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Dealing with Anxiety: It’s Not About Your Self-Confidence

    Last week I led a workshop for 國三students on how to deal with test anxiety. From a counseling perspective, effectively handling test anxiety consists of identifying triggers and training the body and mind to respond to them.  Thus, I asked students to name the negative thoughts, feelings, and physical responses that occurred when they sat down to take an important test.  Students reported feeling nervous and worried with their body sometimes feeling too hot or too cold, their hearts racing, and the urge to pick at their fingernails.  They mentioned negative thoughts such as “Other students are smarter or faster than me,”  “What if I fail?” and “I just want to be done with the test and do other things.”  All of these triggers work together to flood the body and brain so that students freeze, forget what they studied, or even sometimes give up.