Life can be stressful. For me as a college student, there are many factors at play—trying to balance school, work, exercise, relationships amongst peers, along with the pressures of determining what it is you want to do with the rest of your life once you graduate. Sometimes it can all feel like too much.
Of course, the pressure does not disappear after college. There will always be different stressors in life that cause anxiety. All of these elements which lead to anxiety are reflected in the shockingly high proportion of citizens in the US who suffer from some form of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States, according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, influencing the lives of over 40 million adults in the country every year.
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States, according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, influencing the lives of over 40 million adults in the country every year. In 2015, the American College Health Association released the news that over 15 percent of college students are diagnosed with anxiety annually.
That number continues to grow throughout adulthood. Nearly 20 percent of the population has anxiety or will suffer from anxiety during the course of their lives.
Anxiety is different for everyone, and so is the way that we manage the stress. Throughout the last few years, I have found different mechanisms for coping with my own form of anxiety. Here are my useful tips to help ease an anxious mind and body:
Exercise. The most efficient way that I have found to deal with my own anxiety is through exercise. Personally, running is my most productive way of overcoming stressors in my life, whether they be mental, emotional, school or work related. The US National Library of Medicine goes as far as to make the claim that regular exercise can be seen as a preventative measure which decreases one’s chance of adopting mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Meditation. Meditation has never been my initial go-to when I’m feeling anxious, but I have many friends and family who have found meditation extremely helpful in dealing with anxiety. According to The Chopra Center, meditation is effective at helping with anxiety in that it quiets the “overactive mind”. Meditation can help to detach from issues that are consuming your thoughts and take time to focus on yourself.
Reading and Writing. This one hits a personal note for me. Oftentimes, I find the best way to clear my head is to write down what it is that is making me anxious. Whether it’s a list or a journal entry, sometimes just getting it down on paper makes it seem less intimidating. Similar to writing, letting your mind go elsewhere and getting absorbed into a book is a good way to separate from what is causing your anxiety.
Grounding in nature. Authors like Hemingway have long written about the beneficial effects of nature on humans, both mentally and spiritually. While it may seem a little hippy-dippy to some people, removing myself from society and spending time in nature has always been an extremely effective way for me to clear my head.
Although these practices have worked for me, anxiety is an extremely personal disorder and everyone copes differently. Whether you seek out talk-therapy, medication, natural remedies or professional help, the important thing is to acknowledge and address the issue.
Thank you for reading. I’d love to know—what has worked for you?