Overcoming the Powerlizing Power of Worry Anxiety From a Christian Approach

The way to overcome the paralyzing power of human anxiety is to replace it with the powerful promises of God’s peace. When we experience anxiety and worry, we feel unconfident and insecure about our inabilities. In contrast, when we experience peace, we feel confident and secure in God’s abilities. Truly, when we feel anxious and worried, peace cannot be found. When we feel at peace, worry and anxiety disappear. Furthermore, a Christian definition of anxiety is the loss of confident security in God, resulting in fearful feelings of uneasiness that something hurtful or bad will happen to us. When we feel anxious and worried, we fear not having the resources to cope with perceived threats to our sense of wellbeing.

We must remember anxiety and worry are thieves, robbing us of peace, serenity, sense of security, and confidence in God’s promises as revealed in the Bible. Worry and anxiety are symptoms of unbelief. They discount the promises God makes to us about sustaining us daily with His endless grace. Jesus believes so strongly about living our lives without anxiety and worry that He commands us not to do so. Jesus commands, do not be anxious for your life (Matthew 6:25 (NASB) or don’t worry about everyday life (Matthew 6:25 NLT). The reason Jesus commands this is because God is aware of our daily needs and issues. God promises to sustain us each day as He guarantees, saying Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him (Lamentations 3:22-24 HCSB). No doubt, I confess to be the poster child at times for worry and anxiety. But God, in His sustaining grace, provides for our unbelief. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to present God’s tailor-made, powerful promises for overcoming the problem of eight common worry anxieties.

The first problem is worry anxiety about uselessness. Sometimes we feel what we do for God does not matter. We feel like our work and service to Him is useless. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming the anxiety of uselessness where He guarantees, So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT). Confidently, God promises our toil for Him is useful.

The second problem is worry anxiety about feeling weak. We all have weaknesses. They may manifest as physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety where Jesus promises the apostle Paul, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” [Paul responds] So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Assuringly, Jesus promises to supply His power in our weakness.

The third problem is worry anxiety about difficult decisions. Life is full of daily decisions resulting in healthy or unhealthy consequences. As sinners, we make unhealthy decisions and may fear making a wrong decision. God provides power to assist us in the decision-making process. One promise is in Psalm 32:8 (NASB) where God promises, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Another promise is in Psalm 25:8-9 (NLT) saying, The LORD is good and does what is right, teaching them his way. He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way. Comfortingly, when we are teachable, God instructs us in making healthy decisions.

The fourth problem is worry anxiety about facing opponents. As Christians, we face opposition from the world. These opponents may be worldly people, worldly principles, or worldly powers. But God provides a powerful promise to overcome this anxiety in Romans 8:31-32 (NASB) guaranteeing, If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Convincingly, God provides power for facing opponents to His plan and purpose for our lives.

The fifth problem is worry anxiety about afflictions. We face afflictions and problems daily. But God provides powerful promises for overcoming afflictions. One promise is in Psalm 34:19 (NASB) where God assures that Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all. Read also the promises in Romans 5:3-5.

The sixth problem is worry anxiety about aging. We may worry about God’s care for us as we age. But God promises to overcome anxiety about aging in Isaiah 46:3-4 (NLT) saying, I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Confidently, God carries us all the way home.

The seventh problem is anxiety about not persevering to the end in faith or questioning at times whether or not we are Christians. God reassures us in Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) saying, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. What a prescription for peace! God’s faithfulness causes us to persevere to the end! Read also Philippians 1:6 and Jeremiah 32:40.

The eighth problem is anxiety about death. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety in Romans 14:7-9 (NASB) guaranteeing, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. With the confidence of being eternally secure in God’s hands, we need not fear death’s doorway.

In conclusion, God provides powerful promises for overcoming anxiety and worry. We need to practice preaching these tailor-made promises to ourselves. Doing so will not only eliminate current worry anxiety for today but will prevent worrying about God providing for our lives tomorrow. Amen and amen.

