Anxiety can be very challenging, especially if it’s something you experience every day. Because it’s not just stress or tension or nerves, anxiety means that you’re obsessively worried about something. It means that you’re worried about something to the point that you can’t think of anything else. You can’t concentrate in class; you can’t focus on your math exam; and you can’t even hear what you’re friends are saying because you’re mind is racing about something.
Thus, symptoms of anxiety isn’t just having a mind full of anxious thoughts. You might also have these symptoms too, which can also get in the way of living your life:
- Racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating palms
- Feeling hot
- Inner restlessness
- Being excessively vigilant
- Continual nervousness
- Extreme stress
You might get so used to anxiety that it might hum in the background of your life. At first, it might not get in the way of your functioning. However, untreated, anxiety can become chronic, eventually interfering with your ability to attend school and perform well on exams and projects. For this reason, here are a few things you can do right now to manage your anxiety:
1. Take a deep breath
Make your breath long and deep. This can immediately shift your physiological state. When you consciously choose to relax, even in a state of fear, over time, the fearful responses to certain places, people, or things may lessen in intensity and eventually no longer have the effect they once did. Furthermore, you can practice this type of breathing anytime, whether anxiety is present or not. This way, deep breathing can become a resource whenever anxiety strikes.
2. Connect with someone you trust
Teens who experience mental health symptoms need the support of others. When you feel loved, accepted, and appreciated by others, you are more likely to feel strong and secure. Call someone you trust who you can talk to about your anxious feelings.
3. Go for a walk
Sometimes, just taking a break and focusing on your body can also help calm your nervous system – just like deep breathing. When you feel anxiety, your body responds in an excited and heightened way. However, walking can help relax the body and mind so that you can focus on other things again.
4. Eat a healthy meal
This might also help you take your mind off your thoughts, but it can also help you calm down. You can support your body’s relaxation by eating something warm and nutritious.
5. Rely upon your spirituality
Perhaps you want to say a prayer or make a list of what you’re grateful for. You might want to get quiet or think of a place that nourishes you spiritually. When you connect with your higher power, you can access resources you may not have known you had. Your spirituality might mean spending time in nature.
Anxiety isn’t easy to face, but there are tools you can use to make the experience of anxiety easier and easier. Over time, with a sustained practice of relaxation, you’ll learn how to stay relaxed even in the face of anxiety.
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