When dealing with anxiety, we often cope in ways that are not healthy or productive. Rather than digesting and processing our feelings, we react immediately, often to the detriment of ourselves and others. Below I’ve listed productive responses during these moments of distress!
1.Sending an impulsive text —> write a note to yourself
Whenever you’re upset, you don’t always need to make it known to the world. Sending impulsive texts and angry snapchats does not improve your situation. Rather than venting to the internet, write down what truly bothers you. When dealing with difficult situations, our thoughts can run wild, leaving us helpless and out of control. By writing your feelings down, you can organize your thoughts, and pinpoint exactly what’s upsetting you. I’ve written letters to friends who hurt me in my journals, only to realize afterwards that I was making a mountain out of a molehill!
2. Lashing out at a loved one —> go on a solo walk
We’re only human; we’ve all taken our frustrations out on our families and friends - especially during quarantine. Feeling distressed while being surrounded by the same people, day in and day out, can make the situation 10x worse. The next time you feel your emotions taking over, grab your headphones and go for a solo walk- in a safe area, of course. Take time to calm down, forget your troubles, and burn off that pent up energy. Science has proven that the best thing to do when feeling overwhelmed is to keep your body moving. Exercise increases endorphins and releases tension in our muscles. Making solo walks a habit will have long-term benefits for your mental health.
3. Bottling up your feelings —> listen to your favorite album
When feeling anxious, some vibey music can help you cope with your emotions. I remember being in the car and feeling super anxious, when “Get Well Soon” by Ariana Grande came on. I burst into tears because that song just hit me in my soul. Listening to Ariana Grande helped me release all of my bad energy, allowing me to move on with my day. Music can also completely transform your mood; a fun album can totally improve your state of mind! When I’m on my way to school, social events, or just feeling blue, I blast my playlists that are guaranteed to get me out of my funk.
4. Going into an overthinking spiral —> watch a lighthearted show
As a Netflix binge-watching addict, I can tell you that it is a great distraction. When I find myself over-thinking and catastrophizing the smallest things, it always helps to get lost in a show. After an episode or two, I completely forget what I had been thinking about before. I also enjoy watching a quick 20 minute episode as a study-break. Taking a moment to step back and escape from reality can help you reset, and revisit life with a fresh mind.
5. Comparing yourself to others —> make a list of things you’re grateful for
One thing that I’ve been loving these past 5 months is keeping a gratitude journal. Even on my worst days, I make an effort to point out all the good in my life. This process has helped me stay focused on myself, and understand that every person leads a different life, with different obstacles and blessings. Staying aware of your own gifts leads to a better mindset and more optimistic outlook.
Written By: Gabriella Morovati