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4 March 2016, 12:29
You got this!
If you're a person living on the planet earth, odds are that you will have experienced some form of anxiety at one point in your life. You don't even need to go further than your Tumblr dashboard to realize that social and generalized anxiety are battles that young people find themselves facing on a daily basis. Aside from the numerous resources available for teenagers and young people, there are tons of ways to help manage feelings and fears associated with your anxiety.
Know your triggers
This might be super obvious but recognizing what can set off your anxiety is a really important step in managing it. Online, people often tag traumatic or harmful content with "#tw" (trigger warning) because (in many cases) even seeing a text post can leave a person's day in tatters. If a particular friendship or relationship triggers your anxiety, it's totally okay to explain how they or their actions make you feel. If it's a particular situation that can't be avoided, it can be quite helpful to ask for some advice from friends and family on how they manage their own unavoidable stresses and anxieties.
A little self-care never hurt anyone
Recovering from a particularly stressful week? Had do something that darkened your mood? Spent time making anxiety inducing phone calls? Engaging in "self-care" activities can vastly improve your mood. Basic things like getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and taking care of yourself physically are important. But so are things like, watching your favourite TV shows, planning activities with your friends, working out, journaling and just making sure you're happy can go a long way towards improving your long-term mental well-being.
"Laughter is the best medicine" has got to be the most boring and overused idiom in the English language, but when you consider the amount of comedians with anxiety disorders, you've got to wonder if there is something to the phrase. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter "fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling." It's up to you to find what makes you laugh, but making a concerted effort to lighten your mood through laughter can be a super positive way of calming yourself down.
Don't put your mental health at risk for the sake of fitting in
It's so brilliant that mental health is really getting a profile boost from mainstream culture. Last year, Alessia Cara released her social anxiety themed bop, "Here" which talks about going to parties and feeling like you can't relate to people and just wanting to head home. I know humans are meant to crave social interaction but, if you're really not up for the task, forcing yourself into these situations can be super harmful! Avoid feeling like sh*t!