Celeste Forrest, Staff Writer
As someone who struggles with anxiety on almost a daily basis, I understand firsthand how NOT fun anxiety is. According to the Webster Dictionary, anxiety is actually more than just a little nervousness or worry; it is “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill.”
According to another dictionary definition, anxiety is “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs, such as sweating, tension and increased pulse.” Anxiety doesn’t just affect the mind; it affects the whole body, and it can lead to horrible panic attacks. In college, we find ourselves anxious over grades, our finances, relationships, family issues and our health.
Anxiety can start off as a little worry, something as simple as “How am I going to pass this class?” However, the more you feed it with fears and doubts, the worse it becomes. Soon enough, you feel like you have lost control, and you allow anxiety to overcome you. Honestly, anxiety is a monster that can emotionally drain you, physically make you feel sick and ultimately wreck your day. However, I am here to reassure you that anxiety can be defeated; this monster has its weaknesses, and YOU have the power to destroy it. Here are the weapons you need to beat anxiety:
- PRAYER. Psalms 55:22 tells us to “Cast your cares unto the LORD, and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.” In other words, pray and dump all your worries and fears onto the lap of Jesus. I know this may sound easier said than done, but believe me, there is power in prayer. Once you let go of your anxiety, God will gladly take it away from you. You can fight anxiety before it gets worse by simply praying, and pray in numbers. Finding close friends or even staff members who will support you, encourage you and pray for you is one of the fastest ways to beat anxiety.
- REST. When anxiety becomes unbearable, stop whatever you are doing and rest. If you are in the middle of writing a 20 page term paper, put that laptop away. If you are having an anxiety attack in class, take a quick bathroom break or get a drink of water to calm yourself (if it is really bad, please let your professor know after class, so he or she may be able to help you). The important thing is to find something relaxing to take your mind off things. Do whatever you find restful: read, sing, nap or listen to music. It is better for you to breathe and “find your happy place” rather than freak out and let anxiety ruin your day.
- PEOPLE. Realistically, trying to fight anxiety on your own is like a single soldier trying to fight an army of 100,000. The thing is, you have to admit that you cannot battle anxiety by yourself. As I said in the first point, you need to give control over to God. He will give you the strength you need to overcome your anxiety. However, it always, always, always helps to surround yourself with encouraging people. Hang out with your friends, call your parents, talk with any trusted adult who will be able to understand your situation and help you through it. It is easier for you to dwell on your worry and make your anxiety worse when you are on your own; that is why it is so important to find the people in your life that care about you and will help you take your mind off your worry.
- THERAPY. Before I get into this, let me clear something up. Therapy, whether there is something wrong or not, is meant for everyone. Therapy simply allows you to talk and get things off your chest. You can feel fine and dandy and still speak with a therapist about your day. When all else fails, therapy is the way to go if you need that extra help for your anxiety. The therapists here at SNU are extremely caring and understanding; plus, they have all the right tools for you to help you overcome anxiety! See Renew Counseling Center to sign up.
One thing to keep in mind is that we all experience anxiety at some point in our lives, and it is something that you can take control of and overcome. You do not have to let anxiety overpower you and take control of your life. Remember you never have to fight any battle on your own!