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Have a plan for overcoming anxiety

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A diagnosis like an anxiety disorder tends to be seen as something that is frowned upon and abnormal. These opinions have caused so many people, in particular teenagers, to feel as if they cannot come to face the fact that they suffer some kind of anxiety from time to time.

I personally used to feel this way, but there are ways to deal with anxiety to gain control over it, for that is the most important part in overcoming it.

Balancing school, family, relationships, extracurriculars, and planning for the future can cause an extreme amount of stress and lead to anxiety. These different components play a major role to why 1 in every 4 high school students currently suffers from some level of anxiety.

As a high school student myself, I am stressed out constantly and have had much trouble handling my anxieties in the past. Over time, though, I and some of my other friends who found ourselves never knowing what to do when it came to anxiety attacks and to the point where hearing, “you’ll be okay” or “everything is fine – it’s in your head” was just utterly unhelpful, have come up with different methods that help to diminish the severity of anxiety, no matter what it may be about.

The first thing that those people need to understand is that having anxiety is not something to be ashamed of or to hide from others.

Talking to someone who you feel comfortable opening up to can be the best way for you to feel better. Opening up to someone you feel is trustworthy and has your well-being at interest can provoke conversation that they could possibly suffer some of the same feelings or anxieties that you do. Through opening up and coming to terms with your stress, having someone that you can go to for help who knows how you feel allows for the both of you (or more) to have a support-system when in a time of need, and helps you to develop a routine of what you can do to calm yourself down, as you have been exchanging ideas and methods between each other. It can bring you closer together than before, as well as benefit your mental state during a time of stress and anxiety and strengthen your ability to overcome it. This has been especially helpful for me and my friend, Khushi Patel.

We have recently come up with many ways that have helped us through any of our anxieties as we have become each other’s support-system throughout high school. Some of these methods include the following:

  • Breathing in for five seconds and then breathing out for five seconds repeatedly in order to slow down your breathing/heart-rate and prevent hyperventilating (most important step to take before trying anything else)
  • Sitting straight up, closing your eyes, and creating your own happy place: include anything you want, wherever you would want to be in the world, put the people you would want there, the books/activities/sports, any animals, food or restaurants; this will take your mind off of your anxiety for however long you need it to until you have reached a calmer state of mind, and allows you to be in control of where your mind goes; this is the kind of control needed to overcome your anxiety
  • Looking back at old pictures and memories that remind you of a time where you felt at ease, happy, and stress-free
  • Listen to music you find to be calming, whether it be soft-spoken or the sound of waves, raindrops, etc.
  • Take the advice you would give someone else going through what you are and listen; if you can help others through their struggle you can help yourself

Anxiety is a serious matter, but our mind has the power to prevail over any matter, as long as we come to terms with it and take the proper actions toward overcoming it. You are never alone when dealing with extreme amounts of stress, nor are you the only one who may be dealing with the anxieties that you are. Create your own methods and share them with others, you never know how helpful you can be to someone who is struggling with something that we all have experienced.

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About the Writer
Ellie Accordino, Junior Contributor

For many students at Canfield High School, socializing within a specific club or extracurricular activity is extremely typical. However, Ellie Accordino has a few different insights as to what goes on here at Canfield.

In relation to the bulk of the student body, Ellie participates in multiple different organizations such as, The National Honor Society, Leos Club, and the Executive Board of the junior class. “Any student would agree with me by saying that it is hard to keep yours grades up, especially with AP courses,” Ellie said. She currently withholds an outstanding grade point average and is constantly trying to improve. She also stated, “I am constantly busy trying to juggle school work and sports but it ends up being worth it”.

Even with these numerous academic activities involved in Ellie’s life she finds a way to compete in an exceptionally difficult sport. Ellie has been playing soccer since she was six years old and has never taken a break since then. “You definitely need to have a good mentality to do well in soccer. There are always so many challenges you just have to deal with,” Ellie said.

Ellie’s normal routine consists of school, three different clubs, and soccer which can be immensely difficult as these commitments build up.

Starting at recreation leagues at such a young age to being on the Canfield High School team as well as a club team called Soccer Vision Academy has brought Ellie a long way. “I have been with SVA for most of my soccer career  which takes up most of my time but it is why I am so competitive,” Ellie said. Although Ellie’s two different seasons are quite different she enjoys both in different ways. “Playing for club is for sure harder because there is better competition but playing for your high school is fun in the sense of being surrounded by the people you have grown up with,” Ellie said.

Ellie has set high goals for her Canfield team as their season is just beginning. When asked why she puts herself through all this work, her response was as simplistic as could be, “It makes me happy”.

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Have a plan for overcoming anxiety