Continuing from part I, here are three more relaxation techniques that will help to relieve your student’s anxiety and concentrate better during tests, exams or even tutoring sessions.
- Visualization: Ask him to close his eyes and imagine that he is in a tranquil peaceful place of his choosing, such as a warm sandy beach or on top of a mountain. In a quiet voice, tell him to ‘stay’ in that spot for several seconds and then slowly return to the real world.
- Meditation: Close your eyes and concentrate on your ‘third eye’ – the spot in the middle of your forehead. Repeat a simple word or ‘mantra’ slowly over and over in your mind. Although you may let your thoughts wander briefly, always return to your mantra and continue to breathe deeply and slowly. Do this for a minute so until you feel relaxed.
- Body Scan: Close your eyes and concentrate on deep breathing. Then focus on your right foot and be aware of any sensations in that area, while also continuing to focus on your breathing. Then repeat this process while moving up your body, from your ankle to your knees, to your hips etc. Once you get to the top of your body, take a few breaths and then slowly open your eyes.
These techniques require practice. Assign a few minutes of each tutorial to them and assign them as homework. Once the student is comfortable with them, a very useful technique is to ‘mimic’ the situation that causes anxiety for your student. For example, if your student is anxious in tests, set a five minute ‘mock test’ that she will find challenging but not impossible – remind her that the purpose is to practice the anxiety strategies or she may be really upset and the effect will be lost.
The above techniques can be called on as needed throughout any anxious situation. The 2 or 3 minutes taken to do them will save time in the long run as well as ensuring comfort and confidence building.
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