anxiety

6 Keys to Embracing Disability Accommodations for Anxiety

College life is a whirlwind of adventures, late-night study sessions, newfound friendships, and, of course, the occasional dining hall mystery meat. It's an exciting journey, but it can also be anxiety-inducing, especially if you're grappling with anxiety.   The good news? You're not alone, and colleges are equipped with resources to help you succeed, including disability accommodations tailored to your unique needs. Here are six keys to not only navigating college but thriving with disability accommodations for anxiety.   Embrace Self-Awareness: The first step is to understand yourself better. What specific aspects of college life trigger your anxiety? Is it social situations, exams, or something else entirely? Knowing your triggers empowers you to seek the right accommodations.   Reach Out for Support: Colleges offer counseling services that are essentially your campus's version of a therapist's office. It's a safe space to discuss your anxiety, develop coping strategies, and explore whether disability accommodations might be...

Living with Anxiety

If you’re a human, you’ve undoubtedly experienced anxiety at some point in your life. Anxiety is part of the full range of our emotional experience, and we need it to survive. Though different people experience it to varying degrees of intensity or frequency, no one actually likes the experience of anxiety. Anxiety is by its very nature uncomfortable; we feel keyed-up or on edge, our heart races, our stomach drops, and our thoughts generally race with catastrophic, doomsday scenarios. Chronic anxiety sufferers may suffer panic symptoms, insomnia, and unintended weight loss due to their brains being “stuck” in survival mode. In this blog post, I’ll discuss how to identify helpful vs. unhelpful anxiety, and teach you a mindfulness technique to cope with the unhelpful kind in a more skillful and paradoxically effective way.   As mentioned above, sometimes anxiety can be helpful, signaling us that there’s some meaningful action we need to...

Unraveling the Mind: Intrusive Thoughts, Rumination, and Obsessions

Have you ever found your mind wandering into a maze of thoughts, unable to escape its grasp? Let's dive into the world of rumination, obsessive thoughts, and those pesky, uninvited guests - intrusive thoughts. We'll unravel what these terms really mean, and how they're all interconnected.   Intrusive Thoughts: Imagine standing on a cliff, and suddenly your brain whispers, "What if you jump?" Intrusive thoughts are like the uninvited weirdos at the mental party. They're bizarre, inappropriate, and downright scary thoughts that pop into your head out of nowhere. The kicker is, you can't control them. They're like a jack-in-the-box of the mind, waiting to surprise you. But here's the thing: intrusive thoughts are normal. Yep, you heard me right. They're a common quirk of our brains.   Rumination: Rumination is the act of overthinking and going over and over a particular thought or situation, often with a negative twist. It's that replay button...

Setting Mental Health Goals for 2023

As the New Year rolls around, you’ve likely heard somebody’s New Year’s Resolution. There’s a good chance you’ve even set one yourself as 38.5% of American adults set a resolution yearly. If you did set a resolution, there’s also a good chance it’s health related - in fact, 23% of resolutions involve living healthier, and another 20% of resolutions are centered around losing weight. Do these sound like your goals for 2023?   New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. 23% of people who set a resolution have already given up in the first week - and only 9% will successfully fulfill their resolution! Why are New Year’s Resolutions so difficult to keep?   One reason you may not be sticking to your goals is because we tend to set New Year’s Resolutions without intention. If you just picked a common resolution without much reflection, chances are it may not line up with...

Navigating the Holidays with Anxiety

When you picture the holidays, what do you picture? Do you think about gentle snowfall on a quiet morning? Or gathering with friends and family to exchange gifts? How about holiday traditions you have with others, like baking, religious rituals, or movie marathons?   Or - are the holidays more anxiety-inducing for you? Do you picture tight budgeting to buy presents? Do you think about crowds as you brave stores to buy gifts for others? Or do you think about hosting your family who inevitably will fight with each other during their stay?   If your picture of the holidays sounds closer to the latter than the former, you’re not alone. In fact, 69% of Americans feel stressed out during the holidays. Almost half of Americans - 45% - report they’d rather skip the holidays altogether.   For those with anxiety, navigating the holidays can feel even more stressful. Anxious thoughts can be stirred up by...