3 Ways to Calm Networking Anxiety

One of the best ways to be a great networker is to have confidence. Confidence takes on many forms including professionalism, a strong brand, consistency and a genuine desire to build relationships. But in order to be more confident, it is important to get rid of the anxiety that is sometime accompanied with networking.

Listed below are three helpful tips for reducing anxiety and being more confident at your next event.

Be Prepared

Do not leave your networking to chance. Take the necessary time to prepare for your events. Preparation can involve practicing your elevator pitch, drafting a few conversation questions or staying updated on current or industry events. Anticipate the individuals you hope to meet and plan accordingly.

Be Network Minded

If you feel too intimidated to attend events alone, reach out to people in your networks. Invite your friends, co-workers or colleagues as your guest. Ask to attend events that they are attending. Reach out to the organizer or host of the association through social media and make pre-networking connections. Use this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and be more social and engaging. Taking the first step and initiating a connection is definitely a sign of confidence.

Be Focused

Before the event, write down a few goals that you hope to achieve by going to the event. How many people do you plan to meet and build relationships? How can you give back or pay it forward? How do you want to promote your brand, product, service or initiative? How can you learn from others and share resources or information?

Use these tips and practical methods to reduce anxiety and focus on productive networking. Being able to be prepared, build your networks and focus on your goal leads to professional and career success.

Anxiety Treatment Options

It is not a piece of cake to go through a day full of anxious thoughts of practically everything one can imagine himself to go through. It is not only difficult but also delimiting.

Anxiety is a chronic condition that is focused on worrying about things with no specific or actual causes at all. This explains why people with anxiety disorders experience constant anxiety without knowing what provokes feelings like restlessness and nervousness to arise. Thus, even when they have realized that they should not be anxious, they still could not control the sensations.

People with anxiety disorders are subjected to feelings of looming gloom. However, help could be found. There are varieties of anxiety treatment options available to help release the person from his fears. You must be reminded though that not all anxiety treatments would work for you. Also, the treatment that helped the other person would not necessarily help you as well.

Medications

Medications are not designed to cure anxiety disorders. These are often taken simultaneously with other forms of treatment options such as psychotherapy so as to relive symptoms.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy

Basically, psychotherapy helps the person deal with his condition through counselling that targets problems related with anxiety. Mental health professionals such as social workers, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists can best deliver services under psychotherapy.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs)

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines is a group of health and medical practices, procedures, methods and products that have diverse roots. The basic reason why methodologies under this group are considered as complimentary and alternative is that they are not yet taken into conventional medicine. However, this does not negate the fact that they work very well for some patients and could induce the healing process. Often, procedures in this group are backed with scientific research. The key matters are still questionable though.

A number of medical doctors are known to practice this kind of medicine combined with conventional medicine.

Acupuncture, for example, is a type of alternative medicine that is largely employed to cure a number of disorders that are often associated with behavioural and psychological difficulties. This method uses needles that are inserted on pressure points that are known to be the seat of life energy or qi. The general idea of this method is to seek the balance of life energies to achieve health.

Since this method encourages relaxation and has calming effects, patients of anxiety disorders are advised to take them.

Another method that induces relaxation is massage therapy. Obviously, this could not penetrate directly into the core of the problem. But this is efficient in delivering the person away from his anxiety provoking thoughts.

Meditation, on the other hand, involves a rhythmic breathing, comfortable sitting position and calming of the mind. Thus, it helps the patient seek rest from his mind-bothering thoughts that could build up towards anxiety.

Anxiety is fear and stress combined. The key element to alleviating the psychological state of the person with anxiety disorder is to remove these two. Breathing and rest is vital in any form of releasing stress. Thus, any treatment that creates condition with the least stress and fear would be helpful in treating anxiety.

Because of the benefits of both practices, the trend in medicine slopes toward integrated medicine. This means that both complimentary and alternative practices can be added to conventional medicine to promote maximized effects.

