How to Cope with Anxiety

Bella Trimmer, Staff Writer

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Anxiety is a normal part of everyday life, but for some people, it becomes unmanageable; they become slaves to their own paranoia and pessimism. People who suffer from anxiety disorders struggle through day-to-day life searching for solutions, whether it be therapy, medication or trying to shift their way of thinking. If you are plagued by anxiety and can’t seem to find a way to escape it, then this list is for you.

While short term solutions aren’t necessarily the best option, they are undoubtedly helpful. For example, people tend to push away their close friends when their anxiety worsens, believing they’ll only be a burden. Usually, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, but the thought remains in their minds nonetheless. As difficult as it may be, please keep your friends close. They are more than willing to help and support you.
Another short term solution is considerably more difficult compared to the first; try to avoid comparing yourself to others. For some, the thought that nearly everyone around them is infinitely superior is ingrained in their mind; therefore it is very difficult to overcome. However, it can be done.

The most helpful long-term solution to overcoming your anxiety is actually very simple: you need to learn to recognize overestimation and underestimation. People with anxiety tend to overestimate stressful situations and underestimate themselves. For example, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may simultaneously blow a relatively unimportant event out of proportion and seriously doubt your own ability to handle a bad outcome. This kind of thinking is typically the basis that fuels anxiety-related disorders. If you learn to recognize your own irrational thinking, you’re well on your way to recovering. My advice for solving this specific problem: if a situation is becoming overwhelming, take a step back, and try to imagine the realistic results from an outsider’s point of view. If you’re worried about presenting a project in class, realize that the memory of your project will most likely be lost in the sea of presentations. Similar ways of thinking can be applied to almost any anxiety-inducing situation. If you can manage it, realistic thinking is the best way to deal with uncontrollable anxiety.

If your anxiety only worsens considerably, it would probably be best for you to seek other solutions or outside help (these means of coping are by no means your only options). You’re not alone in this battle; there will always be people who are willing to support you. The situations that are stressing you out won’t last forever. There is always a way out.