How Can Clubs Help Children Suffering From Anxiety?

Source: independent.co.uk

Millions of children around the world suffer from anxiety disorders and they are often dismissed by parents and teachers as being shy or just a “phase.” Parents and teachers likewise consider the possibility of an anxiety disorder when it is too late and they have gone past the age of being treated like kids. It is important that we as parents and teachers manage to differentiate shyness from anxiety.  

“Anxiety is the sense of discomfort, restlessness, or uncertainty that is internally generated,” says David Spiegel, MD, director of Stanford Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health. “It’s being a worrier without having the stressors outside.” When kids with an anxiety disorder are left alone or dissed by their friends, they start feeling empty and alone. Children with this disorder need extra attention. A child who is not making friends at all needs some sort of care because it is not normal human behavior. You can identify children with anxiety quite easily. They will seem distant from other students and sit alone during lunch breaks. These kids might feel uncomfortable around others and avoid participating in the class at all. They get extremely nervous and shaky during class presentations as well.

It is important that we keep an open eye and look for such symptoms. If you are a student then you can help other students out as well. You can take help from an existing club or introduce a new club that aims to help kids with an anxiety disorder. You can do the following to help out students that suffer from anxiety.

Source: inhabitat.com
  • Introduce Calming Methods

“Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist.  When anxiety kicks in, our body starts to react in different ways such as increased heartbeat, dizziness, muscle tension, and heavy breathing. The balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen gets disrupted resulting in anxiety. During your club meetings, you must teach all members different methods to calm themselves down in a situation of an attack. These include inhaling and exhaling slowly as well as holding your breath for 2 seconds and then exhaling for 6 seconds. 

Source: inhabitat.com
  • Ignore The Negativity

Children who have an anxiety disorder think negative thoughts. They start believing that their opinions don’t matter and they won’t be appreciated by others. They are also scared of what people might say, they think everyone will say negative things about them. It is important that members and leaders encourage each other to overcome failure and negative thoughts. Conquering negative thoughts isn’t easy and it takes some time to overcome. You should teach your club members how to recognize the patterns set by negative thoughts and identify them as unrealistic. Push them to replace the negativity with positivity and then make it a habit. Thomas A. Richards, a psychologist, wrote, “Thoughts grow with attention.  If you focus on negative thoughts, they will grow and grow and become even larger.  If you focus on your progress and the new thoughts you are learning, they will grow stronger and take “automatic” control.”

Source: edutopia.org
  • Teach Them To Resolve The Issue 

Kids who are familiar with their anxiety status often avoid involving themselves in situations that cause stress for them. For instance, when kids with anxiety are out for dinner with family, they avoid ordering for themselves and most parents are fine with it. However, avoiding the situation altogether does not solve the problem. You as a leader of the group can encourage them to interact socially and make decisions for themselves. Talk to them about the issue and ask them to solve the problem as if they are solving a maths equation. Look for possible ways to achieve the end result without giving up. No matter what happens at the end, completing the task is important. This teaches them to solve problems on their own instead of relying on others. 

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  • Facilitate Communication

Children with anxiety hesitate when making conversation. The constant fear of being wrong and disliked is what stops them. It is a little difficult to make them talk, however specific activities can help them out. You can make pairs and ask them to talk to each other for a few minutes. You can rotate the pairing method and increase the time as they start to get comfortable with each other. It is important that you come up with such activities because this encourages them to communicate with each other and be more open about their feelings. It takes time for them to overcome the fear but they do overcome it eventually. Every once in a while you can bring a role model into your support group as an inspiration and ask them to give a motivational speech so the children can relate to it.

Make sure that you recognize the symptoms and try to help these students out. Remember they are fragile so choose your words wisely with them. Don’t push them too hard to speak publically, they will when they are ready.  

