Tag Archives: stress management

Test anxiety is truly an unruly beast, eager to sabotage us during our most important moments. Fortunately, all kinds of strategies work well at taming this beast. If you’ve ever struggled with maintaining peak performance in the face of stress, consider adding expressive writing to your arsenal. Expressive writing?! Gerardo Ramirez and Sian L. Beilock, researchers from the University of Chicago, unraveled an interesting knot of interactions: – Worries lead to poor test performance. – Expressive writing helps regulate worries. – Expressive writing should lead to better test performance. These researchers devised a series of tests to test their hypothesis that expressive writing benefits high-stakes test performance, especially for students who tend to worry in testing situations, by reducing rumination. They created a high-stakes math testing environment in their lab and amped up the pressure among subjects. Then, subjects spent 10 min either sitting quietly (control group) or writing as…

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Everyone knows that setting priorities is a necessary skill to manage stress, but deciding which priorities to tend to when everything feels important can bring more stress. Instead of succumbing to procrastination or anxiety, try these five steps to determine what really matters in your life in order to get the ball rolling now:   1. Make a list Write down every goal you want to accomplish. Think about long-term goals as well as short-term goals. Include goals from every aspect of life including education, work, family, and social goals. 2. Assess the value of each goal on your list This step requires an understanding of the big picture. Discern what is most valuable by thinking about the end result of each goal. Start with long-term goals first and rate each goal based on the value you associate with completing each goal. 3. Work backwards Start with the number one…

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For so many of us, test day comes as a relief. At last, we can complete that solemn task we worked weeks, perhaps even months, to master. But after the test, a different sort of stress creeps in. We are, for once, powerless to control out destinies. Instead, we must wait for our scores. How do you wait? Do you distract yourself in order to think of anything but those scores? Do you assume an air of calm, acknowledging that worrying won’t change a thing? Do you freak out and brood over all the worst-case scenarios?   We generally envy the cool customers, imagining that remaining unfazed by events beyond our control is the most adaptive stance to assume. Researchers from the University of California, Riverside discovered a more surprising connection between waiting and stress: “Participants who suffered through a waiting period marked by anxiety, rumination, and pessimism responded more…

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Tests are stressful, right? Complicated high-stakes tests can certainly be stressful, in the way that any influential moments in our lives demanding peak performance can be stressful. Unfortunately, anxiety impedes performance, which means many people freak out at exactly the moment they should remain calm and in control. What should you do when test anxiety strikes? First, consider objectively how ready you are for the task at hand. Find comfort in the fact that you prepared for the test you are taking. If you didn’t prepare, on the other hand, you have every reason to be nervous! Next, consider your options for stress relief. Some find solace in writing out their anxieties or adopting a power pose. Just knowing a variety of sophisticated ways to combat anxiety can alleviate it, but don’t overlook one of the most basic strategies: breathing. How is breathing linked to stress? Anxiety, according to Healthline,…

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High school students are busier than ever these days, and downtime is infrequent. Test prep tutors often struggle to fit tutoring in around a student’s packed activity schedule. The time pressure of a tight schedule can be productive; students learn to juggle calendars and deadlines, and let’s admit that a bit of a kick in the butt can motivate anyone to action. But when does it all get to be too much? Then, according to blogger Kieran Tie, burnout occurs: “Burnout is a cunning thief. It feeds on your passion, your energy, and your enthusiasm, taking these positive qualities and turning them into exhaustion, frustration, and self-doubt. It’s way more than just having a bad day, or being tired and worn out.” Tie identifies the factors which can lead to burnout in the workplace. But we can readily agree that these factors, including lack of control over our environment, unfair…

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Meet Rory, a bright, motivated high school junior who can definitely see himself as a doctor (or lawyer or professor or CEO…) someday. Rory, a three-sport athlete and AP student, has made the most of his school experience so far in an effort to present as an outstanding applicant to any college. Aware of the considerable benefits of prepping for the SAT & ACT early in junior year, Rory and his family begin tutoring in September with an eye on the December exams… Junior year these days demands far more of teenagers than most adults realize. Ambitious students don’t just take on advanced classes but also juggle a slew of activities in which they must show commitment, leadership, and excellence. Extracurriculars can be particularly stressful during pressure points in a season, especially when coaches demand absolute acquiescence to uncertain practice schedules. While Rory was excited about preparing for the SAT…

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