Surviving High School

People might have divided views of the high school experience. For some, it is loaded with enjoyments such as parties, concerts, elections, new influences, and new subjects among others, while the majority got the high school blues.  For Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D., “The beginning freshman experience can be a daunting one. I made my way through middle school and it wasn’t easy; but high school is like starting over, only tougher.” 

 One thing for sure, high school drains everyone’s energy either because of fun or academics. “Middle school is a gray zone—that difficult time when you don’t feel like you have the skills to handle the challenge of parenting,” says Patti Cancellier, education director for the Parent Encouragement Program. Having a lot of responsibility is associated with growing up, and high school is full of that, which also teaches one to become the person he is aiming to be. It may cause overloading of your senses, but through proper time management and prioritizing activities, it will become lighter and more enjoyable. Once a person masters the technique of handling high school years very well, he is ready enough to face the real world waiting outside.

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Whether the student is a freshmen year or final year in high school, the following tips will surely cover up all the necessary things to survive high school.

Have Your Locker

Nobody can predict what’s going to happen in a whole day’s stay at school, so it’s better to get prepared for any circumstance that can occur. Having a personal locker is a must and for every student to one’s saving grace for these unexpected situations. For example, girls must always have reserved sanitary napkins or tampons in their lockers so that they will not get anymore panic every time they will have their monthly period. It is also nice to store medicines for headaches, LBM, and other common sicknesses.

Join A Club And Be Active

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Choose a club that suits your interests and skills. Through this, a person can meet new friends and may find his identity. One must not stay away from other students because not all are bad influences. When there are competitions, debates, sports, and academics, students must go out of their comfort zones and try joining. Maybe by trying new things, a person can discover the hidden talents that he doesn’t realize he has. This is an excellent opportunity as well to meet new friends and widen your social network. Also, joining clubs and school organizations can further enhance your abilities because these are supervised by teachers and coaches who are specialized in their field of practice.

Study Well

It is okay to have fun most of the time, but it is important not to forget the real responsibility of students why they are sent to school. It can be an avenue, and a means for a person to fulfill their ambitions in life. Wasting time on unimportant things may cause a person to lose his goals in life. Remember that life is a competition and losers have no place in the world.

Choose Friends Wisely

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According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, “The company you keep says a lot about you, because your friends have a major influence on how you feel, think, and behave.” Friends define the identity of a person. As the saying goes, Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are. A person should maintain close connections with other students that will influence them to be better people and should keep distance to those who tend to drag people down and cause more harm. A lousy company may be tempting, but a good one is a real deal.

Think Positive

Everyone loves a person who always smiles. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic in life but also consider the other side of the coin. Not all people want to be a friend to somebody, so one must not worry about making everyone pleased. A person must respect the people surrounding him/her to receive the same in return.

Trust Yourself

When a person has confidence in talking and doing something, others may also believe in him/her. Do not imitate anyone, instead act who you are. If a person falls, he must stand and learn from his previous mistakes in life.

The joys of attending high school are beyond unbelievable. Make the most of this experience and keep right and loving memories as you complete the four years of secondary education.

 

 

Reward Yourself With Appreciation

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“Let’s begin by clearing up something: Self-respect does not make you narcissistic or conceited or self-centered … in fact, it does quite the opposite. Self-respect is about amassing a deep sense of self-worth and self-love to show that you are worthy of receiving love and in turn, giving love.” – Danielle Dowling, PsyD. 

Since we were young, our parents taught us the value and importance of being grateful in life especially to the people who have been good to us. We learned that by being grateful, we become benevolent as well, for we know that in every appreciation we give, comes the feeling of happiness and fulfillment not just on the person we thank for but also to ourselves. We got used to appreciating every little thing in life regardless of how well or bad it is because we know that, everything happens for a reason and that we should still show kindness during adversities. Learning the importance of gratitude has helped us to embrace and live up its value; hence, we become grateful for everything, always. 

