Anxiety ruined my first year of college (dorm life didn’t mesh very well with it), and that still haunts me to this day. While it is difficult to completely cure, I have found ways to make my anxiety easier to live with. If you have also found yourself worrying about unlikely scenarios or the things you did in sixth grade, here are some tools that may help you as well!
Being mindful is a simple but powerful exercise. If you’re like me, a lot of your anxiety comes from cringing about the past, or worrying about the future. Being mindful is all about focusing on the present. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you like about this moment? This will help you to take control of your thoughts, especially the negative ones. Before you know it, you will be focusing on something positive.
You probably knew this was coming. Before I actually got into working out, I really hated when people would try to push it on me as therapy technique. I didn’t want to exercise, that sounds almost as bad as a panic attack (kidding). However, something about seeing yourself get stronger is therapeutic. It’s hard to worry when you’re kicking ass at the gym!
3. PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE
This one really helps with social anxiety. I once stumbled upon a quote that really helped me put my anxiety into perspective. “Think about something embarrassing that happened to you, easy right? Now think about something embarrassing that happened to someone else.” While the latter is not impossible, it is surprisingly difficult. Proving, that NO ONE ELSE REMEMBERS THE STUPID THING YOU SAID AT THAT PARTY OR THE TIME YOU FARTED IN 6th GRADE MUSIC CLASS.
4. IDENTIFY (AND ELIMINATE) YOUR TRIGGERS
I have come to realize that the more I drink, the more anxious I am. After a foggy night, I can’t help but wonder (for days) what I could have done/said to embarrass myself. Figure out what triggers your anxiety. Get a journal and write in it every time you feel your anxiety getting the best of you. This will help you to easily identify what is causing your anxiety, and make it easier for you to remove these triggers from your life.
5. TALK TO SOMEONE
It’s easy to shut yourself off from people when you have anxiety. Many adults with anxiety know that many of their worries don’t make sense, and in turn feel embarrassed by them. THERE IS NOTHING TO BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT! YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 40% of adult Americans suffer from anxiety, and 2/3 are not undergoing any type of treatment. Find someone you trust, and confide in them. Having a person you can vent to can make a world of difference when you struggle with anxiety.