Don't Freak Out

Don't Freak Out

It’s something we all have to deal with, some more than others.
It sucks.
So what exactly is it and how can we deal with it?
Well, my friend, let me tell you all that I know.

Anxiety refers to the physical side of stressing out (fast heart rate, perspiration; crying and giving up and eating ice cream while playing video games probably falls into that category too.) 

Anticipatory anxiety refers to feeling anxious when you think ahead of time what “”may happen” at some event or situation in the future. (Kind of like when you play out all of the bad things that could possibly happen in your head.) Some people avoid situations because of this. (Ex. Well of course I’m not going. What if I go and someone drops a banana peel and I slip and fall and land face first into the punch bowl right in front of that person I have a crush on at the exact moment that someone just happened to be taking video of me and I go viral? That’s too likely. No way.)

Worry refers to the mental side of stressing out (racing thoughts, panicking, maybe deciding to watch Netflix to get your mind off stuff..?) It also refers to thinking about things over and over in your head in relation to a real problem or a potential problem - something you think might happen. (Worry? Obsess over problems? Replay them in my head? Psh…who does that?...)

 When you have one (anxiety or worry), you usually have the other.

Well, definitions are neat and all, but what can we do about it?

1. First, we’ve got to figure out what’s bugging us.
-It might help to write down possibilities of what might be our problem.
-It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of our anxiety or worry.
(Ask yourself: How does my anxiety show itself? How has my anxiety affected my life and relationships? What have been some of the reasons I've gotten anxious in the past?)
-It will help us “catch” ourselves when we begin to feel anxious or are beginning to worry to much so we can do something about it sooner.

2. Next we should ask ourselves these questions:
-How likely is it that this problem will actually happen? (Okay, so...maybe it's not that likely..)
-How serious is the problem? (Okay, so....maybe it's not that serious either.....)
-How much control do we have over it? (None? Then there's no use worrying about it. Total? Then change it!)

3. Third we need to make a plan.
-What could we do about the problem?
-What would this action solve?
-Sometimes the best thing we can do is let go.

4. Fourth, we should talk it over with someone. (Maybe with ice cream. Probably with...DEFINITELY with ice cream. ....What? It helps? And it's tasty.)

I personally am not a religious person, but something that I read everyday to try to remind myself to remain calm is the Serenity Prayer. For those who don’t know the prayer, here it is:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can and
The wisdom to know the difference.
I think it’s good to recognize that there are some things that are just out of our control and therefore it does us no good to stress over them because we can’t do anything about them anyway.



With finals coming up, anxiety is going to be higher than normal, so whether you're religious or not, here are some great “student prayers” to give you a laugh and help you through the rest of the semester.

The College Student Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept that I cannot focus on this test
The courage to say “whatever”
And the wisdom to somehow squeak out a passing grade.

The Prayer Said Before Finals
Now I Lay Me Down to Study,
I Pray the Lord I Won't Go Nutty.

If I Should Fail to Learn this Junk,
I Pray the Lord I Will Not Flunk.
Now I Lay Me Down to Rest,
And Pray I'll Pass Tomorrow's Test.
If I Should Die Before I Wake,
That's One less Test I'll Have to Take.

#GUSOS : Graceland University: Saving OurSelves 



Heather Prettyman, Dimora House '15