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Beating Anxiety in College 

In a previous article I tackled the topic of how to battle anxiety on a general level, offering what I hoped to be some helpful or at least reassuring advice from my own personal view.  

To lead on from that I’m going to draw some specificity on the concept of battling anxiety, focusing on beating it in college.  

The most enticing lure of the college lifestyle is the freedom of it. Without the ties of parents, teachers or small-town minds college students can often essentially start fresh, do all things exciting and new. Meet new people, sign up for excursions abroad, indulge in too many nights out and generally, put yourself out there. 

Inconveniently, these ideals seem to all line up perfectly with things that trigger anxiety. 

This dramatically hinders the enjoyment of college for its sufferers. Thankfully, for myself I discovered the perfect concoction of methods and mindset to avoid anxiety interrupting my life in college before I started my first semester. 

The thought of something that already affected every day of my life ruining my future was terrifying. I think this fear is what pushed me to work as hard as it took to get better. 

 After a lot work and compromise I slowly found the perfect way to manage my mental health and for the past few months anxiety, luckily, has only made a few brief cameos in my life. 

But what if this doesn’t work out so simply for you in time? 

Other than applying the general tips for battling anxiety, there are some actions that you can take while going through college that can help to keep it at bay. 

  • Find safety, in the right numbers: 

Safety may not always necessarily be in big or small numbers. It’s about who you’re with. Surrounding yourself with encouraging people who build you up and make you feel comfortable is key for setting any anxious tendencies at ease. 

  • Know your limits: 

It sounds so cruel to suggest limiting yourself but sometimes you must play it smart. If you know something is going to set you off, then avoid it. Pushing yourself is important to build up a resistance to triggers but pushing yourself over the edge is pointless and will only cause damage. 

  • Take a LOT of ‘Me’ time. 

College can be strenuous for everyone, mental illness or now. So, if your mind if fighting against you then it is important to give it, and yourself a break here and there. Listen to music, meditate, read, do something that quiets your mind and lets it catch up with your body. Think about this rationally. If you were running all day long from morning to night you would be exhausted by the end of the day. When you have anxiety, your mind is constantly running all day long, calculating variables and worse case scenarios and deriving the escape routes from such scenarios. Give it a well needed rest. 

 

The simplest step you can take to manage your anxiety in college is to make a routine. Eat regularly, sleep well and keep on top of your work. Deviate from this routine only when you feel comfortable with it.  

 Essentially, the best way to beat anxiety in college is about finding and living the perfect balance between being inside and outside your comfort zone. 

photo credit the mood lab

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