Overview of Anxiety
Anxiety affects our whole being, including how we feel, behave, and our physical symptoms. It feels like fear but while we know what we are frightened of, we often don’t know what we are anxious about. We all become anxious from time to time, and it becomes a problem when it interferes with life in the absence of real threat, or goes on too long after the danger has past.
As well as feeling apprehensive and worried (possibly without knowing why), you may experience some of the following physical symptoms:
Tense muscles, Trembling, Churning stomach, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache, Backache, Heart palpitations, Numbness or Tingling in the arms, hands or legs, and/or Sweating/Flushing.
What Can Be Done
Actions to Decrease Stress and Increase Relaxation
Learn to manage stress in your life. Keep an eye on daily pressures and deadlines and prioritize taking time from study or work to complete these tasks. Some ways to help decrease stress are to: schedule time for rejuvenation and then commit to taking it, brainstorm a list of ways to relax or learn a variety of relaxation techniques, and learn more about physical relaxation methods, biofeedback, and meditation resources on the SHCS website.
Attending to Your Physical Needs
Look after your physical self by eating healthily, getting regular exercise and trying to keep a regular sleep pattern. Also try to avoid alcohol, marijuana, and junk food.
Another technique to try is deep abdominal breathing. This consists of breathing in deeply and slowly through your nose, taking the air right down to your abdomen. Deliberately let your muscles go floppy as you breathe out. Take three deep breaths at a time. If you breathe deeply for too long you may feel dizzy from the extra oxygen so take a short break of breathing normally and then repeat the exercise.
Learn to replace negative self-talk with supporting self-talk. When you're thinking something negative like "I can’t do this, it’s just too hard," try to change it to something more positive, like "This is hard but I can get through it." It is useful to make a list of the negative thoughts you often have and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them.
How We Can Help
You can schedule an intake with a counselor at North Hall by calling (530) 752-2349. Acute Care drop-in services are available on the first floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center.