Types Of Therapy Offered At School Clubs

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Nowadays as studies are becoming more demanding as well as competitive, school students find it hard to cope with this additional pressure. According to psychologist Richard Weissbourd, Today’s most “potent ingredient” is “achievement pressure” — the pressure to excel across academic subjects and a wide range of extracurriculars, culminating in the stress of putting together an impeccable college admissions package. They are expected to be perfect both academically as well as in co-curricular activities. This increased amount of stress has contributed a lot to feelings of depression and anxiety in school students. “Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin,” says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”

Why Is It Important To Deal With This Issue?

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It is pertinent both as a school administrator and a member of society to provide the youth mechanisms to cope with these mental health issues. Individuals of school-going age are essentially part of an extremely vulnerable age group, emotional as well as social development at this point in time is essential in molding their future personalities. It is important that parents are also involved in this process; the first step to do so is creating awareness about youth issues both inside and outside of school.

Types Of Counseling Offered At School 

Source: huhs.harvard.edu
  1. Counselor services

Every school must definitely have a counselor, who is an expert in his or her field, and perhaps have additional experience of dealing with youth’s mental health issues. The counselor can help an anxious student in various ways. For instance, the foremost and most common way is conducting one to one sessions with the students in order to develop a certain level of comfort with them, which allows the student to share their problems with the counselor. In addition to this, sometimes the problem a student is facing is not due to academic or any other sort of school-related problem, but the source of it is stemming from home. In such cases, the counselor must have close coordination with both the parents and teachers of the student.

  1. Awareness campaigns

Awareness campaigns are extremely important in creating mental health awareness in schools. These campaigns can be carried out by different school clubs and they can be more specific towards the goals of a certain club or society at school. For instance, the school club for campus development and student welfare, or perhaps the student council, can arrange sessions on bullying and suicide prevention. Other awareness campaigns can also be run by the sports club as well, however, they might be more focused on the mental health issues of athletes. 

  1. Group sessions

Group counseling sessions, especially in a school setting, can be a beneficial way of tackling several issues at one time. It allows students of similar ages or classes, dealing with issues that alike to be grouped together, perhaps after school.  “For many people “group therapy can be more powerful and mutative than individual therapy,” according to Judye Hess, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist.

The aim of these groups may vary based on the issue under discussion. It is must, however, be remembered that the sole focus of this group therapy must not only be limited to settling individual problems but must also extend to building healthy relationships amongst the group members based on respect. Such a session is, therefore, really popular in dealing with students facing anger management issues. There are several group activities, involving ice-breaking games, sports activities, talk sessions, the students can engage in. 

  1. Career services

Career services can be provided to students in schools as a whole, and even as part of different clubs and societies in school. Students who are part of the journalism and writing clubs or the basketball team may require different sorts of career services based on their field of interest and by a professional knowledgeable in that field. He or she can hold one-to-one sessions with the student, helping them in exploring different options for their future. College admissions and career selection is a cause of anxiety amongst many high school students, hence making dealing with this issue pertinent on a school level.

 

 

How To Cope With Anxiety During Public Speaking

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Almost everyone might have had the chance to address a large group of people. For some, it must have been a great opportunity to express themselves, whereas for others it might have been a stressful experience. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance to find and seek an anxiety attack help to lead a better, more confident life.

Reasons For Public Speaking Anxiety

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Anxiety is usually triggered in situations where one finds himself or herself in a position of vulnerability. “Anxiety is the sense of discomfort, restlessness, or uncertainty that is internally generated,” says David Spiegel, MD, director of Stanford Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health. “It’s being a worrier without having the stressors outside.” Standing alone on the stage, with hundreds of people staring can definitely make a person feel vulnerable, and hence consequently anxious.

Tips To Cope With Public Speaking Anxiety

“I was terrified: as a student, my heart used to race at the mere thought of raising my hand in class. For weeks beforehand, I had nightmares about forgetting my lines, waking up in a cold sweat. No matter how much I practiced, for the three days leading up to the speech, I could hardly breathe.” – Adam Grant, Ph.D. 

