Coping with Stress and Anxiety

What is Stress?

Stress is typically our body & mind’s response to a challenging situation (or situations, as is the case for many college students) and it isn’t always a negative thing. Just the right amount of stress can motivate us as we near a deadline.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by intense dread, worry, or fear. It can be difficult to explain to others or to identify a particular source for the anxiety but it can be debilitating and appear as avoidance.

So How Do You Cope?

woman sitting on dock looking at mountain

In order to bring your awareness back to what is happening in front of you, you can practice identifying

5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear. 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.

The goal is to use your senses to center yourself back into the present.

Go through the rainbow and identify red things you can see, then orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, brown, and black.

Figure-8 breathing (or infinity sign breathing) allows you to focus on your breathing and engage in bilateral stimulation in your brain to calm your nervous system.

Draw or trace the infinity sign. Start on the left side and inhale through your nose, when you get to the right side of the sign, exhale.

Anxiety can cause our body to tense up. When we acknowledge that we are experiencing bodily discomfort, one way to ease this feeling is to further tense our muscles and then fully relax them.

Starting with your head and working your way down your body to your feet, tense sections of muscles in your body (ie. scrunching your face, making a fist), and then exhale and relax the muscles.

Audio Files to Help You Relax