The 5-Step Strategy I Use to Handle Anxiety as a University Student

Anxiety by black person
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As a university student, anxiety is a prerequisite and unfortunately, you weren’t informed about this until you got into the system, and neither was I. 

From classes to assignments, deadlines to tests, and then the dreadful exams. It’s a lot to be juggling on one hand, and at the same time, you have your social life, which you wouldn’t want to suffer too much. The thought of balancing it all already makes you quiver. I understand this feeling well as it is one that I have sat with being a college student myself. 

In this post, I will share a 5 step strategy for handling anxiety as a college student. ( a strategy that I have used and has helped me in similar situations) 

But before we get into that, I want you to understand that having anxiety doesn’t in any way make you different from other students on campus. It’s perfectly normal to have anxiety attacks when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

The 5-Step Strategy For Handling Anxiety

Each step connects with one of our sensory organs. 

5 – Sight

4 – Touch 

3 – Hear

2 – Smell

1 – Taste

Now, let’s walk through this guide and how best it can help you. 

First, you are going to focus on 5 things you can see. When having anxiety attacks, it’s common for your vision to get blurry or splotchy because you are panicked. I want you to look around you and focus on 5 items you can spot within your line of sight. 

While spotting each item, name them in your head: table, Pen, Curtains and the like. Ensure to name them in your head as you spot them. As a rule of thumb, don’t picture images in your head. You have to be able to visually see the images for this strategy to work. 

Next, Focus on 4 things you can touch. And register what each item feels like. For this, you will have to use your hands to feel out items around you and pay attention to their texture. 

Is it smooth? Rough? Soft? 

And make a note of each of these distinct feelings. 

Then you will shift your attention to 3 things you can hear. Be it the loud chattering of people around you, the music blasting from the kids’ earphones beside you, or even the sound of the fan in the room. 

Your goal is to focus on any 3 sounds around you and note them. 

The next thing you need to do is focus on 2 things you can smell. This one can be a little bit tricky, but it helps. 

I want you to pay attention to your surroundings and try to pick up on any smell, whether it’s the smell of coffee or a whiff of cologne. All you need to do is pick 2 distinct smells. 

Lastly, focus on one thing you can taste. 

If you have followed the preceding steps, then you should be feeling relatively calm and more grounded now. That’s a good thing because, at the start of this process, you were most likely feeling suffocated and trapped. 

For this last step, you will need to focus on one thing you can taste. Perhaps it was the sour candy you had a few minutes ago or the sandwich you had for breakfast. For this to be more effective, it’s best if you carry a little piece of candy around for situations like this. 

At the end of this process, you should be feeling much better and less anxious. It is best to keep in mind that this process should be followed accordingly, and no step should be Interrupted to achieve the best result. 

Closing Remarks. 

This post is for university/college students battling anxiety. For the days when we’re not feeling great. For times when we aren’t 100%. For periods when we’re fighting against our nature.

The 54321 formula shared above should help you get through those days as it has helped me.  

Writer’s Information. 

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Princess Joe-igbuzor