Anxiety or is a fear which occurs in response to an event, it is not the event itself however, it is the emotion that we confer on it. Anxiety is an emotion like other emotions: anger, sadness and joy. Like other emotions, anxiety will pass.
Anxiety is best managed by introducing coping strategies which in turn develop resilience or / reduce stressors. Generally a combination of both is used.
Useful practical tools for anxiety management:
Each person has 60,000 thought per day. Some of these thought are going to be anxiety provoking.
1. Do a body scan to find out where the anxiety is stored. How does anxiety manifest itself in one’s behaviour in one’s emotions, one’s thoughts and how one thinks about oneself.
2. Have a wellness toolkit with 5 things in it. E.g. sleep, food, water, exercise, music (this will vary from person to person).
3. Contain the anxiety: Time it, Box it, and Fix it.
4. Practise kindness, compassion and gratitude towards self. These have the effect of reducing the potency of the anxiety.
5. Keep a journal, write in it every day.
6. We tend to have a negative bias, so we need to counter our anxiety with 3 positive thoughts.
7. Fostering a growth Mindset. Developing a growth mindset enables a student to develop a ‘bounce ability factor’ and increased self efficacy which leads to resilience.
Below is a list of Irish School based programmes for the development of coping strategies and resilience:
1. BiBo: A social and emotional based programme, to increase personal responsibility and resilience.
2. Friends programme: A social and emotional based programme to bring about resilience.
3. Working Things Out: A parents plus programme. This is designed to increase self efficacy and emotional regulation.
4. PERMA: A programme designed to increase self esteem, positive thinking and increased coping strategies.
5. B. Mindfulness: A programme designed to Increase self awareness, increase emotional management and coping mechanisms.
6. Mental Health Matters: A psycho-educational programme on positive Mental Health. (Currently being reviewed).