What Your Anxiety May Be Trying To Tell You – And Why It’s Important To Listen

Is Your Anxiety Trying To Tell You Something Important?

What if anxiety is not always just a symptom to be treated, but a ‘health-seeking signal’ inviting us to reconnect with the truest parts of ourselves that have been neglected or repressed? Below is a recent example from my work as a licensed Psychotherapist illustrating how anxiety at times acts as an important messenger inviting us to heal psycho-emotional wounds sustained in childhood and adolescence, if only we are able and willing to tune in and listen.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is commonly believed to be an automatic, ‘built-in’ response to perceived threats, and is often referred to as our ‘fight-or-flight arousal’, or ‘fight or flight response’ as a species. Therefore, it stands to reason that children who grew up in chaotic, possibly traumatic home environments where their fight or flight (arousal) response was frequently activated are susceptible to developing various kinds of anxiety disorders even prior to the onset of adulthood. Hence, it is a concern that physicians and psychiatrists whose patients report anxiety that is interfering with their daily functioning and quality of life typically prescribe anti-anxiety medication, but do not always recommend that their patient also consider seeing a qualified Mental Health professional so as to explore the possible root cause(s) of the anxiety, such as early childhood trauma that has been unknowingly repressed (the focus of this article), as well as identify possible additional or alternative (i.e., non-prescription) treatments.

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

Although anxiety can take on many forms, the below are signs and symptoms commonly associated with this behavioral health disorder:

  • Excessive Worry
  • Irritability
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Poor Concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Tension
  • Fatigue

Psychotherapy As A Means Of Successfully Treating Chronic Anxiety

What if anxiety was not always something to be avoided and/or medicated away, but was instead something it would benefit us to be curious about? One way that I invite my clients to explore this possibility is to ask them to tune into their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations the next time they notice they are feeling anxious. What is happening right then in the moment? Was there a possible ‘trigger’ initiating the anxiety? As the following Case Study illustrates, this simple exercise alone can provide invaluable information regarding what anxiety ‘signals’ might be trying to convey.

A Case Study Addressing Anxiety

I once had a client (whom I will call ‘Jeremy – not his actual name) share with me in session that he had recently felt extreme anxiety when he entered a hotel lobby on a business trip. He attributed this to what he thought was the ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder’ (GAD) he had been diagnosed with by a psychiatrist years before, prior to beginning his psychotherapeutic work with me. I suggested early on in therapy that he begin keeping an ‘Awareness Journal’ and to write in this journal whenever he experienced particularly strong symptoms of anxiety. During one such onset of extreme symptoms that occurred during a business trip, Jeremy realized while writing in his journal that he had begun experiencing anxiety symptoms when he saw a certain type of old-fashioned couch in the hotel lobby he had just walked into. Upon further reflection in his Awareness Journal, Jeremy suddenly realized that the retro-style couch looked nearly identical in style and in color to a couch that was in the living room of the home he had lived in as a child. Needless to say, this gave us much to explore in this and future sessions as he began to remember and share traumatic events from childhood that up until then he had unknowingly repressed.

Over time, the chronic, ‘generalized’ anxiety Jeremy had been suffering from for years receded as he continued to work diligently in psychotherapy to reconnect with the wounded, ‘lost’ parts of himself he had disconnected from during childhood while growing up in a chaotic, unpredictable, alcoholic family system. He eventually chose to stop taking his anti-anxiety medication under the supervision of a physician and is able to self-manage his anxiety symptoms via deep breathing exercises and Mindfulness Meditation practices he learned during therapy, along with Somatic-Psychology techniques (for more information on the use and efficacy of Somatic-Psychology in the treatment and healing of trauma refer toBessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma). Jeremy also continues to self-reflect in his Awareness Journal, which has become a critical aspect of his ongoing psycho-emotional healing and growth. (Note: Details of specific client cases have been changed to protect privacy).

