Anxiety disorders affect 18% of the population and is the most common mental illness in the United States. Unlike other psychological disorders, almost everyone has experienced anxiety on some scale. Anxiety can be much more than just annoying, it can interfere with daily tasks such as working, socializing with friends, and sleeping at night. Here are a few ways to cope with and decrease your anxiety levels:
Identify Your Anxiety Triggers and Develop a Plan to Manage Them
Of course, this is easier said than done and you may not be able to fully manage them on your own. However, being able to manage at least a few of your triggers can bring your overall anxiety level down. If you’re worried about a big exam that is 20% of your grade and it’s two weeks away, start studying early! The more you study the more prepared you are, the more prepared you are the less anxious you will be.
Utilize Nazareth’s Free Counseling Services
We are fortunate to have free health and counseling services right on campus! They now take walk-ins during the week if you need someone to talk to immediately for about 15 minutes, and you can also schedule appointments for every two or three weeks. Additionally, there is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at health and counseling on Mondays if you and your counselor decide to try medication to ease your anxiety.
Have Close Friends You Can Confide In
Because one in five college students have some type of anxiety disorder, you probably have at least one or two friends you can relate to. Hearing that your friends are anxious about the same things can make you feel validated. Even if you have friends you know will listen to you who don’t have anxiety or don’t have it to the same extent can be a big help.
Do a Mindless Activity That Calms You Down
Doing mindless things either routinely or when you are feeling anxious can calm you down immensely. Making friendship bracelets, watching your favorite show on Netflix, and meditating are all great examples whether you do these activities when you first wake up in the morning, right before you go to bed, or any time during the day when you are feeling anxiety-ridden.
Take Care of Yourself!
By simply taking care of your mind and body by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep, your anxiety can be greatly reduced. Not drinking enough water, low blood sugar, consuming alcohol and caffeine, and not getting enough exercise can mimic symptoms of anxiety. Not getting adequate sleep at night can leave you feeling fatigued, not alert, and not being able to concentrate, affecting your overall cognitive function.