How To Make Sense of School & Friends – DECODING YOUR FEARS [Social Skills 4]

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How To Make Sense of School & Friends – DECODING YOUR FEARS [Social Skills 4]

– feeling fearful at times is part of life – everyone can get anxious & it helps protect us
When we find ourselves in potentially dangerous situations
– however sometimes our fears/worries/anxiety are not realistic
– sometimes we tell ourselves our situation is much worse than it to really is & this cn make us even more worried

For example, have you ever had any of these worries/fears when you first started school?
– my teachers will be mean to me
– I won’t make any friends at school
– the other kids will be mean & cruel to me
– I won’t know anything

Some of these, or most of these turned out not to be true & we realised these situations were not as bad as we had first thought
– fears can be worse sometimes because of the thoughts we attach to certain situations
– the opposite is also true: fears can sometimes be better because of the thoughts we attach to certain situations

Situation: You’re in a class in which you know no one
Unhelpful thought: No one here will like me
Helpful thought: I will have a chance to meet new people

Situation: You receive a C on a test
Unhelpful thought: I am so stupid I should’ve got a B
Helpful thought: I I did okay on this test – maybe if I get some help from the teacher, mum and dad i will do better next time; I could study & revise more too 🙂

Situation: You’re going on a school trip to an unknown place
Unhelpful thought: I am so scared because I do not know anything about the place we’re going to
Helpful thought: I can handle this trip even though I don’t know where it’s going to, i’ve been on similar trips in the past and I know I’ve enjoyed them before

When fears overcome us we are often looking at situations in an unhelpful way – then we have to consider, are we doing any of the following things:

– Thinking that everything will turn out for the worst – This is called Catastrophising

– Can you think of other times when you assumed the worst about a situation?

– We might also forget the good parts of a situation and we might forget what we did well, and instead concentrate on what we didn’t do well – This is called all or nothing thinking

– Can you think of times when you forgot to think about all the parts of the situation and only thought about a situation in one way? That is, only thinking about the negatives?

How to Handle in Future – when you are afraid – Ask Yourself
– Do I really need to feel worried or upset or is it just the thoughts I’m having not reality? In other words, is the situation really bad?
– are there more helpful ways I could think about this situation?
– am I using All-or-Nothing Thinking, or Catrastophising (seeing only the worst) – are there other ways I could think about this situation?

Source: Blythe Grossberg (American Psychological Association)

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