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Mental Health

4 Ways to Deal With Anxiety (From an Amateur)

I’m no psychologist nor am I seasoned in dealing with anxiety. My journey with dealing with it and overcoming it, is one that started recently and one that has taught me more about struggle and myself than most things I’ve experienced. About four weeks ago I had several huge stressors occurring all at the same time. It was a mix of school and extracurricular obligations as well as some personal issues that left me a nervous wreck. In the weeks following, I wondered when I would stop constantly worrying, being not okay with doing nothing, and getting frequent and unsolicited adrenaline rushes. By last week, I realized I wasn’t just getting better and that I needed to take action if I wanted to be in control of my life again. Here are a couple things I did that may help you if you are dealing with anxiety.

Understand Your Emotions.

Don’t let your emotions trap you. If you are feeling anxious, or worried, or scared, acknowledge that you are feeling that emotion instead of trying to push it away or shoving it deeper down, then try to figure out what caused you to feel that way.

Move On From that Emotion.

Once you’ve acknowledged that emotion, remind yourself that it is okay to feel that way, it won’t last forever, and that you are OKAY despite feeling that negative emotion. I repeatedly say to myself (sometimes out loud), “Dude, you are fine. Everything is okay right now!” and that usually makes me laugh, which leads me to number three.

Stay Positive

At first I got really annoyed when people told me to try to be positive because my problem was that I wasn’t positive! I started realizing though, that I actually have this insane power to make myself happy, and you do too! Maybe this means reminding yourself how silly it is that you’re so worked up, maybe it’s thinking about future plans that you’re excited about, maybe it’s thinking about a time and place where you felt safe and comfortable, or maybe it’s taking a moment to take a deep breath and to be thankful for the good things happening in your life.

Anxiety as a Physical Problem

A lot of people don’t realize how closely the mind and body are connected. In experiencing bad anxiety I neglected to eat healthy, get good sleep, work out well, or stretch. I think all of these added to the stress I was experiencing. I decided to start making an effort to do better in all of these areas and I not only feel more in control, but I also feel my body become less stressed.

I’m still dealing with anxiety and some days are worse than others. I will say, the most important thing for me was deciding to take control to try to get better instead of waiting for it to happen on it’s own. The most important part about being a resilient person is capturing every thought and emotion and turning it into one that is positive and that you have control over. And of course, everyone experiences anxiety differently, and what works for me will not work for everyone. 

 

Colorado native. Junior at Gonzaga University studying International Relations, Philosophy, and Military Science.
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