Cassidy Chhay, Staff Writer

We have all faced the dark shadow known as anxiety. All of us feel anxious during different life situations; whether it’s waiting for a job interview, going on a date, or presenting a project. Feeling anxious from time to time is perfectly healthy and normal.

Despite the normality of it, anxiety is not a positive feeling. Students, especially, deal with a lot of stress because of their school environment and peer pressure. When you’re feeling anxious, you can feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. There are many ways to help calm your anxiety.
One way to stop being anxious is by taking a deep breath. Deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, switching from the “fight or flight response” to a calmer state, slowing down thoughts and recentering your mind.

Not getting enough sleep can trigger anxiety. There are multiple ways to prevent yourself from having trouble sleeping. Eating greasy, spicy, or heavy foods before bedtime can cause an unhappy stomach in the middle of the night. You should also hold back on caffeine within six hours of your bedtime. If you are worried about something before bed, write it down earlier in the day to divert your attention elsewhere.

Another way to lower your level of anxiety is to take a break from what you’re doing. A simple change of pace can be refreshing; you will come back to whatever you were doing with a clearer mind. Activities like meditation and yoga can minimize anxiety in both the short and long-term.
Junior Emily Majano said that she feels anxious when she has to “take a test or when [she has] a lot of homework.” She feels jittery and begins to get a “turning feeling in [her] stomach” like she is about to throw up.

Senior Cassidy Jones has been anxious when she has a lot of homework or tests. She also gets anxious when there are too many people around and she needs space. She feels shaky, nauseous, and her chest gets tight, making it hard to breathe.

Freshman Fiona King says that she doesn’t have anxiety often, but when she does she closes her eyes and chooses “calm music, but more often [she’ll] choose something [she] can dance to so that [she] can distract herself.”

Anxiety can be overwhelming. It can feel like chains are weighing and pulling you down. But taking small steps — such as those above — can help minimize anxiety. Just remember that feeling anxious from time to time is very normal.