Anxiety can act like a bully who corners kids in a playground to prey on their insecurities, especially at their weakest moments. It’s is an emotion that plagues many people and should be more openly discussed. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older. With this alarming statistic, it is important for people struggling with anxiety to know they are not alone.
As stated by Harvard Health Publishing, anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Almost everyone can recall a time when they have been stressed out before taking a big exam or going out on a date. Anxiety can become a problem when it starts to interfere with our daily lives and for some people overcoming anxiety is a daily struggle.
There are simple ways to help overcome anxiety. One is to calm down and bring peace to your mind. A lot of people find that deep breathing techniques and yoga help them calm their thoughts. Goodnight Yoga is an evening yoga class offered at the Student Recreation Center at Montclair State University on Thursdays and Sundays. Sunrise Yoga is offered every weekday morning at 8 a.m. Both of these classes are wonderful and can help students find more peace and relaxation in their minds and bodies.
While under stress, the mind and body can affect the way the other works. When the mind is working on overdrive, the body feels physical exhaustion and pain, according to Harvard Health Publishing. By practicing deep breathing techniques, you can train your mind and body to relax and unwind from anxiety-induced stress. Meditation can also be key in overcoming anxiety and depression. Both take practice in order for them to be effective, but they are worth it.
Coloring books are another great option for those of us with anxiety. Adult coloring books sometimes feature intricate patterns and geometric shapes. When focusing on creating a wonderful masterpiece, it becomes hard to pay attention to racing thoughts and nagging insecurities.
There are many different activities to get involved with on campus, whether it be clubs or Greek Life. Red Hawk News sends out weekly emails about events. Attending them can be a great way to de-stress and ease yourself into the college life. Students should take advantage of the tools and resources available to them at Montclair State.
The Drop-In Center offers a craft event every week for students to unwind and de-stress while meeting others. It meets on Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Drop-In Center also hosts Fireside Chats, an activity for students to relax and socialize by the fire.
For students who suffer from social anxiety, they know their anxiety peaks in large group settings. Those with social anxiety often fear saying the wrong thing and being judged when interacting with people. Carrying a book to read for whenever the nerves start coming is a great way to be prepared.
It is also important to understand that no one is staring or judging, it is just inner fears trying to take control. The most important thing is to focus on managing anxiety, not trying to completely get rid of it. Learning how to control reactions to certain situations and discovering what triggers each person’s anxiety is a great way to manage it. Journaling can help keep track of the different anxiety triggers each day.
Remember that no matter what, you are never alone. There is always someone going through a similar situation, so it is best to find someone to talk to about it. If you are feeling anxious or depressed and need someone to talk to, stop by the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office in Russ Hall. Managing anxiety can be hard and these tips might not work for everyone, but it’s worth a try if there’s a chance to learn how to slay the anxiety beast.