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Aug 22

I Love Steno: The Student Edition: Helpful Anxiety vs. Harmful Anxiety

As a student, the cycle of peaks, plateaus, and valleys can cause an emergence of nervousness and anxiety. This can be beneficial, or it could be detrimental. According to studies, there is “helpful anxiety” and “harmful anxiety.”

In “How The Brain Learns,” the author David A. Sousa states the following: “[The] level of concern refers to how much the student cares about the learning. We used to think that if students had anxiety about learning, then little or no learning occurred. But there is helpful anxiety (desire to do well) and there is harmful anxiety (feeling threatened). Having anxiety about your job performance will usually get you to put forth more effort to obtain positive results. When you are concerned about being more effective (helpful anxiety), you are likely to learn and try new strategies. This is an example of how emotions can increase learning…

As the level of concern increases, so does the degree of learning. If the stress level gets too high, our focus shifts to the emotions and the consequences generated by the stress, and learning fades. Students need a certain level of concern to stimulate their efforts to learn. When there is no concern, there is little or no learning. But if there is too much concern, anxiety shuts down the learning process and adverse emotions take over.”

Remember, keep an appropriate level of concern but RELAX and HAVE FUN!

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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