On the other hand, despite the fact of being grateful for everything that we have, we sometimes forget to appreciate one important person to be thankful for, and that is our self. We have the innate selflessness that enables us to put others’ well-being first, that is why with all the appreciation that we have for other people, we fail to appreciate our self. 

Start Within Yourself

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Most of us see gratitude as something to be shared with others, except for our self, because we think that appreciating one’s self is already arrogant. Give yourself a short break for a while and try to be grateful for what you have become. Examine within yourself that you are thankful for the person that you came to be so that you can be a blessing to others as well. This way, you know your worth thus giving yourself importance. Be narcissistic for a while. You must remember that gratitude starts with you; hence you deserve to appreciate yourself for choosing and doing what is right.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D. says, “Self-value is more behavioral than emotional, more about how you act toward what you value, including yourself than how you feel about yourself compared to others. It necessarily includes self-care.”

What Should You Thank Yourself For?

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It is easy for us to recognize the things and people we are grateful for while we unnoticed the things we should thank our self for, like appreciating yourself for:

  • Being thankful for everything
  • Keeping up the faith amidst life’s adversities
  • Returning kindness over cruelty
  • Courage to let go
  • Believing in love despite the pain
  • Giving second chances
  • Accepting things that are not meant for you
  • Forgiving others and yourself
  • Recognizing your mistakes

Just like how we appreciate and admire other people on how they overcome the challenges in their lives, we should also do the same to ourselves.  “Acknowledging and expressing genuine gratitude for what you appreciate in your life is a deeply kind act,” says psychotherapist Lea Seigen Shinraku. When you know how to appreciate yourself, you begin to discover your strengths and weaknesses, and this would help you improve yourself into becoming a better person. Self-appreciation is a way of recognizing self-worth, which enables you to realize that you are a human of substance, worthy to be loved and respected. 

Your relationship with yourself is as significant as your character. As they say, you cannot give what you do not have. You cannot learn to appreciate others if you do not know how to thank yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself, give yourself the reward that you deserve. Remember you are doing your very best to be the best version of yourself and that is already an achievement. Reward yourself with appreciation, celebrate your pain and triumphs and rejoice for better days to come. 

 

 

Gratitude Can Bring Out the Best in Your Child

Becoming a parent is a privilege because not everyone can experience the joy and happiness of raising a child from becoming a better person. A source of pride, it is as well the most demanding and challenging responsibility that one can have. It takes courage and commitment to embrace the life of becoming a parent regardless of its nature. Living with this challenge is the part on how to raise children with positive values and the right attitude. “We want our children to be able to relate to other people’s feelings and to feel a sense of belonging in their classrooms and community,” says clinical psychologist Sheela Raja. “Cultivating a sense of gratefulness goes a long way toward this goal.”

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Parents are expected to give out your best just to make sure that children will have a secure and successful life ahead. The society sees a child as a mere reflection of the kind of parents that a child has. Even if it’s not the main reason for the outcome of the child in later life, the role of the parents still has a significant factor. With this, your worth as a parent is determined on how you were able to rear your children of becoming who and what they are in life. 

When And How To Start?

Start Them Young.  The child’s brain is like a sponge. It absorbs everything that it encounters. By training them with good habits, they will embrace it and will eventually become a lifelong habit. Coupled with role modeling, this will be easy for them to follow the actions that they observe around them. Grab this opportunity to teach them the right skills in surviving life and to engage their young minds the value of gratitude. Giacomo Bono, Ph.D. wrote, “When parents tune into an infant’s needs and curiosities and satisfy the infant patiently with love, they’re planting the seeds for gratitude to grow.”

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Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude. The sincerest thought comes from a child. It is like whatever a child has to say, it becomes heartfelt as always, because of the pureness of their heart. 

What one of the first things parents commonly teach their child is praying, and through this, parents start to teach their child to give thanks to the Heavenly Father. The phrase “thank you” is one of the sweetest phrases we could hear from a child. It brings a smile to our faces when they utter this two-word statement, and our heart swells with happiness. 

