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Anxiety: A common problem

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We’ve all felt a little anxious every now and again, especially when it comes to uni; moving out on your own for the first time, making new friends or meeting fast approaching deadlines. There are many things that can trigger these feelings of insecurity and butterflies.

The feeling of tension and nerves is only natural and can help you feel more alert and help you become more productive. However, this isn’t always the case; the important thing is not to feel overwhelmed. Emma Marks from the mental health charity Mind explains that, “Being anxious is part of being human… The problem arises when it takes over your life and stops being productive.”

There can be an obvious reason to the cause to these fears, especially in an environment where there’s pressure, whether that’s social or educational. However, it is not always the case and the root cause of the problem may not always be so clear. Anxiety disorders are intensified and feelings that last a lot longer than usual. It becomes difficult to keep your feet on the ground as you feel constantly out of control of a situation or even day-to-day life. One in four adults experience mental health problems each year in the UK, with anxiety being the most common type of disorder.

Often it can be small steps that help the feelings of anxiety to subside. When writing her dissertation, Birmingham City University Graduate Kerri O’Shea said, “I felt better each time I got a chunk out of the way, not matter how small.”

How do you keep a healthy mind?

There are five steps that are recommended by Mind which are:

Connect

Real social interaction has shown to be beneficial for wellbeing. Talking to people gives a level of social interaction that social media and emailing can’t provide.

Be Active

Not only does exercise improve physical health it works wonders for your mental wellbeing. Staying active is another key part, and it doesn’t mean spend hours in the gym or going on an intense long-distance run. A gentle walk or a slow-paced activity can work wonders as well as burn the calories.

Take Notice

Whilst listening to others is important for both yours and their wellbeing, this isn’t what was meant. Living in the moment and noticing the little things can boost your self-esteem and awareness. You’re at university to think about and build your future, but remember to embrace what’s happening now.

Learn

Take the time out of your studies to learn something new or improve on something you cherish, something that doesn’t directly impact your career. Whether that is learning to bake or to play an instrument, it’s vital to keep a balance between work and play.

Give

That doesn’t mean give your student loan to charity, but simply that the little things have the biggest impact. Whether that’s a night in where you treat your friends or volunteering for a charity, giving back can be the simplest of things and instantly lift your mood and give you the feel-good factor.

There are various ways to find support; whether that is through support groups, both community and online. However, if the feelings are intensified or prolonged longer than they should be, a visit to your GP is needed. 

Think you might be suffering from anxiety? Visit Mind here.

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