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Tactics for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Table of Contents

It is likely that some of the following suggestions will make a real difference for you. Select and practise those that fit your needs. Note that the items are not mutually exclusive.

Anticipatory Planning

Goals and priorities - Set realistic goals, long- and short-term, that make for survival and achievement, and development as a person; set goal-related priorities for the day and week.

  • Maintenance - Make provisions for your maintenance needs, of relaxation and sleep, of exercise, of adequate nutrition, of family and social life.
  • Large tasks - Divide overwhelming tasks into manageable chunks and see the chunks as steps on the progress road to achievement.
  • Success goals - Underset your daily task-goals to ensure completion and success, and so experience progress and achievement.
  • Corrected practice - Use correction and feedback to put together the final outline, case notes, or essay.
  • Breaks - Plan to take periodic breaks to let things sink in, to recover and refresh, to reward a success-step.
  • Rewards - Plan to reward and refresh yourself once a week or so with a special activity or occasion.

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Time Management

Self-Monitoring - Monitor your use of time by the hour for a week or so, analyse it in terms of the above items.

  • Scheduling - Schedule task-goals so that they serve your larger goals and are achievable in the time and circumstances.
  • Breaks and rewards - Build into your schedule time for breaks and rewards.
  • Reviews - Provide for regular and periodic review time.
  • Maintenance - Provide time for exercise, relaxation, sleep, and meals.

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Methods for Reducing Anxiety

Self-Assertion - Do a realistic review of the situation, and decide on a course of action and carry it out; assert yourself, take charge of your life.

  • Sleep habits - Cultivate methods that enable you to get enough good sleep - wind down first and do not read "law" in bed.
  • Exercise - Get a regular period of vigorous exercise, and then use exercise to drain off tension.
  • Relaxation - Learn physical and mental relaxation, then notice when you are anxious and tense, and relax.
  • Quiet time - Cultivate and then use a "quiet time" to review your situation, to compose yourself, and to prepare for a project or situation for the day.
  • Friends - Talk to one or two friends a day, for support and encouragement, to renew your self-confidence and morale.
  • Consultation - Help yourself by seeking consultation with peers, instructors, or professional counsellors.

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Positive Thinking

Facing anxiety - Better to acknowledge your anxiety rather than hide and choke it back; it is normal and it may be the basis for motivation and problem-solving; do something about excesses, and then go on with your tasks and life.

  • Success reviews - Review your accomplishments and your positive qualities, savour them and build up your self-confidence; you've taken hurdles before and you will give this one your best.
  • Thought control - When you get down and brood, shout "stop" to yourself, relax with "calm", and switch into a task or positive activity.
  • Positive imagery - Cultivate and collect positive images of success situations and peaceful and relaxing settings, and use these to allay anxiety.
  • Success steps - Focus on small achievable tasks and see them as "success steps."
  • Self-reinforcement - Congratulate yourself and give yourself a reward for success steps and keeping on track.
  • Self-acceptance - You really are pretty good, not perfect but who is? You are your own person, you are OK.
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