to deal with anxiety improve with sleep.
Eat something to help with focus and attention. Bring water to stay hydrated.
Avoid too much caffeine. If youve been hitting the caffeine hard to stay awake and study or to stay focused, know that it can also have a negative effect on your nerves.
Gather all of the materials you need in advance, including a pencil, eraser, or calculator, so that you are not rushing around before the exam.
Play calming or familiar music to help you relax.
Arrive to the exam early enough to find a seat that will help, not hinder your focus. Bring ear plugs if you get distracted by noise.
Dont let the exam define you. Remember that your self-worth and intelligence does not depend on your performance on this one exam.
Give yourself a pep talk to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Actually telling yourself youre excited will help you see the exam more positively and experience more positive emotions.
Clear All Your Concepts And Prepare Well
As I said, one of the biggest causes of test anxiety is a lack of understanding of the material or didnt prepare well.
So if you have time for your test and you are poor in studies then take help from your friends or clear all your concepts and theories that seem important for your exam. Once you have prepared enough then you must have confidence and wont have any anxieties.
Remember you should study to grab knowledge not to get high grades. Once youll have the knowledge, you dont need to worry about the grades.
But if you are average at study and have clear your concepts but couldnt prepare then start your exam preparation now if have time. But if you are now deprived of time then remember, exams are not made to fail you, it is just a way to check your knowledge and skills.
Read also: How to study effectively for exams?
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How Is Anxiety Treated
Treatment for anxiety typically consists of a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder. CBT teaches specific skills to manage your worries and help you gradually return to the activities you have avoided because of anxiety.
Describe Your Environment Using All Five Senses
One way to ground yourself in the present moment is to make simple mental statements like, “The walls are gray. My desk is smooth and hard. I smell a freshly sharpened pencil.” These statements should be factual and objectiveavoid judgments, positive or negative. We don’t want, “The walls are such an ugly color. This desk is too small it’s really uncomfortable. I smell a freshly sharpened pencilthat’s such a nice smell!”
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Why Do I Have Anxiety
What causes anxiety and anxiety disorders is complex. It is likely that a combination of both genetics and environmental factors play a role in why some individuals are more prone to anxiety than others. Some events, emotions, or experiences may make it more likely for the symptoms of anxiety to begin or worsenthese are known as triggers. Anxiety triggers can cause panic attacks in some people and differ from person to person and so working with a mental health professional to identify what your triggers are and how you can react when faced with them can be incredibly helpful.
Try To Think About Your Anxiety Symptoms Differently
Take a moment to consider the signs of anxiety: fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, butterflies, and so on. Now consider the signs of excitement: fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, and butterflies. Theyre almost indistinguishable.
When you feel anxious before a test, try to fool your anxiety by telling yourself it is excitement instead of nerves.
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Make Sure You Are Adequately Preparing In Advance
The more you prepare, the easier it may be to calm your nerves. Dont try to simply cram a night or two before the test. Instead, consistently review the material over the course of the semester.
Experiment to find the right level of preparation for you in which you feel prepared but not overwhelmed or burned out.
When studying, it may be helpful to try to recreate the test conditions as much as possible. Find an empty classroom to do your studying in, recreate time constraints, ask yourself questions in the way that they are most likely to be asked on the exam.
Why Test Nerves Can Be So Annoying
Think about your driving test fear does it really make any sense? Why can you normally drive perfectly fine but feel anxious when you have a driving test?
The reason is that your emotional side is taking over because your subconscious mind is imagining all sorts of bad things are going to happen when you drive.
The video below gives you a free and easy way to see how your subconscious mind can be stopping you from passing your driving test and how to tell it to stop doing that!
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Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
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How Can I Help Someone With Anxiety
Knowing the symptoms of anxiety can help you realize and act when someone you care about is in distress. Common anxiety behaviors include avoidance of feared situations or events , seeking reassurance, second-guessing, and irritability. The person may be engaging in all-or-nothing thinking or catastrophizing and demonstrating their belief that the worst will happen. If you notice these symptoms, avoid telling the anxious person not to worry or downplaying their feelings, which may leave them feeling misunderstood and belittled. Instead, be an active listener, express your concern, and recognize how difficult this is for them. Kindly encourage them to talk to a mental health professional or to draw on the techniques they have learned in therapy, if they are already in treatment.