Thinking Out Loud
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Health and Wellness

Thinking Out Loud

My thoughts on anxiety and coping strategies that actually work

Thinking Out Loud

There were times when my thoughts wouldn't stop. My worrying would go on and on, leaving me with nothing else to do. I felt alone like I was being hurt by a person no one else could see.

My constant worrying and repetitive thoughts caused me to lose my self-confidence: I was anxious about everything and believed that I would never be able to control it.

And the worst part about anxiety is that there is no physical evidence to suggest harm done. No change in way of looking at someone and knowing exactly what they are going through.

Truthfully, it can be difficult to acknowledge something as unstable as anxiety, especially when you live in a world where everyone expects you to keep it together 24/7. Personally, for me, it can seem frightening at first, especially when you don't understand everything completely. However, with motivation and the right support system, it is possible to find coping strategies.

Natural home remedies, meditation, and even eating the right foods can do wonders for limiting your anxiety as well as boosting your own confidence and well-being.

Below are a few suggestions to help you get started.

1. Drink Tea

As a college student, my go-to in the mornings and on campus had always been coffee. However, I quickly learned that the caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and additives found in coffee were the main cause of my panic attacks and made the anxiety even worse.

A few symptoms included: increased heart palpitation, shortness of breath, fatigue, racing and unwanted thoughts.

The solution: If you are going to continue to drink coffee, limit your intake and stick to either making your own coffee at home or purchasing black coffee instead. This allows for you to add your own cream and sugar, instead of ordering a fancy drink with unnecessary additives that may simply worsen your anxiety.

Bonus: Drinking water with lemon is always a good way to start off your morning. Not only does it wake up your mind and body, but it's also really healthy.

2. Exercise

Now, if you're like me, where exercise isn't a part of your daily routine, don't worry there are still simple and effective ways of getting the perfect workout tailored to your preference.

While talking with my classmates and friends around campus, I learned that exercise really is the best way to clear your mind and stay fit. However, the question still do you convince someone to exercise when they have little to no interest in it at all?

The solution: You don't have to go to the gym to get the right exercise, some of the best workouts are done in the comfort of your own home. Still having trouble? Try getting some friends together to "hang out" while also taking a walk, run, or even doing some simple stretches.

My personal favorites include walking the dog and dancing around the house while listening to Lady Gaga. The trick is finding out what you love, and getting a move on!

3. Stay Organized

This is probably the most important thing you can do especially as a college student. The majority of time spent in a classroom, working on assignments, balancing work, family, and friends is stressful enough as it is. Once you begin to organize your weekly or daily schedule, you will experience less stress over everyday things and focus your energy on something else.

The solution: Planners, monthly calendars, sticky notes, and even reminders set on your phone is a step in the right direction. Also, writing anything down, especially important test dates or events forces you to organize your thoughts into one task at a time. I found that doing this allowed me to concentrate more and stay focused. Many of my friends found that keeping a journal was a good way to voice your frustrations and concerns. It can be overwhelming carrying those stress-thoughts around, so write it out.

4. Sleep

Whether you stayed up late writing a paper at the last minute or watched Saturday Night Live till 2:00 a.m, sleep should still be your main priority.

Even logging on to social media for half an hour or texting a friend takes your mind and body off of sleep and causes even more stress. This is due to the fact that you are basically forcing yourself to work or think when your mind and body have already checked out for the night.

The solution: If you forgot about an assignment or pushed it off till the last minute, try breaking up the work. This way, you will give yourself more time to focus instead of attempting to complete a project in one night. The same goes for watching late night television, instead of binge watching one season of Gilmore Girls, limit the episodes you watch. Every once and awhile, I am guilty of watching various episodes in one sitting but doing this all the time is not recommended. Stick to one or two episodes if you can, not only will you get more sleep but you will also have more episodes to look forward to. And with winter break approaching, there's no better time to catch up on all your favorite movies and shows without sacrificing your sleep.

Bonus: If you are still experiencing nights where you can't sleep because your mind won't "turn off" try listening to some classical or calm music. I use an app called, Relax Melodies which can be downloaded for free via the iTunes App Store

(Image found via Google Play).

And If you are still wondering about whether anxiety is real or even experiencing doubt about your own anxiety, I highly recommend clicking the link below.

Last December, BuzzFeed Yellow uploaded a video consisting of various illustrations and drawings of what anxiety feels like for different people.

Liked the article? Please share it on social media.

Do you have any advice for people with anxiety or questions of your own?

Comment below.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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