GCSE results day is fast approaching and many students and parents will be experiencing some level of anxiety in anticipation.
My advice is to start having those conversations ahead of the D-Day tomorrow. Get your child to talk about their thoughts and how they are feeling, so you can reassure them that whatever the outcome of the results they will be okay - by looking at the different options available to them.
The brain if left to its on devices, will go into over-drive with so many negative or pessimistic thoughts. I have witnessed how agitated and desperate some students and parents get that they end up making choices that they later regret.
It is so upsetting to hear students tell you four months into the academic year - “I am not enjoying my course, I never wanted to study it in the first place.” It’s so important to remain calm, so that the cognitive part of the brain is able to function effectively in enabling you make the right decisions.
If you don’t believe an anxious, stressful or pessimistic thought, it loses it’s power and eventually goes away and does not turn into stress, anxiety or depression.
Question your thoughts, and fears. Are they actually a reality?
A peaceful mindset will allow you to make decisions with better clarity. Don’t let your brain take charge of your auto-pilot stress mode of fight, flight or freeze.
Attitude (action) is your only option, when all that you control are your thoughts.
Stress itself can be defined as a decline in the power of attitude due to negative and pessimistic thoughts.
Life can become intolerable when you lose control of a situation in which outcomes really matter to you. The emotional factor that underpins loss of control is, uncertainty. You start by ruminating over what might happen and are not clear what to do to regain control. When you feel uncontrolled, it leads to feeling powerless to do anything about the situation. The anxiety of uncertainty activates your stress response system, which has you taking rash decisions that lead to regrets.
Eckhart Tolle writes that people have only three options when they are presented with a situation that is intolerable: they can change the situation, walk away from it, or accept it.
Stay calm and focused tomorrow so that you and your child can take charge and make the right decision.