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Is Anxiety In Students Good Or Bad?

Anokye-Mensah, Daniel | 25th January, 2016 Back to Blog

Everybody has some level of anxiety when faced with an abrupt predicament; for instance, if one loses a loved one or encounters any kind of trouble. Anxiety can make one focused, however, when anxiety becomes part and parcel of an individual then something must be done to curtail it. The reason is that it drains the person in terms of good health, hope, and confidence among others. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to manage anxiety. People incapable of controlling anxiety require a considerable amount of attention and assistance. Owing to the fact that anxiety could be experienced through the changing scenes of life, students are bound to face it. If a student is battling with anxiety, conscious effort must be made to liberate him or her considering the repercussions.

One of the negative outcomes of anxiety on students is poor academic performance. Anxious students often think of the difficulties they have to deal with more than focusing on what is taught to them in class. They may be quiet during a lecture but have absolutely different thoughts running through their minds. At the end of the day, they grasp little or nothing from lectures, and the only time they may resume focusing on lectures is when a question is thrown to them by the lecturer. Sometimes they also find it difficult to interact with classmates during group assignments or projects. Again, anxious students easily forget what they have learnt. Sometimes they stay out of school; consequently absenteeism makes it difficult for them to acquire knowledge. Since they are not able to capture lessons treated in class, they end up scoring low marks in interim assessments and examinations.

Furthermore, anxiety in students leads to poor or no socialization. The more people one gets to know, the better the chances are of receiving assistance or learning from them. For instance if two students got to know each other at school and one of them became a medical doctor, and the other a civil engineer, the doctor could freely or easily seek information or assistance from the engineer about any building construction project whereas the engineer seeks assistance from the doctor about issues related to health and medicine.

Moreover, anxiety in students could result in poor health. Anxious students devote a lot of their time thinking unnecessarily about challenges they face. Due to the cultivated thinking habit, they sometimes don’t eat enough food and this could result in malnutrition. Also, too much worry could result in increased blood pressure and headache, among others.

In addition, anxiety leads to the lack of confidence. Anxious students fear to participate in events held at school. Even when they are selected by teachers to partake in activities, they begin to think it is meant to embarrass them as they may not be able to perform as expected. More so, they react to sudden occurrences such as unexpected noise from vehicles, appearance of insects, animals and darkness. Also, they often have in mind that something bad might happen to them especially when left alone.

Again, anxious students are easily infuriated. When they make mistakes and are corrected in the presence of their mates, they feel embarrassed and become irritated.

How can anxious students overcome unease?

Once a problem is identified, it’s easier to resolve it. Naturally, Children feel safe when they are with adults, especially parents. It is therefore significant for adults to behave in a way that encourages the reduction of anxiety in students. Since anxiety is an emotional condition, it is relevant for adults to ensure they observe children recurrently to fish out any unusual behavior.

One way through which anxiety could be restrained is by appreciating students when they do well in any activity or complete a task given them. According to William James, an American philosopher, “The deepest principle in human nature is craving to be appreciated”. When students are awarded for successfully completing a task given them or achieving a set goal, it builds their confidence, courage, enhances their image and self esteem. These qualities make anxious students do better academically and believe more in their abilities and capabilities. Showing appreciation to anxious students makes them feel fulfilled and balanced to mingle with classmates for socialization. They free their minds from any worry, fear and uncertainty. With free minds they sleep well and this goes a long way to make them happier and healthier.

Another means through which anxiety in students could be curbed is through appropriate correction when they err. Dressing-down or shattering anxious students to correct them puts fear in them and makes them not want to participate in any class activity. Parents and teachers must endeavor to correct anxious students via suitable means such as talking to them with a soft voice expressing dissatisfaction about their ill-behavior or poor performance. Also, counseling sessions could be arranged for them.

Furthermore, anxiety in students could be curbed via encouragements. Encouragement could be in the form of advice, gifts, sharing their pain or allowing them to express themselves. “Advice is like snow- the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge). When students fail in attempting to complete a task or even in examination, teachers and parents must tell them not to give up, but try harder next time. According to Henri Nouwen, when we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we find that it is the one who instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, has chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm tender hand. In addition, buying gifts for anxious students makes them feel happy, and improve their academic performance. Also, when anxious students are given freedom to express themselves, it boosts up their confidence and determination to improve academically.

In a nut shell, anxiety is a natural condition through which the human body reacts to danger, threats, pressure and stress. Though anxiety can sometimes enables a person stay to attentive or encourage one to resolve pressing tribulations, it causes havoc to individuals when it becomes an inseparable part of them. Students are future leaders; therefore extensive effort must be made to be free any who are constantly anxious.