Anxiety is a mental health issue that is affecting youth. I can testify through my personal experience that my anxiety has stopped me from carrying out my daily life routine. Since high school, my anxiety has affected my studies, relationships with people I care about, and most importantly, how I see myself as a woman. Dealing with anxiety attacks has affected my confidence. Anxiety has stopped me from getting out of my shell and trying new things as a young woman. However, hearing the stories of other individuals dealing with anxiety made me feel like I was not alone. As I grew older, I started to see a therapist, which has helped me cope and live with my anxiety. I always thought I would not be able to get anywhere in life because of this disorder, but ever since I started talking to someone I became a different positive person.
I was shy in high school, but I grew into a confident young woman. Anxiety made me fearful of the future, and I always thought about the worst case scenarios. Fortunately, my therapist taught me certain techniques to deal with my anxiety. The one technique that I use the most is the “box breathing technique.” You can use box breathing to calm your nerves down. The instructions for it are as follows
Find a calm quiet place to perform your breathing practice. This is ideally performed seated to avoid falling asleep.
Relax your gaze or close your eyes if you wish. People often find it easier to maintain concentration with closed eyes.
Take three deep breaths counting on the inhale and repeating the count on the exhale
Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose for a count of three.
Calmly hold your breath for a count of three – visualize the air traveling through your body and saturating the tissues
Gently exhale through your mouth for a count of three – be aware of the softness in your body and the slowing of your heartbeat
Calmly hold the exhale for a count of three – focus on the stillness you feel
Source: “Try Box Breathing” Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6uvIb_1ZcQ
There are also plenty of apps that you can use on iOS and Android devices to help calm you down. I personally like Headspace and Worry Watch best. Headspace guides you through 10 minute relaxation meditations and helps you personalize and track your progress. Worry Watch is a password protected app that allows you to write down your worries when you’re in the moment to get them out of your system and then you can revisit them later. The next time you experience anxiety, the app will run a report as a reminder that the actual outcome is rarely as bad as the worry.
Source: “5 Apps To Help You Cope With Anxiety”: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/apps-anxiety_n_6054270
I know as a post secondary student, we can easily get stressed with the amount of homework and exams we have. But remember that anxiety can’t take over your life forever and that you’re not alone. I hope this article gives you some guidance and confidence to fight anxiety and not let it take over your happiness!