“The good news is that schools are increasingly tuning in to mental health needs, and they’ve gotten better at diagnosing anxiety disorders,” says school counseling expert and researcher Mandy Savitz-Romer. There are several ways to cope with these feelings of anxiousness during public speaking; a few are mentioned below to help out.

  1. Practice makes perfect

One of the biggest causes of public speaking anxiety stems from the fear of either forgetting what one has to say or saying the wrong thing. Hence, this is why practice is the key to perfection in this case. It is important to set aside time for practice. Try writing down your speech to remember it clearly, time yourself and also try speaking in front of a mirror. Persistent practice will definitely help you master the skill of public speaking.

  1. Focus on rhythm 

It would be a great idea to structure your speech in such a manner that it allows you to create rhythm while you speak. Try keeping your sentence short, so that you not only forget them, but it also gets easier for your audience to understand them. Also, try taking small pauses in between key points; it will make your audience anticipate your next point.

  1. Get a friend’s critique

It is always best to try your speech on a test audience. Find a friend who is free to listen to your speech and give you an honest opinion about it. This constructive criticism will help you fix any error before the big day, hence making you feel more confident about what you are going to say.

  1. Warm water
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Source: virginpure.com

You might feel your mouth getting dry and itchy after speaking for so long; it might make you feel self-conscious and nervous. A good tip for this would be to drink water that is either warm or at room temperature; perhaps squeeze in the lemon as well. It will prevent your throat from drying out as you speak.

  1. Dress comfortably

Sometimes the fear resides in facing the crowd. You might feel your legs are jelly and you cannot stand confidently on the stage. Dressing to please your own self, perhaps in something that you are comfortable in, would be a great idea. This way you would not have to care much about how you look and would rather concentrate more on delivering your message to the audience. 

  1. Pick something inspiring

Choosing the right topic to talk about is important. Try picking something that interests you or something that you are extremely passionate about. Furthermore, you must also be comfortable with speaking about the topic in public; prior research would really aid you when you are preparing your speech. 

  1. Channel your energy in the right direction

Nervousness is in itself a form of adrenaline rush a person might feel while facing a huge crowd. The key is to learn ways to channel this excess of energy in a positive manner by giving a more impassionate speech. In addition to this, one must also try meditating every day for five minutes in order to feel in control of his or her emotions. 

Therefore, the best technique of dealing with the fear of public speaking is to understand what scares you the most. By understanding the source of your anxiety you can find the perfect way to cope with it. 

How To Engage Your Club Members Effectively

Being a patron or the president of a school club comes with great responsibility. One does not only have to organize club events or plan fundraising activities for the club but also act as a leader, guiding other members of the club. According to Larina Kase, PsyD, “When we think of what makes someone a great leader, one characteristic that comes to mind is decisiveness. We do not envision successful leaders standing around appearing unclear and uncertain. Instead, we view them as people who are able to quickly arrive at their decisions and communicate the goals to others.”

Why Do Students Join School Clubs?

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Source: uge.mit.edu

It is important to understand the motivations behind a student joining a school club, before figuring out ways to engage them effectively in the club. It is believed that school students mostly only join multiple clubs and societies during high school just because they would look good on their profiles, and perhaps would help them get into good society. However, even though this might be the case many times, there are still many students who join a school club primarily because they are interested in the activities that specific club engages in. In addition to this, sometimes the cause that a school club is working towards may seem inspirational to the students, allowing them to become self-motivated volunteers for the club. Furthermore, sometimes school students join clubs in order to build social connections with other people and find someone to talk to about their mutual interest. 

Additionally, psychologist Susan Pinker wrote, “Direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to stress and anxiety.”

Ways To Effectively Engage Club Members

  1. Communication
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Source: wildcatchronicle.org

The key to a successful club or society resides in effective communication amongst its members. It is important that all members of the clubs have viable channels to express their opinions and issues to not only each other but those in the upper hierarchical levels of the club. Sometimes there is a huge communication gap between the president of the club and those who have recently joined the club that it leads to feelings of alienation amongst the latter. However, John M. Grohol, PsyD, wrote, “Two different people also have different levels of skill when it comes to communication. But better communication, because it is a skill, can also be learned.”

