I have struggled with anxiety for a long time and it always seems to just get worse. For years, I have worked hard to try to lessen my stress and anxiety by seeing a counselor for a while, constantly staying busy, and finally being placed on non-habit forming medication. College is one of the most stressful times of a person’s life and I know that many of you agree. We worry about our classes, jobs, money, clubs, activities, and futures, that’s a lot to think about on a daily basis. So I have compiled a list of things to help us with our stress and anxiety. Some of these I have tried or come up with on my own, and some I have researched in times of struggle:
- Try Yoga – Yoga is known to be a hugely calming activity. And I know some of you are probably thinking that it is silly or so overrated, and I don’t know how you feel, but I am willing to try just about anything. There are lots of moves specifically for stress and anxiety (or to help you sleep if you have trouble with that as well) and I think it would make a large difference even if you just did 10-20 minutes a day.
- Eat Healthy – This one is probably the hardest for me (I love pizza and dessert just as much as the next guy), but it apparently makes a HUGE difference. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t still enjoy your French fries and Twinkies, just add some fruit and veggies in there as well, especially at the beginning of the day.
- Listen to Calming Music – Listening to calming, slow-paced music, even for just 5-10 minutes a day can help immensely. You can listen in the car, on your walk to class, or when taking a quick break from life and sitting on your bed with headphones. You can also search for listening activities like mindfulness or other things, usually lasting about 5-20 minutes, that go through a calming routine with you with lots of deep breathing.
- Focus on the Good – I personally believe this one may be the most important. When I have high levels of anxiety, I start to pile on everything and think that everything is bad and falling apart. I constantly think of the worst possible situation. However, the one thing I have found that always brings me back to the real world is when I start to list all the good things. Sometimes I write them down and sometimes I just repeat them over and over in my head. List everything, take nothing for granted. I try to make a short list now almost every day of five things I am happy and grateful for that day. Most of the time, the five things are very small, but taken for granted things like: my ability to walk, I arrived at school safely today, I have a dog, I am not sick, I have a family who loves me. Focusing on the good can also include making lists of things that make you happy like sunshine, pies, chocolate, the feeling of a breeze on a hot day, daisies, basset hounds, and hugs. Focus on the good, and be happy.
Love, a fellow stressed out college student
Delaney Ray '19 is a Psychology and Sociology double major with a minor in Criminal Justice. She works as a Student Orientation Leader and a Library Desk Assistant in addition to blogging for MU. She never thought she would be a blogger, and her dream job is to work for the FBI in the behavioral unit.