Teaching and showing your child what it means to say, “thank you” allows practicing gratefulness at an early age. This way, as the child grows up, he can show appreciation, not just with the material things but moreover the simple gestures and favors he gets from the people around him. In return, he will realize that showing gratitude makes people happy, a rewarding feeling for doing something right to others. According to Sarah Conway, a psychologist and mom, “The absolute best way to teach kids to be grateful, is to BE GRATEFUL. They will take their cues from you. So thank them often.”

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With constant practice, the child will become accustomed to the importance of gratitude, the effect it brings to the people and the enthusiasm it gives into becoming a better version of oneself. Parenting is one tough job, but by embracing and appreciating the privilege it entails, you will never find any reason to quit. Instead, it will make you a better person, someone whom your child can look up to and be thankful because you have dedicated your life to bring them up with good hearts.

Want To Be Happy? Practice Thank You Therapy

Have you experienced opening the door to someone and not receiving a mere “thank you”? Or helping someone carry their load yet no “thank you” was given? That’s the worst thing that can ever happen to your day. It’s just frustrating that some people don’t value gratitude anymore.

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Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D. says, “The lack of interest on gratitude or kindness is one of the reasons that these practices are so powerful in creating positive emotions and making people more satisfied with their lives.”

One of the ways of becoming happy is to practice the attitude of gratitude. By becoming thankful for all the things coming through, be it something right or not, we still should show appreciation because everything has its reason and purpose in our life bound to make us wiser and tougher as we continue to exist.

A thankful heart creates a definite aura of life. It radiates happiness and contentment to others as well. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. wrote, “Feeling and expressing gratitude turns our mental focus to the positive, which compensates for our brain’s natural tendency to focus on threats, worries, and negative aspects of life. As such, gratitude creates positive emotions, like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions like anxiety.”

However, some people think that the only things that we should be thankful for are the right things coming to us. The truth is, more than being disappointed with the mishaps of life, we should be grateful for these, too, because these are the life lessons and experiential learnings that can make us a better person.

Being Grateful

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Gratitude is the therapy of the human soul, a potion that can turn a bad day into a blissful one. If only all of us can learn to add the phrase “thank you” in all our triumphs and tribulations, then there would never be any reason for us to see life as challenging as it can be. The virtue of gratitude teaches us to see more than meets the eye; it is like seeing the beauty of a person despite his flaws and incapacities.

The Science of Gratitude

In positive psychology, the effect of expressing gratitude shows a tremendous change in the context of finding genuine happiness in life. For people who find it hard to see the goodness in everything, the therapeutic effect of saying “Thank you” is an excellent way of training the mind not to take things hard. As what others say, 10% of what is happening in our life is beyond our control, and 90% depends on how we take things and react to it. This means that we are in control of our reactions, and often we tend to be in a fury over 90% of what has transpired. 

In this case, “Thank you Therapy” might just save your day and spare you from having a bad day. Imposing this positive attitude is like spreading happiness all throughout. This attitude does not only provide benefits to the person doing it but instead, it also makes the other person happy. This is useful conditioning for those who have sensory issues.

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Final Words

Practicing gratitude enables us to see the rainbow in every storm. It lets us value everything in life, even the problems coming our way. Instead of worrying, we take every challenge as an opportunity to become better. These are two simple words that carry significant meaning. If practiced every day, it can emanate a positive vibe to each one, thus changing our perception.

“Instead, shift your focus and be mindful of the everyday things that you would miss if you didn’t have them. There’s always something for which to be grateful, even during difficult times.” – Cherie Dortch, clinical psychologist. 

Saying “thank you” can be an antidote for the lack of appreciation shown by others. The key to finding happiness through gratitude and contentment on whatever life may bring us can change each new day with optimism and positivity.   

