7 ways to help kids reframe anxiety & reclaim superpowers during exams

Kanchan Rai – Kanchan Rai, Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Coach, Founder – Let Us Talk

Stress can sneak up on us at any time, but what we may not know about our anxiety is that it’s not all that bad. In fact, at most intervals we might experience Eustress, or positive way of feeling restless, just as we do undergo negative anxiety. This is a specific type of uneasiness which psychologically is referred to as short-term stress that motivates you. This particular state of mind causes a chemical response in the body that pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone in an optimistic way. All children are born with superpowers, one of which is resilience. This is the ability to keep going in spite of the odds. For students, events like examination come tagged along with the pressure of academically outperforming than their peers, thus causing tension. A traumatic situation in itself comes with some ‘superpowers’ depending on how you look at it. Hence parents must embolden kids to look at the benefits of their empathic capabilities.

Below mentioned are seven ways to facilitate kids in reframing their anxiety and reclaiming their superpowers during exams:

Encourage kids to make friends with their worry

Every worry must not be equated with negative feelings. Worry sometimes tends to have a purpose which may be good for you. Whenever children are unable to take in a situation that can be hard to wrap, they can transform the stress into a concrete experience by creating a character and personifying with it. Like for example by giving a name and persona to a disliked mathematic chapter kids can start a friendship and characterize with this piece of themselves.

Aid them in assessing risk

When a child feels stressed, the feeling tends to subdue the part of their brain that thinks logically about risk. Instead of distressing about ‘what-if’ it is suggested that a ‘best case-worst case’ scenario exercise can help a child to measure risk. They must be motivated to write out the best and worst thing that can happen in a certain situation and the most likely consequence.

Inspire them to be mindful

Kids must be encouraged to make note of the thoughts that pass through their minds and alongside must be guided to identify the choice to accept the thought or not. Once the child realizes that a thought does not have power over them, they automatically become capable of deciding which thoughts they choose to react to.

Aid them to reframe their thoughts

Helping children to reframe their struggles will surely help in this direction. They must be taught to fluctuate the narrative, from ‘what is wrong with me’ into a celebration of what they actually are. For example, if a child has been feeling that he or she tends to overthink, by brushing up their reframing skills, your child can change this perspective.  They can change this opinion to ‘I do not overthink instead I’m just over-creative’. Reframing facilitates children to appreciate the potential of what they already are.

Teaching kids to re-discover their ‘flow’

Most of us are familiar with the idea of flow being in the zone, when the challenge that you are facing is a perfect counterpart for your abilities. Parents must identify this state in their kids. It could be when their child is playing video games, or is preparing for an examination. Parents must look at the components putting the child in flow and witness if they can reconstruct some of those aspects in other parts of their lives.

Instill in them a growth mind-set

Promoting a growth mind-set will help kids to believe that their abilities and skills are fluid instead of being static. Kids must be encouraged to take small chances without equating their efforts with failure.

Boost them to listen to their inner voice

Our inner voice is accountable to guide our actions. There is a lot of research about the heart, having its own brain. Hence kids must think about the values vital to them. Once they understand this, they must start reconnecting the same with their inner voice.

Since anxiety can benefit the mind and body, kids must use these insights to reframe stress when it creeps in the next time.

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