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Relaxation Techniques for Better Learning: Part I

A great many students suffer from anxiety. This anxiety can range from mild to almost completely debilitating.  Students may be anxious about a certain subject, a particular teacher, appearing ‘stupid’ in front of peers, or writing tests and exams.

Many of The Wealthy Tutor’s learning strategies and work habit strategies will help alleviate such anxiety. Here are a few examples:

  • Talking Aloud with the tutor who is a ‘safe’ person to trust will promote risk taking and a willingness to try.
  • Learning that it is OK to Be Wrong will begin with the tutor and transfer to the classroom.
  • Positive Self-Talk is crucial for building confidence.

Relaxation Techniques are also powerful tools for fighting anxiety. The tutor is in a unique position of trust and can help the student learn some of the following relaxation strategies. All of the following are quiet and inconspicuous so that a student will not be embarrassed when using them. They may also benefit from being told that top Olympic athletes are taught these same techniques.

  • Deep breathing: Instruct the student to suck in a deep breath of air from his diaphragm in the pit of his stomach. He should hold his breath for a few seconds and then slowly exhale. He should repeat this 4 or 5 times.  Practice with him so that you can model the approach.
  • Muscle tightening and loosening: Ask the student to clench her left fist as tightly as possible, hold it for a couple of seconds and then completely relax it. Repeat this procedure with the right fist, then the left arm and the right arm, then the left leg and the right leg and then the back and neck region.

Don’t forget to tune in next week for more about relaxation techniques!


For more information about starting a tutoring business consult:

The Wealthy Tutor

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