5 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Stress is normal for everyone, but when it progresses to constant worrying or severely impacts our lives, it can be more problematic: anxiety. Anxiety can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially if it isn’t something you’ve experienced before, but there are ways to deal with and manage anxiety that can help you feel better. 

  1. Take a deep breath- and a break.

    Sometimes, when you’re overwhelmed and anxiety takes hold, it’s easy to get caught up in your emotions and go down a rabbit hole of worrying. Although it seems lame and over simplified, just taking a moment to stop yourself, take a break from thinking, and regain control over your emotions can be a game changer. Even though feelings of worry or stress may persist, allowing them to become background thoughts instead of foreground thoughts can help you focus on what you’re trying to do. And don’t be afraid to take a short break from homework, studying, or even hanging out with friends! Taking the time to focus on pausing negative thoughts or practicing breathing techniques is important, and investing a few minutes towards your health can help you be more productive and happy in the long run. 

   2. Don’t beat yourself up.

    When worries get irrational, blaming yourself for overthinking is never the route to take. Be patient and kind with yourself as you would be with your friends or family; you deserve respect and care just as much as anybody else. You wouldn’t be mad at a friend for feeling worried or down, so don’t be mad at yourself. 

   3. Try meditation, yoga, or just plain old exercise.

    Treating your physical health is just as important as your mental health when dealing with anxiety. Meditation can help calm your mind, exercise can produce endorphins that make you feel better, and yoga can combine the two. Regardless, doing something that takes your mind off stressors can help you regain control of your emotions. Sometimes social anxiety can prevent you from doing things such as going to the gym, running,or joining a yoga club or studio. Walking, whether you live in a city with sidewalks or somewhere with hiking trails, can be a more low-key and calm way to get your blood pumping, without feeling like all eyes are on you. 

  4. Believe—and hear me out—in yourself.

    You can do this! No matter how hard dealing with anxiety is, the most important thing to remember is that you are capable of pushing through it. People deal with anxiety all the time, and it’s easier to assure them that they’re going to be okay than it is to assure yourself. It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you, but to take the logical element, “I’ve done this before, and it was fine. People start new things all the time, and they’re fine,” and apply it to what you’re feeling. You can build up your confidence enough to power through negative worrying and stress. 

  5. Ask for help. 

    Asking for help can be intimidating, but if symptoms of anxiety are starting to affect your day to day life, talking to a professional is the best way to go. Whether it be visiting a campus counseling center, talking to a therapist, or even just having a discussion with your PCP, letting somebody who’s trained to help people know about your issues is important. Your doctor or other professional can help you decide what will work best for you, from therapy to medication. There is less and less stigma everyday surrounding mental illnesses, and there’s no shame in admitting you need help. If you do decide to give therapy or medication a chance after talking with your doctor, know that it does take time; there is no cure-all for emotions, no immediate relief or magic fix. But it’s worth it to put in the time and effort to improve your life in the long run and develop good habits for the future. Most college campuses have counseling centers that are a low, or no cost to students, and there is absolutely zero harm in giving it a try. 

 

Anxiety can be tough, but by taking action to change your mindset and asking for help, you can effectively deal with these negative emotions and succeed.