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Worries and Anxiety
Feeling worried or anxious about something can manifest it self in lots of different behaviours. If someone is feeling worried it is unlikely that they will be able to concentrate on learning as they are in a heightened state of emotions. There are lots of different strategies that can be used to calm and regulate emotions when we are feeling worried. The ultimate goal however is to find the trigger for the worry and address that .... which is mostly easier said than done!
Some strategies for immediate help when feeling anxious could be:
Square breathing: This is easy to do anywhere ... find a square or rectangle and focus on it. Follow the top edge of the shape with your eyes and as you do so breath in. Then as you trace down the shape breathe out, along the bottom breathe in, up to the start breathe out. This helps regulate your breathing, gets oxygen flowing and helps you think more clearly. You can also use your hand to do this breathing technique ... trace up and down along your fingers, breathing in as you go up a finger and breathe out as you trace down.
Grounding techniques: In the height of a worry it can feel scary. It can help to think of 5 things: 1. Something you can see
2. Something you can hear
3. Something you can feel
4. Something you can smell
5. Something you can taste
Distraction: Do you something comforting or something you enjoy .... read a book, chat with a friend what ever helps.
Worry monsters: Worry monsters can be a good tool to finding out what the worry is, in order to address it. Worries can be written down and eaten up by the worry monster.
To tackle anxiety or worries in the long term my preference is use of programs which use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT works on the idea that we have thoughts which cause an emotion, this emotion then causes us to have a physical sensation (with worry this could be a tummy ache) and then our behaviours are linked to the thought and emotion we are experiencing. By tackling our thoughts and turning negatives into positives we can change the emotions, physical sensations and therefore the behaviours. In school, along side programs for worries/anxiety we might use a gratitude journal or a 'My positive day' diary to help turn those negative thoughts into positive ones.