School performance anxiety is very real and stressful for teens and college-age students. From keeping up a social life to taking care of your physical and mental health, it might not feel like there’s enough time in the day to do everything. You already have a lot on your plate. On top of that, if you’re worried about doing well in school, you could be adding even more stress and pressure on yourself, which leads to anxiety.
It’s never a bad thing to want to do your best, especially in the classroom. But performance anxiety can actually hinder your efforts more than help. Let’s take a look at a few tips you can use to combat school performance anxiety while focusing on staying calm and reducing stress.
1. Create a Study System
You’re less likely to experience performance anxiety over a test or even being called on in the classroom if you practice consistent studying. The more prepared you are every day, the less pressure you’ll feel. To do that, it’s important to create a study system and a routine that works for you. That might include studying material for 20-30 minutes each morning while you’re having breakfast or before bed each night. Having a system in place will keep you from “cramming” information and will reduce anxiety while building your confidence.
2. Learn How to Relax
If anxiety is starting to impact your everyday life, learning some relaxation techniques can make it easier to manage your symptoms. Mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help you feel re-centered and less anxious. Different techniques work better for some than others. Don’t be afraid to try different things to see what best fits your needs.
3. Practice Self-Care
Taking care of yourself has a bigger impact on your anxiety than you might think. Eating properly, staying hydrated, prioritizing sleep, and exercising can all have a positive influence on your life while helping to reduce your anxiety. You might put those basic self-care practices on the back burner if you have school performance anxiety. But replacing them with long study hours and a poor diet will only make you more stressed and less focused.
4. Talk to Your Teacher
If performance anxiety has already started to affect your schoolwork, don’t hesitate to talk to your teacher or professor about it. Be transparent and honest, and explain what you’re feeling. Most educators are happy to work with you to come up with solutions that will work. They want you to succeed, so keep communication open.
5. Expect Success
One of the best ways to continuously combat performance anxiety is to change your perspective. Anxiety tends to come with negative, intrusive thoughts. Your anxiety might try to convince you that you’ll fail or deliver a subpar performance on a test or presentation. Instead of listening to those negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones. Tell yourself you’re going to succeed. Recite some positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths and how much you know. The stronger you become, the weaker those negative voices will be.
Dealing with school performance anxiety can be crippling. But it doesn’t have to ruin your high school or college experience. Getting to the root cause of your anxiety and learning more skills to combat your symptoms will make a big difference. If you still struggle after using these tips, consider reaching out for help.
Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment for therapy for teens if you’re not sure how to overcome this type of anxiety on your own. Together, we’ll work on strategies to make your experience less stressful so that you can feel more confident about every test, presentation, and everything in between.