By Paige – 17 years old
Anxiety is a bigger issue in High School than people usually think. However, when you’re a high school student, it makes perfect sense. There is an immense responsibility to keep your grades up above all else. There’s pressure from family, friends and teachers to be perfect. But the truth is, “perfect” doesn’t exist, and although we’ve been taught “nobody’s perfect”, we still tend to obsess over this powerful word and find ourselves striving for that unreachable goal. Because of this, it is completely understandable why you yourself may be feeling anxious. However, there are many things you can do to help prevent anxiety.
One way you can stop anxiety is to control your thoughts. Our thoughts have a lot of power in the battle against anxiety, and they usually end up working against us when we assume the worst of a situation. Countless times people find themselves panicking over something they don’t even know to be true yet. For example, if a teacher wants to talk to us we tend to assume it’s because we’re failing their class and they’re giving us ten detentions. To live in this constant state of worry can be taxing. If your mind starts to go to this place, put it on a different path. Put the situation into context and try to think about it from an objective point of view. Just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true, thoughts aren’t fact. It’s not easy, but you have the power to put your train of thought on the right track.
Another way to prevent anxiety is by making sure you take care of your personal needs before any other obligations you may have. People always say that school comes first, but in order to do the best you can at school you have to put yourself first. Not having time to take care of yourself, can fuel anxiety. To prevent this from happening keep yourself as your primary concern. It’s not selfish to put yourself first; it’s necessary to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
What can be most worrisome about anxiety is that it can come at any time, or it can be held constant. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s also important to come up with simple tricks to help keep yourself calm. Taking several deep breaths may be all it takes, but if not there are many other things you can do. Below are some specific and simple suggestions that others have found helpful in coping with anxiety.
- Taking a bath/shower
- Using a stress ball
- Listening to music
- Exercising (as simple as walking)
- Putting a wet paper towel on your forehead
- Braiding hair
- Painting nails
- Talking (chatting with a friend or family member about something other than what is causing your anxiety)
- Drinking a hot beverage (some teas have antioxidants that are known to reduce stress)
- **Coffee often makes people anxious, so try to avoid it
- Simply getting fresh air
Everyone has or will struggle with anxiety at some point in their life, and everyone has their own coping mechanisms. You’re not alone, High School can be an anxious place and it’s hard to think of it as anything else. However, if you try to not assume the worst of every situation, remember your personal needs, and find tricks that can help you in the moment, hopefully you can reduce your anxiety and maybe even get rid of it.