Calming Anxiety

Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

According to recent studies, nearly one in six college students have been diagnosed with/treated for anxiety, and more than 20% report that anxiety affects their academic performance. And right here at UA, more than 60% of the students surveyed at Counseling and Psych Services (CAPS) said they came in for help with anxiety.  

If tension, worry, or even panic get in your way, know that you’re not alone and there’s something you can do about it.

you Can Calm Your Anxiety (Here's How)

FIRST, BREATHE.

  • In through your nose.
  • Expand your bellow.
  • Hold your breath just a bit.
  • Exhale slowly.
  • Pause a moment before breathing in again.

 

Breathe with the Campus Health Mindful Ambassadors:

Check out the Mindful Ambassadors YouTube channel for more mindfulness exercises.

 

Then, Walk Yourself through the Problem.

What questions can you answer?

Write down what you're thinking and look for the questions you can answer. If your worries are not answerable, try rephrasing them.  What if I fail can become what are the requirements to stay in my major or keep my scholarship, what are my options for retaking this class, or can I meet with my advisor to check in on my progress.

Think what NOW (not what if).

Refocus on what information, resources, and solutions are available to you now.

Look for solutions.

Shift from a problem mindset to a solution mindset. Set a timer for about 10 minutes and brainstorm as many solutions as you can - without editing or analyzing them. After your 10 minutes are up, choose 1 that sounds good enough and take a baby step in that direction.

 

Try it now:

  • Ask: Where is my mind.
  • Focus on right now.
  • Convert worries into solvable problems and answerable questions.
  • Get realistic.
  • Redefine failure and mistake.

And Remember to Treat Yourself Well. (You're worth taking care of!)

Start with sleep.

  • Keep a reasonably consistent sleeping schedule, even on weekends.
  • Incorporate time to wind-down at the end of the day.
  • Reduce screen time in the hour or so before bed. 
  • Learn more about getting better sleep.

Nourish your body.

Do what you can to eat well-balanced, nourishing, and satisfying meals and keep a healthy snack handy for your long days. 

Nutrition tips and resources from Campus Health.

Move your body.

Take breaks during the day to move or stretch. Walking around the building, taking the stairs, jumping in place, or dancing to your favorite song can all help release pent-up anxious energy.

Learn more about your physical wellness and getting quality physical activity.

Be kind to yourself.

If you’re hard on yourself or worried about what others think, give yourself a big dose of kindness by remembering your strengths and encouraging yourself in a tough situation.

Reduce Stress and Improve Your Life with Positive Self-Talk on Very Well Mind.

 

Resources

Articles

Mental Health Tips on Campus Health's Living Wild

6 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety in Public Places on Very Well Mind

Dealing with Worry and Anxiety on This Way Up

11 Tips for Anxiety Sufferers on Calm Clinic

Apps

Stressbusters Wellness, U of A Edition: audio tracks, relaxation, meditation, events.

Headspace: Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple

Stop, Breath & Think: 5 minutes to peace

Woebot Evidence-based treatments, accessible anytime and anywhere.