Teaching students skills to manage anxiety and challenge negative thinking helps them become better learners.
The clinically-proven techniques in the Anxiety Solutions cards have been deliberately selected by consulting psychologist and clinical nutritionist, Selina Byrne (author of the cards) for their capacity to retrain the brain and challenge habitual responses to stress.
All of the activities have been designed to be able to be done by anyone, anywhere, without supervision. The aim is to provide students with a range of techniques to manage anxiety in any area of their lives.
Here are several examples of the different cards included in the pack.
1. Check Your Story
This card draws on cognitive therapy (CBT) and narrative therapy.
It is based on the idea that we need to constantly examine the story we are telling ourselves about everything, but even more so when we are not feeling good.
A key skill of optimism is learning to challenge unhelpful narratives by reframing them. Evidence suggests that writing down our thoughts helps us catch, analyses and reframe them much more effectively than merely doing it in our mind.
2. Power Stance
This strategy is taken from positive psychology. Physiology is one of the key drivers of emotional state.
Movement draws on the interplay of body and mind and is used regularly in sport psychology and peak performance coaching.
By adding the verbal repetition of the word ‘Yes!’ we build a psychological state of confidence and positivity. A great activity when your students need a lift.
3. Tapping Fingers
Switching to the numeracy part of the brain can take us into a rational mode, a place where things are more systematic and predictable.
Linking numbers to our fingers makes it even more systematic, a clear and engaging task for body and brain. Taking ourselves out of the emotional arena and using our numeracy mind to control finger movement is something of a challenge and a task like this can fully occupy our consciousness.
Useful for sleep reparation, mindfulness, distraction and anytime you need to stop thinking about something by using a replacement task.