Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety

School anxiety or test anxiety surrounding school and test/exams can be related to a form of performance anxiety.  This type of anxiety you may be feeling is more situational and environmental as compared to other forms of anxiety. Anxiety therapy works to address this underlying feeling and eliminate the anxiety symptoms so you can perform at your best.

The main underlying reason for this type of anxiety is because there is a specific environment or event that is triggering a reaction as compared to other forms of anxiety that stem from anxious thoughts, overthinking, focusing on things that are out of your control, etc.


School anxiety can encompass feeling that you do not belong in that setting, being called on in class, being separated from your traditional support systems, etc. Test/exam anxiety embodies a fear of failure but is amplified more by the consistent need and will to meet achievement and success.

The anxiety you experience from these settings stems from a perceived and predicted outcome. That could be pass or fail, being judged by others, or any other anticipated outcome. At that moment, it may feel like you are unable to pull yourself out of those anxious thought processes.  You are allowing external forces and factors to control your inner dialogue and external behavior.


When this happens, there a few things that you can do to reduce the effects that school anxiety and text/exam anxiety can have on you. When you work with an anxiety counselor in Winter Garden, you will learn more than one way to stop anxiety.  One thing you can do is to challenge your mental processes and ask yourself if this is the best way to proceed in school or during the exam.


If not, then using an anxiety therapy technique called "flooding," teaches you how to load your prefrontal cortex with thoughts that reflect your strengths.

For example, during a test, if you come across an answer that you do not know and this begins the cycle of anxiety, take a moment and pause. During this pause, you will flood your prefrontal cortex with short and concise statements about yourself that give evidence to why you are able to succeed on this exam.


Reflect back on how you studied, practice quizzes that you completed, and focus on the strong suits you have in the subject. Channel that mental energy into the exam. Another anxiety therapy technique would be a "grounding." This is useful for both school and text/exam anxiety.

This is where you keep with you a small grounding item such as a smooth pebble or rock close by. When speaking in front of others, taking an exam, etc. and you feel the anxiety coming up, grab hold of the item and just focus on it in your hands. Focus on the texture, smoothness, and size of and channel all of your mental energy in seeing this item as a gateway to a safe and relaxing place. As you hold onto it, take deep breaths in and out through controlled mindful breathing.


These tips for stopping anxiety work great once you master them. Working with an anxiety counselor in Winter Garden or seeking anxiety therapy in Orlando gives you the tools to eliminate anxiety. If you want to learn more, give contact us today to get started.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.