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Words of Advice: Before an Important Event

Recently, my daughter was selected to represent her grade at her school Spelling Bee. While a very exciting honor, it resulted in an instant stress spike as the household rallied around preparing her the best possible way in the short time given. Of course things had to come to a head, and a particularly tricky word being the “last straw”. Her shoulders slumped, her eyes glazed over, and I could almost hear her brain giving up.

BREATHE.

We immediately decided to take a break, even though it seemed counter-intuitive at the time, given the time pressure. But when we are over-whelmed or stressed, taking a break becomes even more important. This is because “Top level Issues” – such as anxiety and stress – are our brain’s way of protecting itself. Ignoring these warnings that are designed to prevent more permanent adverse events, such as a nervous breakdown, result in a downward spiral of increasing stress, and decreased focus.

PAUSE (CENTER).

Mindfullness and medication strategies are great at centering your mind, and clearing the confusion. It is important to take a time-out when we are over-whelmed. Pausing helps create the space required for the mind to focus on the problem at hand.

SEE IT (VISUALIZE).

Once we have our breathing back to normal, our mind cleared and back on the task at hand, a great way to kick-start the process is to visualize the problem or task at hand. Visualising is a very effective EF tool, simply because it lets your mind know what it is you desire from it.

DO IT.

For my daughter at the Spelling Bee, this meant taking a deep breath to help her step back and clear her mind, “seeing” the word in her mind’s eye, and then slowly spelling it out.

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For more information and access to tools, guides, and other tips, visit us on the web at www.Solutionsforstudentsuccess.com. Or Contact Solutions for Student Success for a free consultation on how to develop Executive Functioning Skills.

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