Anxiety and Psychotropic Medication

While taking anti-anxiety medication to minimize anxiety symptoms is a personal choice, and in some cases is medically advisable, there are other effective interventions that a person suffering from anxiety can pursue, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; keeping an Awareness Journal as part of ongoing Psychotherapeutic-based Intrapsychic / Family Systems work (as discussed in the above Case Study); engaging in deep breathing exercises; yoga; daily physical exercise; and homeopathic remedies as prescribed by a Naturopathic doctor.

Recent research also confirms that Mindfulness Meditation can be highly effective in addressing anxiety symptoms. Mindfulness is a practice that involves being fully engaged in whatever is going on around you. “It is simply the act of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing, as you experience it”, explains Kate Hanley, author of A Year of Daily Calm: A Guided Journal for Creating Tranquility Every Day. “By choosing to turn your attention away from the everyday chatter of the mind and on to what your body is doing, you give the mind just enough to focus on that it can quiet down.” In 2013 researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center published a study that confirmed that Mindfulness Meditation reduces anxiety at a neural level.

Working Mindfully With Anxiety

As the above brief discussion illustrates, there may be far more to anxiety than meets the eye. While it is understandable why anyone experiencing anxiety would want relief from these extremely uncomfortable symptoms, it may be that the symptoms themselves are pointing to possible solutions to those who are willing to explore their anxiety via mindfully cultivating an attitude of acceptance, curiosity, and patience. Journaling, painting, and other forms of creative expression, as well as psychotherapy and/or sharing in a support group, may offer a means of discovering the wisdom that anxiety has to offer.

A special note of caution: It is recommended that a person experiencing frequent anxiety symptoms get a complete physical to rule out disorders like Graves (Thyroid) Disease, and other medical conditions that can cause extreme and/or chronic anxiety symptoms.

8 Things That Create Public Restroom Anxiety

Did you know that toilet or restroom phobias are more common than we think? Clinicians classify these phobias as anxiety disorders and a form of social phobias.

After taking an unofficial poll from random individuals regarding their thoughts about public restrooms this question was asked, “Can you name one of your biggest pet peeves when using public restrooms?” Interestingly, before they answered the question, simultaneously a strange and sudden snarl of the lip along with a look of disgust appeared.

Germaphobia is one of the conditions that heighten restroom anxiety especially when patrons are dining in a popular eating establishment. The following pet peeves are, but not limited to the overall concern patrons have with public restrooms, whether it’s in a department store, movie theater, sports stadium, office building or interstate rest area.

1. Foul odor

2. Empty toilet paper dispenser

3. Empty soap dispenser

4. Wads of paper on the floor

5. Empty paper towel dispenser

6. Overflowing waste baskets

7. Filthy toilets and urinals

8. Dirty floors and discolored build up on tile grout

If any of these answers sound remotely familiar to you, guess what? You are not alone. One often wonders about the type of hygienic habits many individuals practice at home when they do not respectfully use public bathrooms as we expect them to or have the common courtesy to avoid leaving a repulsive mess afterward. People should not simply assume that someone else is paid to clean up their mess that looks like a crime scene when they are done.

Fear and anxiety resulting in such phobias work on the mind and sends signals where the imagination envisions invisible germ monsters permeating through the air, creeping from the pores, cracks, and crevices in walls, floors, vents, toilets, and door handles. Such anxiety disorders can mimic traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or agoraphobia.

Parcopresis is a type of phobia where sufferers fear sitting down on toilets or being confined to the tightly enclosed space of the bathroom stall, with the inability to defecate in public toilets. Paruresis is a disorder affecting individuals who are unable to urinate regardless of how much discomfort they may be in.

