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. 

 

 

Why We Have Our Therapists To Thank For Our Well-Being

Whether helping the people in need is part of their self-actualization goals, or they want that particular career path, being a therapist isn’t exactly for everyone. It’s in our nature as humans to have a hard time coping with our feelings and solving our behavior problems. It’s hard, but a therapist does that for a living!

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Do you think you could do their work – to be on the other end of when a person is seeking help? What if you give the wrong advice? What if your words won’t make them better? Helping people to change for the better can be a burden on someone, and it takes an extraordinary person to do that. “While some therapists do specialize in severe emotional disturbances—including schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts—many focus on simply helping clients work through far more typical, everyday challenges like mapping out a career change, improving parenting skills, strengthening stress management skills, or navigating a divorce,” says Suzanne Gelb Ph.D.

Therapists are awesome! Here’s why we have them to thank for our well-being:

They Help Us To Become Brave And Honest

Therapy may not be appealing to other people. But even if it’s quite intimidating, and scary at times, having a meaningful takeaway after every session is an understatement. Therapists don’t always share their personal experiences. However, they surely understand your feelings and do their best to make sure you feel better. They listen with their hearts, as you pour out your thoughts and feelings to them. ” Listening and empathy skills are the hallmarks of good communicators, leaders, and therapists,” wrote Diana Raab Ph.D. A simple ‘Thank You’ letter after a fact of therapy is always welcome.

They Help Us Deal With Our Strong Feelings

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Some people need guidance in dealing with somewhat difficult feelings. Sally High, LMHC, says, “I help my clients overcome issues keeping them caught in unhealthy and destructive patterns that no longer serve a purpose. I am eager to help you and feel honored to assist in this journey. There are good therapist and then there are transforming therapist.”

For example, there are those teenagers who feel very shy or uncomfortable at school. Maybe it’s the transition from a different school to another, but the shyness gets in the way of making friends. A therapist helps by giving advice and encouraging you to act on your problem using the right direction. In some major cases, a patient may be feeling dangerous pent-up anger for a family member, or friend, and is getting aggressive and violent. Therapists help calm down and make the patient see reason. They acknowledge the difficult emotions and teach you positive ways to react. Again, not an easy feat.

They Help Us Enjoy Life More

When someone is busy, stressed, and depressed – that person seems to have the weight of the world on his or her shoulders. Therapists remind and encourage you to look for the positive things in life when you can’t see it. They point in the direction of where you should go and explain how it can make life worthwhile.

They Teach You That It’s Okay To Ask Help

One of the many myths of therapy is that “it doesn’t work.” In fact, some people think it’s a waste of time and money. You can read books and many online articles, keep the problems to your own, or try and solve them. It will be hard. Some people feel as if they can take on everything when they can ask for help. Professionally certified therapists are experts in how humans process thoughts and emotions. They’re often your “mind coach.”

They Strive To Make Your Future Bright

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There’s a common misconception that going to therapy means it would need to go on forever. That’s false. Therapy is temporary, but its effects are what’s long-lasting. Therapists help you work your stuff while teaching you the tools on how you could handle future “incidents.” The positive gains “continue and grow over time” as some of the work gets further consolidated after taking therapy.

 

 

 

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. 

Military Men On Appraising Stress – How To Cope

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It is said that the way people manage their stress depends on how they see the situation. Lazarus and Folkman’s Psychological Stress and Coping Theory explains how humans have two ways of appraisals: the primary and the secondary. (Military men who have been exposed to traumatic events are assisted in this area.) 

Primary Appraisal 

In this, the person will perceive the stressor and its relevance. If they feel like it’s not relevant, then they will not pay attention to it. However, if it is, then they will see it as a threat. “When we’re stressed, our body is stressed in the moment,” says Debra Kissen, Ph.D.

Secondary Appraisal 

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People who use this, on the other hand, ask themselves whether they can cope with the stressor. When it comes to the death of a loved one, most of the time the answer here is no. 

People who grieve may often think that they can’t cope with all the grief, frustration, and negative feelings, or the peak in the roller coaster. They feel helpless but since the ride isn’t done yet what other choice do they have than to bear with it, right? 

Coping With Stress 

Military men, like most people, cope with their stress disorders in different ways. The ideal way is to deal with it in a healthy way, but there will be people who cope with stress negatively. 

Some of the negative ways of coping may include: 

  • Giving up 
  • Blaming others 
  • Physically harming others like striking out 
  • Addiction (to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and the likes) 
  • Avoiding interaction 
  • Isolation 

Stress shouldn’t be ignored either. It is connected to a multitude of health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, headaches, migraine, and mental illnesses like depression and panic disorder. It would be good to seek help before the stress levels reach this point. 

William R. Klemm Ph.D. says, “People are constantly exposed to stressful situations. These may be physical, like participating in marathons or developing an illness. But stress can also be mental, wherein we become anxious and worried over certain events, existing or anticipated.” 

