AJ’s advice – anxiety
|August 4, 2012||Posted by Alaa Jasim under AJ's Advice|
Anxiety. That thing everyone hates and that everyone has felt. That thing a lot of students may now be feeling in the tense lead up to the A-level results day – I know, I had to mention the “R” word. I didn’t want to do it (trust me, I’m dreading results day as much as the next person) but I think it probably is the major cause of anxiety in students in Britain right now. Those emails from UCAS hardly help, do they? The problem is, anxiety can affect you pretty badly. I’m not saying that results day-induced nerves will necessarily be causing you anxiety so potent it is literally debilitating, but it’s still not very fun and is liable to make people unhappy. Whether you’re a people person or not, happy people are always better than unhappy people.
So the question is, how do we stop being anxious? Well, anxiety is a part of life and in some cases it can actually help you make decisions and increase your performance, but if you let it get the better of you then it can have quite the opposite effect. It’s that fine line between the people who perform well under pressure and the people who don’t because all they can feel is the pressure.
It would be easy for me to tell you to stay calm but that’s far easier said than done, and honestly, that by itself is pretty crappy advice, isn’t it? So instead, try to find ways to keep relatively calm. I often find keeping busy helps by doing something you enjoy doing. Turning that negative energy into positive energy, as they say. As I confessed last week, I’m rather obsessed with organising things, so that’s often what I end up doing. Even if it means sorting my life – student loans letters, bank statements, important information – into a nicely labelled file. Yes, I know, I’m a nerd.
If you find things are getting just a bit too much, then it’s probably time to step back. Often, if you’re getting angry or stressed – a common result of being anxious – just taking some time out to relax is probably for the best. Grab a coffee (if it’s not late, obviously; otherwise go for a caffeine-free alternative because sleep is really important) and watch a DVD while you just forget about the world for a little bit. Come back to the problem fresh and you’ll be able to find a solution much more efficiently.
Talk to someone and ask for help if you need it. People are actually quite nice, you know, and more often than not someone will be able to help you. Often, just having a quick chat with a friend about something, even if it’s unrelated, can really help calm you down. I know I do this a lot when things get too stressful.
I hope that helps. Thanks for reading; that’s all from me for this week. Keep in touch and, as always, your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome. See you next time!