Such symptoms can be stressful and crippling, but there are treatments for these disorders such as hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Business establishments have an obligation to provide and maintain clean restroom hygiene which is a direct reflection on their overall customer service ethic.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects Of SSRI Drugs Used For Treatment Of Depression And Anxiety Disorders

The term ‘SSRI’ is abbreviation for ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’. It is a family of drugs used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. They are safer than most other anti-depressants because they act selectively on the brain’s ability to use serotonin, which is the principal neurotransmitter affecting a person’s mood. SSRIs do not significantly interfere with other physiological systems nor do they have any serious drug-drug or drug-food interactions except with other anti-depressants / anti-psychotic drugs

In a majority of cases, the side-effects of SSRIs – particularly Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) are mild and manageable if taken and discontinued strictly in accord with the healthcare service provider’s instructions. Nevertheless, some irritating side-effects are quite common (particularly with the older SSRIs such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and others). One common set of side-effects affects the gastrointestinal system as described below:

  • Abdominal cramp/pain
  • Belching / burps
  • Bloating (due to excessive intestinal gas)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia – indigestion
  • Flatulence (more than normal gas the digestive system)
  • Gagging (involuntary choking)
  • Gastritis (irritation of the stomach’s mucus lining)
  • Gastroenteritis (irritation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acidity
  • Nausea (vomiting sensation)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)

As seen from the above list, the side-effects are random and even somewhat contradictory, e.g., constipation and diarrhea. This shows that it is not possible to predict which of the side-effects a particular patient will experience. It can be surmised that side-effects are idiosyncratic to individual patients, with many patients not experiencing any side-effect at all.

How you should respond: As stated earlier, SSRIs are safe in most patients despite irritating but non-sinister side-effects. The side-effects are idiosyncratic and do not follow any pattern. The patient should know that all the symptoms listed above are temporary and occur only in the initial stage of treatment or, at worst, last as long as the treatment lasts without leaving any scar. Your healthcare service provider might prescribe additional medication to cope with one of more of the side-effects.

Remember however that you must not abruptly discontinue medication with an SSRI drug but instead follow a tapering strategy that the your healthcare service provider will advise. After all, temporary gastrointestinal side-effects are a very reasonable price to pay for the healing of the bigger psycho-somatic problem of depression or generalized anxiety disorders.

How to Relax Your Mind – Relieve Anxiety With These Simple Tips

Have you ever been up all night with thoughts just racing through your head? If so, you have probably thought about employing techniques that help you learn how to relax your mind. Stress can really take a toll on someone… and if you don’t do anything about it… it tends to just get worse.

The first thing you need to know is that you’re not alone; millions of people around the world suffer from anxiety and panic attacks which prevent them from being able to relax the mind.

This article focuses on ways in which you can learn how to relax your mind. Learning specific relaxation techniques is important if you wish to live in normal, healthy life, one which is free from anxiety and illness.

You’re going to have to learn how to use these techniques despite all of the pressures of any given day. You’re going to have to realize that very often you are to blame for you’re stressed out state. Stress has become a way of life – from the moment you wake up to the time when you fall into bed, you experience a roller-coaster ride of stress and anxiety.

One of the first things you have to do is to actually let yourself relax. People tend to set such a hectic pace for themselves… this often turns into panic and anxiety. You have to learn to relax and stop working your fingers to the bone without a minute of relaxation.

Learning how to relax your mind involves getting into the right mindset. When you do this you can stop your world from spinning, take a break, and start learning how to relax. Most people are not even aware of what they are doing… they just automatically fast-forward through their lives… living on autopilot.

Take some time out for yourself and ask yourself why you’re so stressed out. It would probably be beneficial to write all these things out so you have a good grasp on what is bothering you. Once you have a clear idea you can start to create a road-map that leads in the direction that you want your life to be headed in.

Cut back ruthlessly if necessary to free up personal time for children, family, pets and most importantly yourself. Learning relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation will help you when you’re trying to learn how to relax your mind.

Dogs With Separation Anxiety: Twelve Tips From a Professional Canine Behavior Specialist

As a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in behavior issues and has treated many cases of canine separation anxiety, I have seen first-hand how challenging the problem can be. Separation issues not only have behavioral consequences for the dog, but there is an emotional component for both dog and owner, which can make matters even more difficult.

