Anxiety in Middle School - Glasshouse Christian College

Anxiety in Middle School



  • May 25, 2023

Anxiety in Middle School

Navigating middle school can be a time filled with both excitement and challenges for our students. One common hurdle they may face is anxiety, which can hinder their academic progress and overall well-being. However, by employing the powerful strategy of exposure, we can empower our middle schoolers to overcome their anxiety and thrive. Let’s explore how exposure can make a positive impact on their lives.

Understanding Anxiety in Middle Schoolers

Anxiety in middle schoolers can manifest in various ways, such as excessive worry, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches. It’s crucial to recognize that anxiety is a normal part of life, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can hinder a student’s ability to learn, interact with peers, and fully engage in their educational journey.

The Power of Exposure

Exposure is a therapeutic technique that gradually exposes individuals to anxiety-provoking situations in a safe and controlled manner. By facing their fears incrementally, students can build resilience and develop effective coping strategies. Exposure therapy helps them recognize that their anxiety does not have to control their lives and that they have the strength to overcome it.

How Exposure Helps:

Breaking the Cycle of Avoidance

Anxiety often leads individuals to avoid situations that trigger their fears. Exposure encourages students to confront their fears gradually, breaking the cycle of avoidance and demonstrating that they can face challenging situations with resilience.

Building Resilience

Through exposure, middle schoolers learn to tolerate discomfort and manage their anxiety. By facing their fears head-on, they gain a sense of mastery and confidence, building resilience that extends beyond their anxiety.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Exposure allows students to challenge their negative thoughts and beliefs. As they repeatedly face their fears, they begin to recognize that their anxious thoughts are not always accurate or reliable. This process helps them develop a more balanced and realistic perspective.

Expanding Comfort Zones

 Exposure enables middle schoolers to expand their comfort zones and try new experiences. By gradually exposing themselves to anxiety-provoking situations, they discover their capabilities and develop a sense of empowerment.

What This Looks Like in Practice:

Gradual Progression

 Exposure enables middle schoolers to expand their comfort zones and try new experiences. By gradually exposing themselves to anxiety-provoking situations, they discover their capabilities and develop a sense of empowerment.

Safe and Supportive Environment

Create a safe and supportive environment at home and at school in which students feel comfortable expressing their anxiety and seeking help. Encourage open communication, active listening, and empathy among peers and educators.

Collaboration with Mental Health Professionals

 When necessary, collaborate with counsellors or mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support in implementing exposure techniques tailored to individual student needs.

By embracing the power of exposure, we can empower our middle schoolers to overcome anxiety and develop essential life skills. Through gradual exposure, they learn to face their fears, challenge negative thoughts, and expand their comfort zones. At GCC we foster an environment that encourages open dialogue, provides support, and instils resilience in our students. Together, we can help them navigate middle school with confidence and equip them with the tools they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Helen Douglas, YLC Year 8

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