College can be an extremely stressful time in a person's life. Here are my favorite anti-anxiety tips that are simple and help you catch yourself before slipping into major distress.
4-7-8 Mindful breathing
4 seconds of inhale, hold it in for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds. This will help physically calm your body down and tell your brain to slow down.
Meditate with the help of an app
Just ten minutes of mindfulness meditation can help your body take a step back from the future and just focus on the present moment. If it is too hard to meditate on your own, or you don't know how, apps like Headspace can guide you through a quick session just to help you clear your head.
LAVENDER. LAVENDER. LAVENDER. Essential oils are very good at calming down your system. Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree oil, etc. give you a spa-like aroma that can help to relax your mind. These can be purchased at places like Whole Foods or any local market similar. You can just sniff them, but many come in a roller ball tube so you can put it on yourself like perfume.
Heart palpitations can occur if you drink too much caffeine at once. Caffeine can trigger panic and anxiety attacks because it revs up your consciousness and makes you ultra-aware of every little thing. I know it's easy to spend of caffeine for those long days in the library, but your overall anxiety will reduce if your coffee consumption reduces.
Make sure you are eating
Not eating enough can cause low blood sugar, which will in turn cause anxiety along with shakiness, dizziness, heart palpitations and more. This is very important to remember if you are planning on spending an entire day grinding at the library!
Get rid of clutter
Being in college and living in such a small amount of space can be very challenging, and it doesn't take very long for things to begin to pile up. Remember to go through all of the junk and trash you have cluttered all over your desk and floor. Doing a load of laundry is also a good way to get rid of some clutter on the floor and it will make sure you have sufficient outfit choices for the upcoming days.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a great tool when it comes to reduces the effects of your stress on your physical body. This involved tightening up and then releasing muscle groups one by one until you have released all the tension from your muscles. I attached the link to the University of Michigan Medical School page which goes into detail on how to do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise if you'd like to learn more.
Write out your feelings
Writing out your anxious or depressed thoughts throughout the day has been proven to benefit those who suffer from mild anxiety or depression. Spend a fixed amount of time everyday writhing about the difficult things that are going on. This will help you get in touch with your feeling and identify any patterns.
Listen to calming music
Per WebMD, studies show that listening to soothing music or nature sounds are proven to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety, so crank up the tunes!
Never be scared to reach out and get help if you are suffering. I know therapy or medications can be expensive, so I suggest trying to find free resources within your university that can help. If professional help seems out of reach, try to get in contact with a friends or trusted adult. Having someone to talk to never hurts. In an emergency there is the 24 hour suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-TALK