4 Step Cycle to Relieve Anxiety in High Schoolers

Winding down the school year is stressful, don’t you think? Final projects, Regents or AP exams to prepare for, friends going away, finding a job. I can only imagine how you are feeling with only a few more weeks left in the school year.

I am going to guess that you are experiencing either one specific feeling or a combination.

The feeling that I see generally is Anxious/ Panic. In my last post I gave you some symptoms representing anxiousness that are important to be aware of, check that out if you missed it.

Although the feeling of anxiety is generally seen within my practice, I remember how I felt finishing high school specifically, about to have one short summer with friends and family before diving head first with no life jacket into the most important years of life. RIGHT?! HELLO SCARY….

That’s where the combination of feelings come into action and let me tell you they are defiantly a confusing bunch.

Feeling are hard to pinpoint especially if you are the type of person that doesn’t examine your thoughts and actions much. What I mean by this is your thoughts- feelings- actions – reactions are a circular cycle. This cycle is important to go in order or will make life difficult to manage. However, this does take effort and consistency to make the cycle work like a well-oiled machine. Practice pretty much makes perfect, which is common with everything in life.

Good vibes only

Let’s practice the cycle— Here is the thought…Your best friend tells you they are going to University of Buffalo for Premed, you are going to Buffalo State University for Nursing. Both of you have been best friends since 5th grade. Knowing that you both are going to be still in the same city going to college. You worry your friendship will no longer be just like it is now.

How would you complete the cycle? What is the feeling, action, and reaction…? Could be multiple scenarios but here’s an example. Feeling would be worried because right now they see each other daily and in college high unlikely that will happen even being in the same city. A typical action is keeping silent about the first two thought and feeling. Which would create a negative reaction in the relationship between the two best friends, here is the combination.

How many of you read the thought and went right to action or even reaction, that’s a more than frequent chain of events. Practicing including feelings and openly talking about them directly will help you be more mindful. You hear that word a lot in therapy world, and that’s because it is so very important if not the most important aspect in life. Can you see if you skip a step like above the action step, this will 9 times out of 10 create a negative event for you the person experiencing the initial thought.

So, returning to closing out the end of your school year, have conversations and complete the Four Step Cycle to feel more confident and less anxious or panicky about your future.

If you have an example you would like more help on, please feel free to comment below!

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