Living With An Ungrateful Heart: Seeking Psychiatric Help

Some people experience negativity in life where they feel that all the forces in the world are against them. All of us have gone through some point in our life wherein we feel like nothing good is happening or ever going to happen. This can be a phase that we are having especially if things don’t go as we like it to be – a failed exam, a breakup, loss in business prospects, or even a death of a loved one. As human as we are, we tend to bounce back and face the music. We like to meet the battle and conquer whatever struggles we are currently in. Nonetheless, some individuals cannot afford to handle these tragic situations, and they would resort to feelings of indifference, hopelessness, and helplessness.

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Dissatisfaction Leads to Unhappiness 

Imagine waking up every day feeling upset and thinking that the world is being unfair to you.  This is the life of unhappy individuals. They feel like the world has given up on them and that they could no longer have the things they want, without noticing or appreciating the things that are already there. Psychologist Ryan Howes says, “Maybe the reason you feel so hopeless isn’t rooted in reality, but instead in a false narrative about your abilities or circumstances. Maybe you tell yourself that you don’t really deserve a raise or loving friends. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not that smart or creative or capable.”

There is no satisfaction at all, as they keep on asking for the things they lack in life.  All these adverse predicaments engulf their positive outlook on life – always complaining about certain aspects.

Aside from dissatisfaction, these people also nurture feelings of ingratitude. Living a life of ingratitude hampers one from seeing the goodness in life; it limits the capacity of the heart to appreciate anything at all.  As a result, they find it hard within themselves to feel inner happiness and satisfaction in life.

Psychiatric Counseling Can Help

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It is not healthy for a person to continue living with this kind of outlook in life. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders can happen if the same emotional conflict is felt all throughout. And as Deborah Serani, PsyD says, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness. Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person.”
Relationship with family, friends, and work can be affected as well as the person becomes distant, aggressive and belligerent in his dealings. It can alter one’s cognitive functioning as well which might lead to involving in an unfavorable situation that can compromise one’s safety.

One way to seek help is to consult a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist to help determine the reasons for dissatisfaction, ingratitude, pessimism, and depression. Once known, the person is guided to undergo psychotherapy to help change his perspectives on life. Depending on the psychiatric evaluation, the person shall be given some medications to help regulate chemicals in the brain and control the emotional turmoil felt within. Similarly, they may allow you to get online counseling (try BetterHelp) in the beginning.

On a personal level, the change must come from within the person himself. The only way of overcoming this is a mighty change of heart, together with the assistance and support of family and friends. Their perception of life will gradually change as they start to see the goodness in life. The counsel and support that they receive from the people around them are vital in opposing the negativity that is influencing their mind and heart on not to appreciate what life has given them.

Final Words

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Yes, it is true that many people recover from depression without taking medication. But that doesn’t mean that willpower alone is what got them there. Major depression, or clinical depression, is a problem with the neurochemistry of our brain not properly regulating our moods, and just willing yourself to feel better isn’t going to cut it,” explains Becky Howie, MA, LPC.

Counseling per se is an excellent way of making us realize that when ungratefulness consumes us, seeking advice or merely opening up about all the frustrations and challenges in life with someone we trust can help us appreciate the attitude of becoming grateful in life. 

How Can A Club Function As A Support Group?

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“School” is the most important place for children, a place where they find out about themselves and their world, where they meet and learn from each other and from teachers, a place where they prepare themselves for the future.” – John Victor, Senior Clinical Psychologist. 

High school is challenging for almost every student. They are constantly exposed to external stimuli that are either too challenging or too big to be overcome. These are times when students are tempted to try things but often don’t either because of peer pressure or because of a lack of confidence. One such experiment is taking part in school clubs. For such students, it is always better to take part in a club. A lot of studies have shown that this group of people tends to become a support group when supposed strangers chat and talk about life on a daily basis.

It becomes easier to get through difficult times when you know that you aren’t the only one in this. Several issues such as depression and anxiety are common but students refrain from visiting an expert because mental illness is seen as a stigma in society.  “Just like any other symptom, said Amresh Shrivastava, MD, “when the stigma is left untreated it can cause serious damage to the brain, and even to the patient’s life. Relapse is more susceptible in patients with untreated stigma, and risk of suicide is increased.”