Some dogs are hyper-attached to a particular person, while others simply do not like to be left alone. Anxiety levels range from mild to extreme, and may display as pacing, drooling, barking or other vocalizations, inappropriate elimination, and destruction, to name a few. In extreme cases, dogs may injure themselves trying to escape to follow their owners. It can be frustrating to come home to destruction and potty accidents day after day, and truly terrible to watch your dog suffer. So what can you do?

1. First, set up a video camera to record your dog’s actions when you are away. Reviewing the footage will help to you determine whether your dog seems anxious or upset, or is destroying things out of boredom. If it’s the latter, providing more exercise and mental stimulation should help.

2. Consider creative management solutions. If your dog remains calm as long as another dog is present, you could bring him to a doggy daycare center, or arrange for play dates with another dog. If that’s not possible, hire a petsitter, or bring your dog along when you do short errands.

3. Desensitize your dog to departure cues-those things that clue him in that you’re leaving. Pick up your keys and put them down immediately; put on your jacket and remove it. Do these things multiple times each day until your dog does not react.

4. To prepare for a departure, choose an area your dog will feel safe, such as his crate or a gated off room; this varies by dog, as some anxious dogs may panic in a crate.

5. Be sure your dog is well exercised before you leave him.

6. Provide a stuffed Kong or other tantalizing chew item that will last for some time.

7. You can also place an item that smells like you (such as a t-shirt or sweatshirt you’ve been wearing, or a towel you’ve rubbed on your body) in his safe are to provide comfort.

8. You may have to practice being physically separated but in sight first, then out of your dog’s sight but still in your home before you ever actually leave the house. Once your dog is ready for actual departures, leave for very short periods at first, starting with mere seconds. Gradually build to longer absences. Don’t push too far too fast, always making sure your dog remains calm.

9. Complementary measures that can help include body wraps, psycho-acoustically designed music, DAP, flower essences, and more.

10. In severe cases, pharmacological intervention may be indicated. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.

11. A trained professional can offer guidance and support. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a good place to start.

12. There are some good books on the subject. Don’t Leave Me: Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety is an in-depth workbook with step-by-step protocols, tips and techniques that allow you to customize a rehabilitation program for your dog. The Cautious Canine is a shorter booklet but is packed with useful information.

Remember that progress will be made gradually. In mild cases improvement may take only a few weeks. In moderate cases, it might take months. In extreme cases, complete recovery could take up to a year or more. The important thing is to stick with the program, seek help when necessary, and do not give up hope. Your dog is worth it!

Selective Mutism – Tips for Helping Teachers Deal with this Anxiety Disorder in the Classroom

Dealing with selective mutism in the classroom can be very difficult and frustrating for teachers. After all, sometimes it seems that a child with selective mutism is merely acting up by not speaking or participating; and, also, it can be hard to judge how much the child has learned when he or she will not read aloud, etc.

Selective mutism is usually a symptom of an anxiety disorder, and the full impact of this disorder is usually not manifested until the child starts school. It is most often in the classroom where the effects of selective mutism are most seriously experienced. Therefore, it is most often the teacher who must deal with, learn to cope with, and fight against this disorder.

Fortunately, there are things that teachers can do to help deal with selective mutism in the classroom. Here are some tips:

The teacher is quite often center of the most intense symptoms of the child. Be patient. Understand that there is a whole other child that you can get to know beneath the shell of selective mutism.

Realize that as a teacher, you are a most integral part of helping students combat their selective mutism. Be understanding. Realize that the symptoms of selective mutism are not intentional, and you therefore should not get frustrated or angry.

If you suspect selective mutism, refer both the child and the parents to a health practitioner or a psychologist. Together, they can help come up with a behaviorally based treatment plan. This is the most effective approach to treating selective mutism.

