For a lot of my college career, I was wrapped up in anxiety.
It was a voice reminding of my fears and it made me overthink the worst possible scenarios.
It felt like a rock was stuck to the inside of my sternum.
It became unhealthy fast when it was around.
As I have grown up, my anxiety has become like waves of the ocean.
Sometimes, its calm and I can enjoy the peace of the water.
Sometimes, there are small waves; manageable, but they do come and go.
Sometimes, I feel like I can barely take a breath before it again crashes over me.
But, I am learning to tread water. Here's how:
Find the Roots
Your anxiety is coming from something. Imagine, you get hit in the face with a soccer ball. If every time you play soccer, you get nervous but don't trace it back to getting hit in the face, you feel like you're upset for no reason. If you can find the root of your worry, it becomes smaller and it makes more sense. I am nervous about this game of soccer because I got hit in the face last time. It sounds silly in that context; usually its not a real soccer ball. It is telling a new friend a secret when the last friend spread it around like a weed. It is a guy saying "trust me" when the last one you trusted broke your heart. It is driving again after a car accident.
Find the Release
Find things that make you calm. If I am having a particularly bad day, I will make myself set aside 5 minutes. I pull up some music, queue 3 songs and lay down to listen. Instead of trying to power nap or think over my day, I think about the song and the lyrics. When the songs are over, I get up and keep rollin. I've got stuff to do but I don't need to be worrying; I just needed a minute.
I am in a season of inward changes. I'm finding past roots causing me to be anxious about things in my present and my future. Instead of letting that grow, I am working to better myself in my anxious thoughts as well as better myself as a woman in general. I dyed my hair. I changed my make up routine. I started eating healthier food, and I started rock climbing. To match this change of season on the inside, I've done a few small things to change the outside.
Find Real People
aka find people who you can ask for help. The worst thing for me to do when I am anxious is sit in my room alone. Instead, I walk to my roommate's room, I go grab a coffee with someone, I ask a friend to come over, or I call a friend from home. Find people who you feel comfortable sharing the good and the bad with, and people who will do the same with you.
Find the root so it makes sense. Find your release and treat yo'self. Find renewal as you grow with your seasons. Find real people and live honest life with them.