If you are a student and you feel that you need someone to talk to, the best option is to join a school club. If you are a club member or president and you are looking for ways to start functioning as a support group as well, then this is how you can function as both:

  • Be Clear and Precise
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Let your club members know that you are planning to start a support group. Run the idea through them and give them a plan of action. Once everyone is on board, proceed with the flyers and specify the kind of support group you plan on conducting. For instance, if your support group is for people battling depression, then state it clearly. Once people start flowing in explain to them what a support group means and how it functions. 

  • Pick A Place

Pick a common spot and don’t change it. School spaces are ideal; you can schedule the meetings after school in a specific classroom. The idea is to pick a location that is easily accessible by all and free every time for a meeting. The problem with choosing a member’s home or yours is that the place might not be available all the time. 

  • Schedule 
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Schedule your meetings in a manner that suits everyone. You can schedule your meetings once a week at a specific time for an hour. One hour is the ideal duration for a support group meeting. Make sure you start and end on time so people take it seriously and the decorum is maintained. It doesn’t matter if people come in late or leave early; you should always start your meetings as per schedule. 

  • Talk to your Therapist

It is important that you encourage the group members to visit a therapist and talk to someone about their routines and how well they are doing. Get some ideas from them as they are professionals and know better.  Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. wrote, “Therapy can help you ease your pain and create a healthier and more fulfilling life.”

  • Keep an Anonymous Box 
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Most people don’t do this but since it is a school support group, it is important that you leave a box for people to talk and express themselves anonymously. This is bound to encourage them to one day talk about their feelings openly once they see how well their anonymous emotions are being received by the other members of the group. 

  • Refreshments

Ask your group members to take turns and provide for light refreshments. As this support group is for students, you can always pool in for the refreshments. 

  • Create an Electronic Group

Make sure that everyone stays connected even if they aren’t at the meeting. Make a WhatsApp or Email group and involve everyone in it. This enables people to stay in touch even if no meeting is scheduled. They feel comfortable knowing they can always reach out whenever the need arises. 

  • Leader

It is important that you assign a support group leader; this allows the group to function better and hold up the dynamics well. 

Sharing stories can be a little intimidating so it is important that you hire a certified therapist to attend the meetings for training and monitoring purposes. Sometimes, in case something is triggered in a member, control is imperative. 

 

 

Great Clubs That Your Kids And Teens Can Join

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When your kids get into preschool, they are more engrossed in play rather than learn, which is generally okay, since the first three years are designed to encourage kids to learn to play in groups and with different types of children. When they enter middle school they begin to tackle school and friends, and most often than not, they prefer talking and doing things with friends than study and learn. 

If you notice that your kids tend to be more passive towards their school work, encourage them to join something that will not only help hasten to learn but also enlighten them to do more activities that are geared towards the development, growth, and progress of the youth. School and community clubs are some of the best avenues for your kids to join. This will expose them to practices that will help them practice their social and leadership skills as well. 

Check out some of these recommended clubs that you can consider if you want your kid to join one.

Types of Clubs and What They Do

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Book club. One of the most educational and enriching clubs that you would love your kids to join. There are activities that are designed to keep the kids and teens interested, such as group reading time and role-playing time, where they choose a book and perform it, assigning kids different roles. They can also be classified into groups and help each other read a more advanced book. This practices reading as well as team building skills. 

Career Club. Teens as early as 13 to 16 years old can join this group. Its aim is to help the children decide the career or vocation that they want to pursue. They are led by a teacher or an elder who discusses with them different careers that they can follow, and then the children are asked to talk about the career they’ve chosen and why. This way, they will learn how to decide at an early age which path they want to lead. Joining career clubs encourage children to appreciate their strengths and develop their weaknesses. 

Sports and Recreation Club. The United States has created several of these clubs that encompass teaching children positive eating habits and physical activities that develop their mind, body, and soul. They have sessions where they are taught how to prepare meals that are healthy and nutritious. They also engage in physical fitness and games that help them get moving and practice teamwork and friendly competition. Kids are also taught the value of cooperation and cultivate interpersonal and social skills. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has created a number of sports and recreation clubs for kids of all ages. Some of these clubs are the Triple Play, Play Ball, and All-Stars. 

