3 Ways to Help Alleviate Anxiety in College

For as long as I can remember, anxiety has been part of my life. General nervousness has always been a constant part of my personality, with more serious anxiety and the subsequent anxiety attacks that follow also making regular occurrences.  Although I typically dealt with this on my own or with the help of my mother, leaving for college was the first time that I would truly be alone—nobody would be there if I needed somebody to talk to, nobody would be there to check up on me and make sure I was doing ok, nobody would know me well enough to be able to tell if I was acting strangely.

Because I was now officially on my own in a stressful new environment, I had to find new ways to deal with the anxiety that has always plagued me. Although anxiety affects everyone differently and everyone has their own ways to deal with it, here are some of the way’s I’ve dealt with my anxiety in college—maybe they’ll help you too.

1. Allow yourself to acknowledge the way you’re feeling

Although it might seem that ignoring the panic you feel will prevent any of its negative feelings or consequences that is often not the case. Ignoring the way that you are feeling will only allow your anxiety to escalate. As you attempt to distract yourself with other activities, you will be left with only a more intense feeling of panic that you will be even more unable to deal with. The best option is to acknowledge the anxiety you feel, and take steps to constructively deal with it. Simple techniques such as deep breathing or counting to ten slowly will help you much more than doing nothing.

2. Get enough sleep and avoid procrastination

Now that you’re officially on your own and no longer have a guardian to force you to go to bed by a certain time, staying up all night to watch your favorite series on Netflix is an actual possibility. Not having a parent to make sure you are doing your homework can lead to a similar Netflix binge, and both will leave you tired and extremely stressed the next day. Tiredness only leads to more anxiety, and following a pattern of no sleep and the increased stress of college is a vicious cycle that is hard to break free from once it begins. Watching Netflix is fun, but feeling good is infinitely better.

3. Reach out to friends

College is a completely new experience with new people and new friends. Meeting someone for the first time is difficult and occasionally awkward, and sharing your anxieties with someone you don’t know very well is frightening. Once you share the way you’re feeling with others, you’ll be able to let out your pent up anxieties instead of keeping them inside and suffering alone. Good friends will be willing to talk and help you in any way they can, and won’t judge you for what you choose to confide in them. Be sure to return the favor as often as you can, and you’ll feel so much better knowing that if the need arises, someone will always be there to talk to you.

Anxiety affects so many of us, and although college is a source of stress and confusion, it is still possible to manage your anxiety while in school. Having anxiety is difficult, but it doesn’t have to control your life.

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