Common Fears With Dating Anxiety

Does dating make you feel nervous? If so, you’re far from alone - in fact, 1 out of 5 people feel nervous about relationships and the dating experience. Just some of the most dreaded things about dating included being ghosted - or suddenly ignored - by a potential partner, awkwardness around defining the boundaries of the relationship - the “what are we?” talk - and the influence of social media presence on modern relationships. For all people, these elements can be, and usually are, nerve-inducing.   What if you have dating anxiety, though? Dating anxiety is more than just the normal dating jitters - dating anxiety is an overwhelming, sometimes debilitating feeling around the process of dating. Dating anxiety can cause us to have physical symptoms, like a racing heart or sweating. It can also be a sign of unresolved relationship trauma, abandonment issues, or social anxiety disorder.   What are some common fears...

How Can I Better Manage My Anxiety?

An amazing 19.1%, or 40 million, American adults battle with anxiety each year. In fact, an anxiety diagnosis is so common, anxiety disorders are now the most common mental health concern in the United States. As of March 2020 (when the pandemic began), 9.7 million Americans were prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. As you can see, anxiety is a common mental health concern to struggle with!   If you have anxiety, what are your options? There are several different approaches you can take to anxiety treatment. First, anxiety that is manageable may be handled with holistic methods at home. Second, anxiety that has elevated beyond your known coping strategies may be brought to a licensed psychotherapist. Third, anxiety that is unmanageable even through holistic and therapeutic methods may benefit from medication management. Anxiety does not necessarily follow these “levels”, either; if you and a psychiatrist discuss medication management before trying anything else, that’s...

Managing Expectations in Relationships with an Anxious Partner

For those impacted by it, the reality of anxiety is that many, if not most, things they do are in some way affected by anxiety. Going to the grocery store may be anxiety-inducing from the crowds. Visiting a new place for the first time can be overwhelming from uncertainty and departure from the norm. Meeting new people can be absolutely terrifying and avoided at all costs. For the forty million adults in America living with anxiety everyday, it may feel that the mental health concern has a hand and presence in everything.   What about relationships? Anxiety can impact a myriad of things in romantic relationships. For example, an anxious partner may ask (or expect without asking) more reassurance from their partner. They may be more indecisive. They may overthink conversations, texts, and scenarios after a non-anxious partner has long forgotten about them. Anxiety may lead to avoidance, too - avoidance of...

Making Friends While Anxious

Let’s face it: making friends is hard for most people. 45% of American adults reported they continually struggle to make friends. Young adults, from ages 18 to 34, were the highest category for reporting making friends was difficult for them. Though there are less studies, making friends can be difficult for children and teenagers, too, with pressures like fitting in to peer groups and the influence of social media just being two barriers to friend-making.   Making friends with no mental health concerns is hard. Making friends with anxiety is even harder. Aside from the traditional struggles everyone faces, those with anxiety may experience: Intense worrying about social situations Isolation from avoidance of social situations Missing responsibilities, such as work or school, from avoidance Physical symptoms such as racing heart, lack of concentration, nausea, and more   Anxiety can make it even harder than normal to make friends due to intense distress over the...

Tips for Parents Dealing with Back to School Blues

Whether you’re sending your little one away for the first time or your adult child is heading to college for their last year, parents everywhere may experience a range of emotions when their child goes to school. It’s completely normal to feel a little sad; after all, school means your baby is growing up! You may feel the opposite - complete relief! - as you finally get a break after dealing with, er, we mean, having the pleasure of being with your child all summer. Fear, happiness, rest, joy, tearful - you’re likely to experience them all. Some parents, however, may feel more anxiety than anything else. In fact, one study estimates that mothers are far more stressed out about kids than going back to school - 63% of moms had the hardest time with back to school time, compared to only 23% of kids! Some of the top causes for...