Work alongside with a speech-language pathologist (SLP). In fact, you (the teacher), the parents, the child, the psychotherapist, and the SLP are all important parts of the treatment team. Coordinate your actions and work together.

Do not try to force the child to speak. Of course, it is alright to gently encourage the child to speak.

Reward and praise the child for speaking and for participating in the classroom. Rewarding the child will make him or her feel like a part of the classroom, but more independent at the same time. It can help slowly crack the shell of anxiety.

A child with selective mutism is best suited to routine and structure.

· Keep a predictable structure and make sure that you clearly explain classroom activities. Doing these things will help reduce the unknown and give the child a feeling of structure.

Try to a avoid sudden schedule changes. If you are planning a change in schedule or a new activity, give the children a preview of the expected change.

Although a child with selective mutism may not jump right into an activity, he or she might after a little while. It is easier for him or to join once he or she has observed the other children and knows what to do. Help the child get engaged in the activity, and then slowly fade away as he or she becomes more confident.

Assessment of the development and skills of a child with selective mutism can be very difficult for the teacher. After all, it is hard to judge how well a child can read if the child will not read out loud.

Realize that just because you have seen no signs of the child's ability, it does not mean that he or she is does not understand.

· Talk with an SLP to learn about different methods of assessment of a child's reading abilities.

Some children will point to letters or engage in other nonverbal assessment.

· See if the child will allow his or her parents to videotape his or her reading performance at home.

3 Fundamental Tips To Overcome GED Math Test Anxiety

Most test-takers think that the GED math test, in itself, is difficult. But that mainly comes from their fear of the subject. If you think that the GED math test is daunting, then it will be. So the first step in conquering your GED math test anxiety is to fight your own demons.

The thing with the GED math test is that other than talent, you need hard work and determination to go beyond it. Math is basically not scary, but what gets in the way your passing the GED math test is your fear of the subject. Math anxiety happens when you’re so scared that it hampers your thought processes. You then feel hopeless, uncertain and you lose your self-confidence, possibly causing you to fail. It’s a battle of the mind, so to speak, that’s why you have to harness your mental powers to be able to beat GED math test anxiety. Here are 3 fundamental tips.

  • Believe that you have prepared well for the test. You ought to have backed it up with sufficient action, but you have to believe that your preparation for the math test is enough. You should have accorded ample effort for quality preparation for the test, such as by enrolling in a review center, other than studying an online course. A reliable review center will be able to provide you with GED math study guides and practice sheets that have helped many test takers as well.
  • Don’t wallow in self-pity. One problem that puts a dent on your confidence when taking math tests is that you might have gotten low scores in the subject for many years in school. This kind of fear is learned, and can be a predominant cause of anxiety. Whenever you are experiencing anxiety, you’re focusing more on your negative thoughts and your fears, consequently defeating your performance. Remember the saying that “If others can do it, so can you”. You can pass the math test even if your grades in math were bad. Unlearn your belief that you are dumb in math. As you take practice tests, some answers you did right and some you did wrong, right? Bolster your confidence by focusing on your correct answers. This will instill your belief in your success and make you feel good about your performance in math.
  • Affirm your positive thoughts. Practice positive affirmations- short verses that you mentally or verbally repeat to help change your thoughts or feelings about something This concept was introduced by neuroscientists in the 1970’s and since then has been popular. You can change the way you think or feel about math by mentally or verbally reciting positive affirmations, ultimately helping you combat test anxiety. Some of them are:

“I’m smart and I can solve math problems”.

“I believe that my brain has enough capability to help me find solutions to math problems.”

“Math is not a difficult subject, it just needs attention and focus”.

“I am prepared and therefore I will pass the GED math test”.

Many test-takers fail in the GED math test because they were overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. The key to not committing the same mistake is to control your fears. Preparation is the antidote that will pacify your anxiety. Do your best to study for the GED math exam and believe in yourself and your capability to hurdle this particular feat.