If you are struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. So many students are living with a pretty consistent state of feeling overwhelmed at this point in the semester. You don’t need to keep suffering alone. I wanted to share a strategy today to help you get started on lowering and getting a handle on this uncomfortable state.
Really cool, and helpful, information was recently found in research conducted by Dolcos et.al (2005). This research team, through fMRI technology, found that people who are more optimistic have lower anxiety. Essentially people with a larger orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) tend to be more optimistic and less anxious.
You can learn to become more optimistic, grow your OFC and experience less anxiety! Ok, so here are some simple ways to get started today on growing your brain by learning to be more optimistic:
When you are feeling anxious, make an effort to do the following:
- Ask yourself, “what is going well in my life, in this situation or in general?”
- Try and surround yourself with positive people, you can learn a lot from them!
- Reality Check: stop expecting perfection, we all make mistakes and that is where the learning takes place.
- Focus on the things that you can control; things that you can do to make a difference in your situation.
If your anxiety is high when you are…
…try not to evaluate yourself badly (“I am horrible at handling things”) or make any important choices at those times…HALT, stop! and eat something, take a break and lower your anger, find a friend to hang out with or try to get some sleep/rest. It is way too hard to be optimistic and deal with anxiety when you are in these states.
Come See Me!! Online!
Feel free to book an appointment with me if you would like to learn strategies for coping and managing your anxiety. You do not have to suffer alone. There is a certain level of anxiety that is part of being a student, but it does not need to affect you adversely.
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” ~Deepak Chopra
Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.
Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through
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