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May 15, 2017 | by  | in Opinion |
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A Small Tip for Anxiety Sufferers

Anxiety; it’s not an easy topic to discuss, with others or even with yourself. As students, anxiety and stress are not uncommon, whether it’s in relation to aspects of university, your social life, or your general wellbeing. It is something that can affect many of us.

As we dive deeper into the first trimester of lectures and tutorials, we may begin to stress about what the future holds. For myself, doing well academically and assignment due dates are certainly a big part of what contributes to my issues with anxiety, and this will be the same for many others. However I also often find myself in a rut at times, constantly stressing about the smallest things in my daily routines, and I often feel as though nobody else has similar worries. Only recently have I been able to properly identify this as a form of general anxiety, and realising the negative constraints it places on my life. But there are ways to help yourself and others.

Now not all may take a shine to this tip, but I will still put it out there… Running! Running is not easy, especially if you’re just starting out. More often than not, the beginners stage is the easiest place to set yourself up to fail, but the key is to start out slow and steady, building up your confidence as you go. Obviously Wellington has a lot of hills, but I recommend the waterfront… when it isn’t so windy that you’re almost blown into the sea.

This is not me telling you to get fit and shape up but, rather, telling you that this can be an all round refreshment and escape from the simple realities of life that can bring us down. The best part is the feeling afterwards, the sense of accomplishment and the fresh approach.

A run could represent a challenge we often find ourselves faced with. First I feel unmotivated, tired, and sluggish, struggling to convince myself that I should make a start. Then, as I run and the loud music is pumping through my ears, my energy levels rise and I’m ready for what’s waiting ahead. As I continue further, I start to feel as though I have hit a breaking point, slowing down, short of breath and running out of the motivation I had earlier, feeling as though I should come to a halt. This is often where I find myself stuck, where I just want to put my head into my hands and cry or crawl into bed under my covers, but this is can be stage where our true strengths can blossom. Often, the uphill climb in our lives can feel never-ending and our anxiety can overrule us, but, a few deep breaths, and a wider look at our surroundings, can truly put things into perspective.

Running is something that obviously has helped with my fitness levels but, most importantly, the reason I run is to remain mentally at peace with my health and wellbeing. Every run, whether it is short or long, leaves me on a high. It is something that can stick with you for life and you can do it anywhere and at anytime. Plus, it’s an activity that is completely free!

Anxiety can hit us at any moment and this isn’t easy, but allowing time to let your mind wander, a breath in and out is a simple thing that can make life feel a little easier.

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