Childhood Bereavement Club. This club is not only for those who have lost their loved ones but also those who want to help and reach out to those who need comfort in their time of grief. Kids and teens need to develop a strong mental and emotional foundation to get through their feelings of grief, sadness, and depression. They may have anger problems that need to be attended to. Adult leaders guide these kids and teach them how to cope with these challenges. For teens that are initially hesitant to express, they are encouraged to read online blogs and articles that may push them to learn coping strategies.

 

Encouraging Kids and Teens to Learn Early

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These and many other clubs are available for kids and teens that are in the stage of curiosity and independence. Clubs are a great way to pull your children towards the right direction and keep them away from the possible dangers of growing up.  

Gratitude Lifts The Weight Of Anxiety

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Anxiety is a feeling that never really goes away. Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist. Sure, it leaves from time to time, but it also comes back. To many, it can get overwhelming and distressing. Sometimes it feels like it’s trying to choke or down them into thinking that they’re not normal.  

People with anxiety disorders keeps the mind and body on edge. It makes them always ask themselves if there’s something wrong or if everything’s alright. There are times when their habit of asking these questions to themselves will only worsen the anxiety they’re feeling. It’s because it makes the mind focus on the negative thoughts they usually relate to anxiety. 

 You must be thinking, “Then why don’t they just stop?” They want to do it, but it’s not as easy as that. Anxiety clouds your mind and your sight. Sometimes the cloud gets too hazy, and it blocks almost everything around you except the negative thoughts. You won’t be able to see the good things because anxiety is preventing them. There’s zero visibility except for the one you see ahead, and in this case, it’s the negative feelings. 

How To Get Off Anxiousness 

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Anxiety is a disease of the mind. It plagues the mind until the mind can think of it and only it. When someone gets too engrossed up in it, it’s difficult to get them out of it because, during that moment, their mind’s focus is only on the anxious thoughts. 

However, there is one way to beat it. If anxiety plagues the mind, then use your heart. But how exactly do you use it? 

Be Grateful 

“When is the last time you took five minutes to truly express your thanks to someone who made a difference in your life? It’s such an easy way to get a mood boost (and seriously boost the mood of someone else) and you don’t even have to pay for a stamp and find a mailbox – you can just shoot off a quick email or text message.” – Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D.

The Art of Gratitude is the action of using your heart instead of your mind.  

It might seem absurd because how exactly can giving gratitude help you with your anxiety, right? But there have been people who spoke up about this and said it worked and gave them peace. In fact, the Heart Math Institute studied how the art of being thankful can help with stress and anxiety for 15 years,  

The Art Of Being Thankful 

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Despite the fancy name, doing the art of being thankful is very easy. It’s a simple task that you can do at any time and any place. There’s no need for fancy machines or complicated steps. 

Just close your eyes and think of whatever you feel thankful for. “Gratitude is having the perspective that my entitlements are few and my blessings are great,” said Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, Calif. 

Look back at your life and think of the challenges you have overcome, of the people who were there for you during those times. Think again about the people who supported you, loved you unconditionally, and made life worth living. Remember your progress, where you started and where you are now. Remember how much you have improved.  

Everyone has at least one thing to feel thankful for. If people would focus on those thoughts and the people who matter instead of the negative ones, they’ll be able to have more control over their lives and with their anxiety. 

This isn’t a complicated exercise so don’t over think or complicate it. The best things in life are the ones that you take as it is. Do this every day, and you will feel better and more in control of your lifeyou’re your anxiety. 

How Can Clubs Help Children Suffering From Anxiety?

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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.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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. 

Source: buildingblockslanguage.com
  • 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.  

How To Cope With Anxiety During Public Speaking

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Source: tovecommunication.se

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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Source: i1.wp.com

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.