A certain amount of stress in life is inevitable and unavoidable, but it need not be unmanageable. If, however, you feel anxious all the time and it is preventing you from doing everyday activities, then you need to speak to an adult whom you trust. You may need professional help with your anxiety problem. Most people are not continuously anxious, but certain situations will cause them to feel stressed, worried, nervous or anxious. Our natural reaction is to avoid these situations if we can. A healthier approach is to develop the skills needed to cope with these situations effectively. It is easier said than done, but well worth the effort in the end. The more you practice and do it, the easier it will become.
Firstly, you need to recognize the signs of anxiety. These may include a rapid heartbeat, Shallow and rapid breathing, “butterflies” in the stomach or nausea, a shaky voice, sweaty palms, a shaky voice, shaky hands, a dry mouth, tense muscles and difficulty focusing. Next, try and identify which situations trigger these responses. For example, it may be a school exam. Take one example and role play it in your mind. As you imagine yourself in that situation, picture yourself in your mind completely relaxed and confident. Do this over and over again until you can imagine the situation without feeling any of the nervous responses that you usually do.
Another way of dealing with anxiety when you are actually in the situation is to focus on your breathing. You will probably be breathing rapidly and taking short, shallow breaths. Consciously slow down your breathing by breathing in deeply while you count to 4. Hold your breath for a count of 3 and then breathe out slowly while you count to 4. Do this a number of times until you begin to feel more relaxed. If you feel that your muscles are tense, in your face, your shoulders, your hands or anywhere else, focus on those muscles and consciously relax them one at a time. Lastly, try a self-statement or “mantra”. Use a word such as “Relax” or a phrase that you like such as “Cool, calm and collected”. Say this over and over in your head, slowly. A very effective way to use a mantra is to say it while you breathe our slowly using the breathing technique above.