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Managing stress: Self-talk

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We all spend our days thinking about and interpreting what is happening to us. This 'self-talk' is like an internal voice, that can be reasonable and helpful (e.g. 'I'd better do some preparation for that exam') or negative and destructive (e.g. 'I'm going to fail for sure').

Think about a recent assignment or past exam to help identify your current pattern of self-talk. In recalling this past experience, consider the following points:

  • What were you telling yourself?
  • Was it positive or negative?
  • What were your feelings?
  • What did you learn from these feelings?

If you described negative feelings and statements, try to change them into positive self-talk and consequent positive actions. You may discover that you undermine yourself by negative self-talk. Keep re-wording negative statements into positives. Positive self-talk is a powerful tool.

Further help

This advice for teenagers facing exams has some useful guidelines on self-talk.

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