One of the ways to do that is by healthily coping with stress. Here are some ideas on how you can do that: 

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  • Write in a journal about your anxieties, stress triggers, and emotions. 
  • Avoid these triggers. 
  • Learn your limits. 
  • Cut off toxic people who only give you more stress and problems. 
  • Drop activities and tasks that aren’t needed. 
  • Don’t bottle in your feelings. 
  • Look at things more positively. 
  • Always be grateful. 
  • Don’t dwell on the things that you can’t control. 
  • Understand your emotions to know why you’re stuck in them. 
  • Count to ten so that irrational anger or situations won’t overwhelm you. 
  • Do breathing exercises. 
  • Call a friend or family member and talk to them. 
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet. 
  • Learn how to manage your anxiety
  • Get up and moving and do some exercise. 
  • Ask for help. 
  • Reduce, avoid, or stop substance use. 
  • Make time for doing something that you enjoy. 
  • Have adequate rest. 
  • Do meditation techniques. 
  • Practice yoga. 
  • Try new things and do your hobbies. 
  • Get a to-do list. 
  • Take it slow. 
  • Don’t force yourself. 
  • Be happy and laugh. 
  • Cherish every achievement and progress you do. 
  • Get a pet. 
  • Take some time off from gadgets and the internet. 
  • Know when to get help and how to accept help. 

“Before you can deal with stress, you need to recognize that you’re actually stressed out, which isn’t always obvious. In order for me to de-stress, I need to acknowledge my stress-state in the first place,” says John Duffy, a clinical psychologist. 

Nobody is saying it will be a smooth ride. The whole idea here is for you to understand that stress is manageable. It will take a lot of effort and willpower to overcome this mental health issue, more so if it is associated with grief and trauma. But it can be done. 

How To Add Meaning To Your Life With Club Activities

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Depression and anxiety are seen to be extremely common in school and college students. Trapped between being treated as a teenager and being expected to behave like an adult, these individuals may start feeling unappreciated and alone. “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.”

Moreover, the idea that no one cares or that life has no purpose can also be emotionally damaging for them. Hence, it is important for them to find new ways of adding meaning to life; joining a school club or group can be the first step towards it.  According to Eric R. Maisel Ph.D., “We experience emotional distress in all sorts of ways – as sadness, anxiety, addictions, unproductive obsessions, unwanted compulsions, repetitive self-sabotaging behaviors, physical ailments, boredom, and various angry, bleak, and agitated moods.”

What Do School Clubs Do?

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School clubs are basically similar to an organization or entity created by a group of school students supporting a certain cause or purpose. One can find a vast range of club with different activities in a school. Students can choose to join a music club, a group of writers or perhaps people campaigning for environmental protection. Each school club engages in various activities ranging from sports events, fundraising bake sales and even exposure trips.

How can club activities add meaning to your life?

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  1. Social interaction

Club activities can place one in close exposure to people sharing similar passions, providing great opportunities to talk to someone about one’s interests. The right kind of social interaction also allows one to grow not only as an emotionally strong person but an intellectual one as well. Psychologist Susan Pinker stated, “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.

 

Furthermore, participating in school club activities will allow one to make new friends and interact with like-minded people. This socializing is extremely important for realizing one is not alone in this world and there are others who also have alike beliefs. 

  1. Pursuing your passion

For someone who wants to join the basketball team or perhaps become an environmental lawyer, a school club can be a great place to start figuring out what one wants to do in life. It can also provide you with the opportunity of realizing your hobbies into something more worthwhile and productive. Organizing tree plantations or cleanliness campaigns can help you understand what you might experience in a certain field or career.

  1. Stepping into the real world

Most school students hear their parents and teachers tell them about how hard practical or real life is. School club activities are a great way to get a taste of their reality. As students or youngsters, one may not realize the complexity of the outside world and may even feel overwhelmed when exposed to it after student life ends. Hence, school clubs which operate in a fairly similar manner to small businesses, provide students a chance to test their aptitude and skills, as well as also figure out what they are best in doing. 

  1. Supporting a cause

Almost all school clubs have a designated goal that the members plan on achieving every year. Whether it is supporting the local basketball team or women’s rights, this cause can mean a lot to the members of the club; hence, mostly also being the reason for their membership. The club activities are also designed to support and ascend this aim further. Therefore, in most cases being part of these club activities can make one feel productive as well as valued.

  1. Healthy activity

Instead of wasting time on the internet binge-watching a random television series or perhaps engaging in dangerous behavior involving drug abuse and bullying, school clubs offer students a way of using their time learning new things. School club activities allow one to meet new people and question old ideas. It helps in building responsible individuals who have a sense of purpose and ambition in life. Plus, participation in school club activities also definitely looks good on their student profiles. 

 

 

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.”

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  • 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 

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  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.