How to manage your anxiety and stress.

It’s totally normal to feel anxious from time to time, but there are lots of things you can do to feel better. Remember: there’s a difference between feeling stressed every now and then, and experiencing ongoing anxiety. If the anxiety is starting to take a toll and you’re looking for ways to deal with it, here are some ways to help you get started and learn how to deal with stress and anxiety.

Quick tips to help with stress and anxiety.  These techniques can be really helpful if you experience anxiety now and then or feel unexpectedly anxious.

Practice breathing techniques. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be triggered by hyperventilation. This is when your breathing quickens and your body tales in too much oxygen. Try doing one of these breathing exercises to help calm you down and slow your breathing whenever you feel anxious:

The 4-7-8 technique: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. Or Long Exhale: spend a bit longer exhaling than you do inhaling.

Practice muscle relaxation techniques. Also called a “body scan”, this technique helps you focus on yourself and release tension your area holding in your body.  Here is a link that guides you through this exercise.

Focus on the present. Have you ever noticed that feeling stressed or anxious often coincides with dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Focusing in the present moment can help you feel more relaxed.

Take a break. Schedule regular breaks in your day. Excuse yourself for five to 10 minutes, go to a different room, or put aside what you are doing to take a walk around, try some breathing exercises, get some fresh air or do some light stretches to help you relax.

Talk to someone you trust about how your feeling. Just talking to someone about how you’re feeling can take a weight off your shoulders. Find someone you can trust, work out what you want to say to then, and then explain how you are feeling. If you want to talk to someone anonymously there are online forums at Beyond Blue and ReachOut.

Move more, eat well, Sleep. It is pretty well-known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety, and improves mood. And the good news is that you don’t’ need to run marathon to get the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. Diet and sleep are also really important for your wellbeing. A healthy diet will make you feel healthier and stringer and better able to handle stress, while enough sleep positively affects your mood and stress levels.

Here are some links that you might find helpful.   

Catie McNamara

Director Student Welfare Services

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