1) Breathe deeply and take a moment to think things over.
Your breathing is where your body and mind connect. Breathe with your belly, not your chest, if it helps, put your hand on your stomach to feel it inflate and deflate. Practicing slow, controlled breathing can help stop an anxiety attack if you feel one coming on. When you do this, focus on your breath and nothing else. This will also help clear your mind.
2) Feeling Overwhelmed by work? Make a list.
When I am anxious about schoolwork, I find it helpful to make lists.
The first thing I do is write down all the assignments I have for the week in the order they're due. After that, if it still feels like too much, I put estimates how long each assignment will take to complete. Then, I look at my calendar to see when I do have time for the assignment. I do this at the beginning of each week, and it has helped me avoid many anxiety attacks. When you take things one step at a time, the amount of overthinking and anxiety will decrease.
3) Make a playlist of songs that make you feel good.
Music gives you a new thing to focus on, and a fast tempo can change the mood you're in. Music causes more dopamine to be produced in the brain, which is one of the neural hormones that makes you feel happy. I also sometimes find that dancing-it-out is the perfect way to chase the anxiety away!
4) Exercise is a good stress reliever. A small walk can change your mindset.
I personally am happier when I'm exercising regularly. Anxiety is mostly just emotions that have nowhere to go. Exercise is a great healthy place to direct those emotions. Exercise also produces endorphins which can counteract anxious feelings. Sometimes a walk with some fresh air is all the exercise you need to change your mood.
5) Do not bottle it up.
It is always okay to feel emotions, but we do not have to do it alone. Talking about these things out loud can give you some clarity. This person can be a friend, family, partner, or mental health professional. I picked LIM partially due to the fact we have a free counseling department and great supports if you are not feeling mentally well. Jennifer Jones is the manager of the office and can schedule you for a phone or zoom call.
Erika Massey is a rising junior in the Visual Studies program at LIM College. She is a student mentor and works as a student ambassador for the admissions office. She also is one of the co-leaders of the philanthropy club, president of the resident’s hall council, and a member of the global students’ club.