Sometimes anxiety seems like it just sneaks its way into just about everything you don’t want it to. Calling a friend? BAM! Anxiety. Wanting to wear a new outfit? Anxiety has 27 reasons that is a horrible idea.
Asking that question in class? No, not today, Anxiety has spoken.
Having anxiety can really weigh you down, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Here are 7 tips for living with anxiety in college.
1. Know you are Not your anxiety.
While it may feel that your anxiety has become who you are, you have to remember that you are a million other things and anxiety is not one of them. Anxiety is just something you have. One of the absolute worst things to do is to constantly beat yourself up because of it. You are NOT your anxiety.
No matter how many times the little voice may come in and tell you that it is. Anxiety is not who you are, but if you put yourself down everytime you feel it, you are just going to make it worse.
Instead learn to try and tell yourself something you would tell a friend when they are dealing with anxiety. Take a moment to try and figure out what is making your anxiety act up, and see if there is a good solution to help change the situation, or the thoughts your anxiety is trying to tell you about the situation.
2. Find a good thought(s) to focus on when it kicks in.
Anxiety loves to come and feed on negative thoughts, especially when you begin to agree with it. Having good thoughts to concentrate on can help you feel calmer when anxiety starts to hit.
Whether that be the feeling of the sun on your skin when you go to the beach, or a fun memory with friends and family. Making sure you have a grasp on moments that you feel anxiety free will help to remind you that there is life without you anxiety.
3. Eat/drink something natural.
While I know really all you want to do when you feel anxious is eat everything that is easily accessible from a package, or not eat anything at all, there are many foods that can actually help with anxiety.
Foods such as cashews, spinach/kale, bananas, and dark chocolate are proven to help with anxiety. And who doesn’t want to be told that chocolate really does help your problems. I tend to gravitate towards teas like chamomile. Basil is also a good tea for anxiety.
4. Focus on your breathing.
I know when I have anxiety I either breathe way too quickly or notice that I hold my breath and don’t breathe at all.
Taking deep slow breaths helps your body fight anxious reactions, like shaking and a quickening heart rate. Breath in, hold the breath, and then exhale for a few seconds longer than you inhaled for. There are tons of gifs online (I have many cute ones on my pinterest) that you can sync your breathing with. This is a great because it can be done anywhere, even during class.
5. Have someone to confide in.
Anxiety makes us make rash decisions, like ignoring people because we think we are bothersome, or that they don’t like us anymore. So having someone you can confide in about your anxiety is helpful. Whether you call them and talk through what you are feeling, maybe you go out to get coffee or they are someone who can just be there as a calming force, having at least one person that knows what you are going through is valuable.
6. Listen to music.
It is a proven fact that music can be used to help in all different kinds of ways. So make a playlist of songs that you love and play it whenever you feel that you need it. I have two different playlists for my anxiety depending on how I am feeling. One is a classical/instumental music list because sometimes when I am anxious having something without any lyrics makes it easier for me to focus.
As Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Or in this case, makes you feel less anxious. Exercising releases chemicals in your body that help to boost your energy and your mood. Go for a run, walk briskly around your neighborhood, or take up yoga to get those endorphins flowing!
And just don’t forget to stop for a minute and realize that there is so much out there besides your anxiety and that you will get through it.
What are other ways you deal with anxiety?
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