It is important that the leadership must interact with each other on a one-to-one level. A good way to do this is by planning excursion trips with all the club members. This will give them a chance to get to know each other in a non-work environment.

  1. Delegation 

For any organization to run effectively, the leader must delegate tasks to his or her subordinates. In the same manner, a school club president must delegate responsibilities to club members. This will not only help in reducing the burden on a very few but will also make all the club members more involved in the operations of the school club.

  1. Regular meetings
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Source: cs.pitt.edu

Creating groups on WhatsApp or Slack is not the only way to interact with club members. It is important to hold regular club meetings, even if it is not for the entire club, people working in the same subdivision, or department, must meet regularly to discuss their goals and strategies. It is also a great way of ensuring that all the members are on the same page.

  1. An incentive system

School clubs may in many cases operate and function as normal businesses, however, the incentive system for both is inherently different. In the case of school clubs, students are not gaining any monetary benefit from their membership of the club; mostly many club members are only volunteering. Hence, the creation of a system that rewards club members for their work must be created in order to retain them for a longer time. The best way to do so is to invest in the personal and professional goals of your members. For instance, if it is a writers’ club writing training sessions can help those who are struggling. In addition to this, also ensure that their rights are met; this might even mean getting a better coach or counselor for your basketball team. 

Therefore, by following the aforementioned ways school clubs can engage their members in healthy social activities, retaining their membership for a good amount of time.

 

 

Art And Hobby Clubs You Can Join Or Start In High School

 

If you have been planning to join an art or hobby club so you can release your hidden talents, you can always choose from a variety of clubs in your school. Here are some of the most common art or hobby organizations that you can join in high school.

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  • Photography Club. If you love taking beautiful angles of trees when the sun’s rays would hit their branches, then you ought to join the high school photography club. Here, you might learn different techniques from fellow students who may have been learning photography longer than you. You can also help those who are new to the craft and share what you have learned so far out of your experiences. Together, you can all benefit from the club by organizing an exhibit of your pictures of your school, perhaps, or your community.

 

  • History Club. This club will interest you if you are one who admires the past stories of local and international heroes and their stories. You have an opportunity to criticize some of the past artists’ work, as the club would typically talk about the contribution of some of the most famed artists and what you think of them. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful (and expensive) old paintings and artifacts are!

 

  • Sports Live Broadcasting. If you’re more on the active side and would love to take videos of school sports and other activities, you are a good fit to be in sports broadcasting. You’ll learn more about your hobby if your leader coordinates with the school and invites a popular basketball or football player who can talk about the specific sport, and you create a video production of it. You can spread this quickly through YouTube and other active platforms.

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  • Chess Club. Chess is an intelligent way to keep yourself occupied and ‘polished.’ You can practice with your fellow members and eventually join chess tournaments and bring pride to your school club. It would also be nice if you could host a chess competition and invite other high schools as well. You can also invite chess gurus or past champions and let them talk about their greatest strategies.

 

  • Cooking Club. This club is not only for students who do cook in their homes but also for those who would like to learn how to cook. It could be all about sharing recipes and learning from each other while in school and trying to cook it at home for your family. Also, if you have sufficient funds, you can plan a trip to the neighboring community and check out their restaurants together.

 

  • Esports League Club. Only the gamers would know what this is. Yes, there is a legit High School Esports League that hosts matches, season playoffs, and tournaments. Its members even provide scholarship programs. You can check out Esports websites to know more about how to start the club.

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  • Film Club. As the name implies, members of this club usually watch classical, Tagalog, and other types of movies and discuss the movies that they watch. What’s more, you can also make your short film and decide to submit it to one of the many sites that are looking for original short films.