STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS FROM CREATE YOUR OWN TOOLBOX TO MANAGE ACADEMIC ANXIETY WORKSHOP BY MCGILL OFFICE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SIGNS OF ANXIETY Physiological Cognitive •Increased heart rate •Sweating and dry mouth •Headaches •Nausea and dizziness •Negative self-talk •Restlessness •Inability to concentrate •Difficulty making decisions Emotional Behavioural •Mood swings •Fear •Anger •Worry •Anxiety •Tenseness •Loss of focus •Less coordinated movements •Fidgeting, nail biting •Increased smoking, drinking, binge eating Social •Social withdrawal •Avoidance of friends and family •Unusual irritability •Procrastination Identify your signs of anxiety! NEGATIVE SELF-TALK The way you talk to yourself about a situation greatly affects the way you feel and cope with it. Positive self-statements improve studying, test preparation & work on assignments. During tests, positive self-talk build confidence & decrease your test anxiety. SELF-TALK EXAMPLE Situation • Walk into room where anxietyprovoking event is to take place (ie. exam room) Negative SelfTalk • “Calm down and stop shaking! This is crazy. Stop it! What is wrong with you?” Positive Self-Talk • “Okay, so my hands are shaking. I’m tense so I need to relax for a moment. Take a deep breath and calm down.This won’t kill me; I’ll do the best that I can.” RELAXATION EXERCISES Muscle Relaxation 1. Clench your muscles in one specific body part (fists, shoulders, arms, lower back, legs, chest, fingers, face) 2. Concentrate on the tension 3. Breath slowly while releasing your muscle 4. Pay attention to the sensations that you feel while releasing the muscle and relaxing 5. Repeat for a different body part RELAXATION EXERCISES Deep Breathing 1. Count to three as you inhale slowly through your nose 2. Fill your stomach up with the air 3. Count to three as you hold your breath 4. Count to six as you exhale through your mouth RELAXATION EXERCISES Visualizations 1. Sit in a comfortable position, and choose a place or scenario that you are feeling anxious about (ie. writing an exam, doing an oral presentation, etc.)/calming scenario 2. Close your eyes, and construct a mental image of this specific scene 3. Move through the scene so that you can experience all of the sounds and smells that accompany it 4. Visualize yourself being successful and happy about what you are doing 5. When you are feeling more relaxed, open your eyes TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT STRESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: For more information, sign up for this workshop at http://www.mcgill.ca/osd/ References Diaz del Castillo, P. & Pantel, S. (2012). Play Hard Work Hard. [Powerpoint Presentation]. Diaz del Castillo, P. & Saxe, A. (2013). Testing Made Easy. [Powerpoint Presentation]. Wong, L. (2012). Essential study skills. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.