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Overcoming Anxiety

ESM Prep Academic Mentor Chris Johnson shares his best tips for overcoming anxiety as a student. Acknowledging that all of us face anxiety at different times and in different ways, Chris tries to give students the tools to identify the source and make a plan to address it so they can stay on track towards their goals.

Identify the Cause/Seek Advice

When it comes to anxiety, half of the battle is figuring out why you’re anxious. While it may manifest itself in different ways—exams, projects, or oral presentations—finding the root cause and understanding the type of anxiety you have can help you mentally prepare for how to overcome it.

Does your anxiety come abruptly when placed in uncomfortable situations? Do you have particular phobias that are unique and cause you to panic? Do you have trepidation that causes you fear because of potential embarrassment?

Whatever your situation may be, identifying it and then taking the necessary steps to combat it is the only way to make progress. Anxiety is not only common—everyone has experienced it at some point in their lifetime—but it is also beatable. Seek advice from your family, friends, or classmates who have experienced the same, and use your anxiety as fuel so you can find a way to attack it head-on.

Whether it’s doing breathing exercises in the moment to calm your nerves, giving yourself positive reinforcement, or even putting yourself in scenarios that force you to face your fear head on….where there’s a will, there’s a way. Your greatness and success shouldn’t have to come at anxiety’s expense.

Establish a Healthy Routine

Even if you know the source of your anxiety, it can still rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times or catch you off guard. Therefore, establishing a healthy routine that consists of improving your sleeping habits, eating a well balanced diet, and participating in extracurricular activities that give you peace on a daily basis can help mitigate these episodes. In addition, when they do happen and you’re in a better head space, it will be easier for you to overcome them and not let the anxiety negatively impact your life in other areas.

Celebrate your Victories

Make overcoming your anxiety a thing. Because it is! It’s not easy and this article is not meant to imply that’s the case. Anxiety is something that we’ll always have to endure and contend with given the stress of school, employment, and life in general. So why not reward yourself when you make progress? Make this part of the experience so when anxiety hits, you already see the light at the end of the tunnel: Sweet victory!