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Jenny Gould Therapy

CBT, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Coaching

                       

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By Jenny Gould, Jun 10 2019 11:42AM

Sudden feelings of panic are very unpleasant - if you’ve ever had what is generally called a panic ‘attack’, you will know that. The first thing to note is that this is not an ‘attack’ in any way. That word is likely to make you feel more anxious and panicky, so call it whatever you like, but don’t call it a ‘panic attack’!


However bad it might feel, panic is not dangerous. You might feel you’re going to choke, have a heart attack or faint, but it is simply an over-enthusiastic stress response. The adrenaline and other stress hormones are released as if your life were being threatened by that lion….but it isn’t. You notice the physical sensations ( e.g. feeling of tightness in your throat) and that leads to a vicious cycle of panicky thoughts and more physical sensations. The feeling will pass (as it always does), and once you give it less importance it immediately seems less threatening.


How to Handle a Panic Attack

No need to be afraid. Flow through it. It will pass as it has before. This will significantly reduce its power.

Move your body. This changes your physiological state.

Tell yourself something positive.

Actively do something else, it doesn’t matter what! Turn your attention elsewhere.


By Jenny Gould, May 20 2012 08:45PM


The lead up to the exams


-Leave plenty of time for revision. You’ll increase your self-confidence and

  avoid the stress of last minute cramming.


-Study where you study best. Create a pleasant work space and leave it tidy –

  it’ll encourage you to get started next time.


-Find a routine that works for you.


-Plan your work, make a list, prioritise, and then work on the most important first.

  Break it down into small steps. Tick off each step.


-Make separate folders for each class, or coursework project. Perhaps colour

  code your subjects.


-Focus, focus, focus! Don’t allow yourself to be easily distracted. Remember

 you’re in the driving seat of your life! Take control!


-Revise with friends – test each other.


-Focus on starting – say “I’ll just…” Get used to getting down to work.


-Pace yourself – plan your revision so you have time for fun and relaxation too.

  If you push too hard you’ll suffer and be less effective.


-Take regular breaks. You’ll be more productive, have more energy and better

  concentration.


-Reward yourself – promise yourself a treat when you’ve completed a certain

 piece of work/revision, eg watch a TV programme, have a relaxing hot bath….


-Deal with problems. What’s the problem exactly? Need to ask someone? Don’t

waste time and energy worrying – do something about it!


-Accept that the work has to be done and decide to tackle it head on.


-Don’t bottle things up.Talk to your friends/parents/anyone about your

 problems. It will really help!!


-Don’t compare yourself with others - you’re on a hiding to nothing if you do.


-Thoughts and feelings are just passing through – don’t get swept away by

  them. Calmly accept them – they are not you!!


-Learn relaxation techniques (….close your eyes, breathe deeply, imagine

  tension melting away, every time breath out, feel more and more relaxed…)


-Exercise – the hormones it releases reduce stress and make you feel good!


-Ensure a good sleep routine – warm bath, oils, candles. And don’t worry if you can’t sleep – you’ll cope!


-Remember - there is life after exams!!!


The Exams Themselves


 -Go for a quick walk before the exam, it’ll make you feel less nervous.

 

 -Arrive with time to spare' don’t risk being late and feeling even more

 stressed!


-Believe in yourself - think like a winner. Remember, no-one can know it all!

 

 -If your mind goes blank, don’t panic!! Take time to read the questions. There's no rush.

 

-Use slow 'circular' deep breathing (often panic attacks are triggered by hyperventilation, i.e. over-breathing). Consciously relax your shoulders every time you breathe out.

 

-Remember everyone will be feeling pretty much like you – even though you’re convinced they all know more than you do!!

 

-Give yourself a good talking to. Think 'strong' thoughts - ‘I can do this, ‘It’ll be fine’


Most of all keep things in perspective. It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t go well. You can always retake them!



For Parents

 

-Watch for symptoms of stress: change in behaviour, sleep problems, stomach, headaches, nightmares - eating, smoking, drugs

 

-Take pressure off - cut some slack re chores, priorities, moodiness.

 

-Offer support, talk gently eg “I can see you’re upset/angry ” (DON’T say ‘snap out of it!’) Walk and talk together – break down problems.


- Praise effort not achievement, otherwise kids can grow up believing that your approval depends on them

being successful.

 

-Encourage to seek help if concerned – it’s a strength not a weakness.

 

-Don’t project your own anxiety and frustrations about the outcome onto your child! Deal with your own anxiety – otherwise that makes everything worse.

 

-Be calm, reassuring…keep everything in perspective – academic achievement is not the only path to success!!!


-It’s your relationship that matters – reassure them you are there for them whatever happens.


 


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