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What is anxiety?

The physical activation happening when we experience anxiety is originally a normal mobilization of energy to make us capable of facing outer threats. Most students become anxious before exams or other high-performance situations tied to studying. There are a limited few who are not affected by this. The reason for this is that the results are the gateway to other studies and professional careers.

A certain level of anxiety can help you get focused and lead to better performance and a clear focus on the specific task, but if the anxiety reaches beyond a certain point, it has the opposite effect. What we mean by this is exam anxiety or performance anxiety. The anxiety could cloud your concentration, and lead to a memory lapse and even forgetfulness.

Anxiety is often seen as a weakness. Weakness has a negative sound to it from a performance environment where all that matters is to perform, win, be strong, and be efficient. Since anxiety is seen as something negative, it could be hidden behind fairly confident masks. Anxiety is often denied which again can lead to the ones affected by it feeling like they are the only ones who have anxiety. Oppositely some may become so preoccupied with their anxiety that they pick on themselves and their constant disaster-thinking leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In accepting, relaxed, and balanced environments there is usually less anxiety and stress. Performance anxiety hits the hardest with the ones that feel like everything is reliant on results and performances.

Physical activity against anxiety

Many people find it meaningful to exercise for various reasons. It’s true that all forms of working out are helpful to feeling comfortable and avoiding mental discomfort, but if you feel down, out of energy, and maybe on a tight squeeze with time, you can make simple priorities.

First of all, working out to get in "mental shape" is characterized as lower intensity, lower number of sessions, and shorter time-frames than working out to increase physical performances. To put it short a good rule of thumb is keeping to the health-authorities recommendations of moving your body at least 30 minutes every day. This includes walking to the store, or possibly the bus stop. Several negative health effects including feeling down and the lack of vitality could come from inactivity alone.

If you want to design a workout program (in addition to the basic activity mentioned above) to get in better "mental shape" you can focus on short-term and long-term effects. A 20-minute workout can be enough to change your mood, and also give a short-term anxiety-reducing effect.

For longer-lasting effects research points out that aerobic workouts are definitely the best way of fighting feeling down and depressive thoughts. This means a workout program where you run, cycle, or swim in moderate-intensity over a 30 minute period. Three workouts like this each week for a period of nine weeks is documented to produce a similar, or possibly even bigger, antidepressive effect than antidepressive medication.

Running, cycling and swimming are only examples, but these forms of working out are mentioned because they are categorized as a rhythmical activity and that they can be done alone and without the need to compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others can be an additional momentum of stress if you feel down and mentally uncomfortable. Moderate intensity is the key to feeling satisfied with the workout and to giving a vitalizing effect without draining all your strength.

Work out where you are most comfortable, but access to fresh air and natural input for your senses also has a good effect on your body and soul.

Mindfulness and relaxation routines can also help you deal with anxiety and performance anxiety.

Ask for and receive help when it’s needed

There are a lot of things you can do to take good care of yourself, but if you feel like there is too much adversity, know that there is help available. Some students are facing harder troubles in life than what we have described above. However, we hope that most students find something useful here. But what if you feel like you need something more?

The aim for your time as a student is as previously stated "to be independent", but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything all by yourself. Being independent also means cooperating with others, and daring to ask for help. Here we have put together a list over other help offers. There are a lot of people who can help you, and SiS Health wants to be there for you as a student.

We are here for you if you need it, and we wish you the best of luck with your studies.