5 Ways To Handle College When You Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Let’s face it, college has a devastating effect on our mental health as a whole. In addition, mental health problems are rarely even acknowledged in our society. 

We tend to avoid practicing mindfulness because of our lack of time and patience. It is very likely to have a mental disorder you are unaware of that is revealed in periods of high stress and unwillingness like college. 

One of the most prevalent on college campuses being Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is a serious mental health concern and should be treated on a daily basis. The stress caused from college combined with anxiety can seem like you’re falling down a spiral of worry. But, with consistency and patience you can easily practice having a healthy mind. 

  1. 1. Meditation

    One of the most commonly overlooked and beneficial mental health practices is meditation. To do this, start off in your most relaxed state of the day which is the time as soon as you wake up.    Sit in a comfortable position whether that be sitting on the floor or on your bed. Close your eyes. Practice taking deep breaths, allowing yourself to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Begin to focus on your breathing and clearing your mind of its thoughts.    This process can take longer but you should achieve a meditative state after 15-30 minutes. Doing this allows your mind to filter out the worrying thoughts you have throughout the day. For example, instead of having a panic attack when you walk in late to a lecture, your mind simply knows that scenario is not something worthy of getting stressed out about. Meditating leaves you in a highly consciously aware state that is extremely beneficial to college students that suffer from GAD. 
  2. 2. A Good Diet

    Not to be the bearer of bad news, but a healthy diet plays a crucial role in controlling mental disorders, including anxiety. Food affects your physical and mental wellbeing. 


    Eating healthy food feeds your mind and allows you to think more clearly and not be lost in the rush of classes. When you’re behind in your classes, you’re more likely to worsen your anxiety. Try eating less processed foods if you don’t eat very healthy. Natural, plant-based foods give your body energy which is also very beneficial to your mind! Fruits, vegetables and natural grains are great. And a lot of water, of course. You are what you eat, so eat clean in order to have a clean body and mind. 

  3. 3. Sleep

    Although it seems to be a collective joke in college to not get any sleep, you’re actually throwing off your body’s normal cycle. Without enough sleep, you can’t perform well academically. In relation to Generalized Anxiety Disorder, without a healthy amount of sleep it’s almost impossible to start your day with an anxiety-free mindset.


  4. 4. Checking Your Phone In The Morning

    We all do it. Checking your phone as soon as you wake up seems like second nature. Believe it or not, this is sabotaging the rest of your day! 


    Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi from Medium.com says, “immediately turning to your phone when you wake up can start your day off in a way that is more likely to increase stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed”. 


    You are more likely to stress yourself out before you have even started your day. And for those suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the results can be devastating. Getting on your phone the moment you wake up can sabotage your entire day.


  5. 5. Self Care

    Lastly, it’s crucial that you take care of yourself everyday if you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Coffee and candles isn’t going to cut it. 


    If you don’t know already, being on top of your hygiene is a huge part of self care. It’s important to make sure your body is at it’s best in order to focus on taking care of your mind. 


    Self care also involves taking mental breaks. And no, we’re not talking about retail therapy (unless that actually helps you). We’re referring to taking time to yourself and doing things that can benefit the release of anxiety in your mind. For example, listening to sound frequency videos on YouTube and practicing yoga. 


    You can also benefit greatly from finding a hobby such as taking pole dancing classes, creating art or hitting the gym. Anything physically and mentally stimulating will help you to reduce your stress levels caused by Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 


It can be extremely difficult to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and still function as a college student, but if you learn to practice mindfulness you can take a huge step toward controlling your anxious thoughts. Do not let anxiety control you and create problems that aren’t there. You are worthy of success and you will get there regardless.