Feeling Stressed or Anxious? This One's for You.
Whether we're preoccupied thinking about that one thing we said weirdly, the big pitch meeting coming up, or having to confront an issue, we all experience stress and anxiety pretty regularly. We all can get so into our heads about the small and big things in life. If we're unable to navigate and cope, these feelings can get the best of us and can compromise our ability to perform well.
What Stree & Anxiety Looks Like:
Symptoms vary from person to person. The effects can be physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral.
Physical symptoms: sweating, shaking, increased heart rate, dry mouth, nausea, "butterflies"
Behavioral & cognitive symptoms: fidgeting, negative self-talk, blanking
Emotional symptoms: feelings of anger, helplessness, hopelessness, fear, disappointment
It's important to note that some stress and anxiety can be a good thing. It can actually help push us to step up to the plate and adapt to different situations. It's when the anxiety becomes overwhelming that it negatively affects our focus and overall performance.
What Causes Stress & Anxiety:
Although the reasons for both are vastly different for everyone, most reasons can fall into one of three categories, to some degree.
Having a history of performing poorly in similar situations
Being/feeling afraid of failure
Conquering Stress & Anxiety:
Prepare yourself: Get in the habit of long-term thinking. The more you take small steps to prepare for life events or the unknown, the less affected you'll feel when it peaks.
Stop the negative self-talk: This is easier said than done, but the next time you start feeling anxious, replace those thoughts with positive ones.
Get enough sleep: The night before your test, go to bed at a reasonable hour so you don't feel groggy when you wake up.
Take deep breaths: Think is something you can do in the moment. Taking deep breaths will help you stay calm and give you the ability to refocus.
Don't focus on perfection: Making mistakes is okay--it's how you learn. No one is really perfect. What matters, in the end, is how hard you worked and if you've improved.