As a college girl who struggles with anxiety on an almost daily basis, I genuinely understand how difficult it is living with anxiety. Those anxious thoughts can come with a lot of unwanted exhaustion and frustration.

Most everyone will experience anxiety at some point—some more than others. But no matter how often or severe your experience with anxiety, having a few tricks in mind for how to handle it can make the experience a lot more manageable. Although many college students struggle with anxiety, there are certainly ways to cope with it. Keep reading to find out how you can take control of your anxiety in a healthy way (and stop feeling like SpongeBob without water)… 

1. Get moving.

First and foremost, go exercise. It’s scientifically proven: that post-workout endorphin high is hard to beat.

Exercise doesn’t have to be working out in a gym—it can be any medium of exercise that feels good, or that you enjoy.

I know, it’s not easy when you’re anxious, and it’s probably not your first instinct when you start to feel some anxiety. But even when it’s difficult, just go work out. Or even just go for a bike ride around the city, or take a walk with some friends! Assess how you feel before and after exercising. There have been so many times where I think the world is coming to an end, but then I go to the gym and suddenly I am fine again.

2. Take a second to just breathe.

Another method for managing anxiety is meditation. There are plenty of apps that you can download (personally, I like Headspace but there are so many more to choose from) that will help guide your meditation. Over time, this simple ritual can help reduce anxiety.

Sure, meditation might not work for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a try. Just setting aside some time to think and connect with yourself can be comforting—knowing that you do have a moment set aside to relax when life gets stressful.

3. Reach out.

Although college can be an anxiety-provoking time, the upside of living in a dorm is that you will always have friends nearby. Whenever you feel anxious, it can help to talk it out with a friend. When I feel anxious, I often come up with worries and obsess over them to the point where I can barely think straight anymore; but talking it out with a friend helps me realize that I am actually ok. Sometimes all you need is another person’s voice to put your anxiety into perspective for you.

4. Take a step back.

Jumping off of that last point, anxiety is all about perspective. Your worries might seem huge, or might seem like nothing at all when placed side by side with your actual situation. Anxiety can blow each little worry out of proportion, but it’s so hard to see that in the moment. When you experience anxiety (again, I know it’s not easy) try to take a step back and look at your big picture situation. You might even realize that you actually have nothing to worry about at all.

If you learn anything from my article, I want it to be this: DON’T LET ANXIETY STOP YOU FROM LIVING LIFE. There are ways to manage that anxiety so that it doesn’t completely take over! I used to turn down every one of life’s opportunities because I let my anxiety get in the way. Even if you are scared, do things outside of your comfort zone. It will help you grow. Don’t live a life filled with fear; just go out and do what you set your mind to. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail, and even that isn’t so bad. Just remember – #fitufam is always there for you too. 🙂

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