“Aɴxɪᴇᴛʏ ᴡᴀꜱ ʙᴏʀɴ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ꜱᴀᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴀꜱ ᴍᴀɴᴋɪɴᴅ. Aɴᴅ ꜱɪɴᴄᴇ ᴡᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ʙᴇ ᴀʙʟᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀꜱᴛᴇʀ ɪᴛ, ᴡᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʟᴇᴀʀɴ ᴛᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ɪᴛ—ᴊᴜꜱᴛ ᴀꜱ ᴡᴇ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟᴇᴀʀɴᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ꜱᴛᴏʀᴍꜱ.” ― Pᴀᴜʟᴏ Cᴏᴇʟʜᴏ, Mᴀɴᴜꜱᴄʀɪᴛᴏ ᴇɴᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴅᴏ ᴇᴍ Aᴄᴄʀᴀ

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Dear Hearters

Anxiety has been an obstacle for me since middle school. It's something I'll have to deal with on-and-off for the rest of my life, too. Yet, knowing how anxiety has affected me in the past, and aware of how it affects me now, I've managed to figure out a few ways to help cope throughout these difficult times. So without further ado, here are a few little things that can help with anxiety:

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First thing's first: Don't let anxiety define you, and don't let anxiety tear you down. I understand it's hard. However, mindset is key, and it always impacts the outcome.

BREATHING EXERCISES

These help with recentering yourself in times of anxiety/panic attacks. I would definitely start them if you feel like you're in a pressuring situation. My technique is inhaling for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 8. Keep the pace consistent as you continue your exercise. Continue repeating the process until you feel that you have complete control over your mind and body. Also, you can close your eyes and/or find a focus point if you need extra assistance.
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JOURNALING

It's always good to keep track of how your anxiety affects you mentally and physically. I suggest keeping a journal, so you can record your thoughts and feelings during the anxiety/panic attack. This way, you'll be able to talk to your doctor, therapist, or even a loved one about your mental health more accurately. Not only is keeping a journal beneficial for medical purposes, but you're able to release your emotions without any limits. Writing offers time for liberation and later, reflection. Don't feel embarassed or ashamed of how you felt in the past. In fact, use it to your advantage, so you can learn for the future!
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PRODUCTIVITY

One of the most effective ways to help your anxiety is by being productive. This can be cleaning your room, paying off any financial obligations, and/or spending time on a project. Feeling accomplished always opens the door for a more positive mindset. Working ensures consistency, and it keeps your mind distracted from any negative or irrational thoughts floating around your brain. If you feel the need to rest, go ahead and do that too! Sometimes, a little self-care goes a long way, and focusing on ourselves is just as productive as focusing on other things.
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SOCIALIZING

Going back to the idea of isolation.... you're never alone. I say this all the time, and sometimes I need to remind myself that as well. Everyone has their own baggage, and not everyone is meant to live a lonely life. Instead than shutting people out in fear that they won't understand, let them in. More people understand you than you think. To open up to others is a way of opening up to yourself. The right people will love you and be there for you, no matter how high or low life gets. In some cases, better to have one person than none.
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BEING ACTIVE

Taking the time to go on a walk around your neighborhood, or to explore the downtown area of a city, or to even go on and explore in nature always helps with anxiety. It centers your attention on the things around you, rather than the things going on inside your head. The gym may not be for everybody, but seeing the world definitely is. Being able to go outside and embark on a new adventure always opens the doors for new ideas and perspectives. Rather than letting your anxieties consume you, escape them by simply going outside. After all...
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir
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Let me know of any questions, concerns, or suggestions for future articles. Thank you guys for your positivity and support. I love y'all, and have a marvelous day/night!

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