Anxiety

Anxiety: Solutions for When Social Media has you Down

Social Media Anxiety

Social media related anxiety is at an all time high and the negative feelings you can sometime feel from swiping through the ‘gram can be overwhelming. The next time you find yourself in a bad mood, pinpoint exactly what is bothering you and describe your feelings. Are you missing out? Frustrated? Exhausted? Feeling inadequate?

Instead of resigning yourself to a generalized negative mood for the next few hours, label your emotions.

People who are able to differentiate their negative emotions are better at regulating and managing them.

Knowing what is wrong can empower you to seek a solution and tailor a response to the situation. For example, recognizing that you felt flustered after a big test might prompt you to speak to a teacher. Feeling “bad” doesn’t provide you with the same kind of useful information. It just hovers over you like a cloud. And because it is so vague, it can easily spill into other aspects of your life and be the reason you feel bad for the entire day.

Emotional differentiation is a skill that can be learned and deployed on a daily basis. By expanding your emotional vocabulary, you are giving yourself the tools to label and understand an array of emotional states. Not only will your bad moods be less bad, you will be better equipped to handle negativity when it arises.

Want to Reduce Anxiety? Improve Your Feng Shui

Feng Shui Bedroom

Feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging living spaces, is based on many of the same principles as alternative therapies such as acupuncture. The point of feng shui is to maximize the flow of "qi" (energy or life force) in the environment for utmost safety and productivity.

Being thoughtful about how you arrange and use your bedroom is especially important. It's where you sleep and adequate amounts of quality shut-eye are vital to health and well-being. So for the sake of better sleep, consider these tips for improving the feng shui in your bedroom.

Start With Your Bed

The ideal bed placement allows you to see the bedroom door while you're in bed without being directly in front of or in line with it. According to feng shui, having a view of the door from bed without being too close to it gives a sense of safety and is conducive to relaxation and sleep.

The foot of the bed shouldn't point toward the door either. This is known as the "coffin" position and puts the bed in the main path of traffic. If this can't be avoided, a footboard, high bench, or table at the foot of the bed can act as a buffer as long as it doesn't block the view of the door.

The head of the bed should be against a wall, but not under a window which could allow qi to flow outside and cause restless sleep. It's best not to place a bed under a structural or decorative beam or ceiling fan either, as this is not good for physical health.

Eliminate or Hide Electronics and Exercise Gear

Televisions, computers, exercise gear, or a workspace in the bedroom are thought to distract from rest and take up energy. If you have no choice, hide these items as best you can.

Clear the Clutter

According to feng shui, clutter is more than a distracting eyesore. It can block the flow of qi, disturb sleep, and generally prevent things in your life from moving forward.

Neatness counts where you can't see it as well. Don't use the space under your bed for storage and keep the inside of your closet tidy and weed out clothes you don't wear periodically. Close the closet door at night. Keep the insides of drawers organized and don't pile books on top of your nightstand or dresser.

Relocate Mirrors

According to feng shui, if you aren't sleeping well, a mirror in your bedroom could be the culprit. Mirrors are thought to bounce energy around the bedroom, which may result in restlessness and amplify worries.

Be Artful About Artwork

Any images you hang on your bedroom walls should be inspiring, uplifting, or relaxing. One of the best places to hang such an image is on the wall opposite your bed so that you see it first thing when you wake up and the last thing before you turn off the lights to go to sleep. Don't bring sad or upsetting images into your bedroom, or paintings or photographs that feature just one person: This symbolizes solitude. It's also best to avoid images in which a lake, waterfall, or river is the dominant theme. In other parts of the house, water symbolizes money, but in the bedroom, it may promote financial or relationship losses. 

Double Up

In general, try to have two of everything you can. Ovals and circles, whether it's the shape of your nightstand or the type of accessories you select, are better than furniture and accessories with sharp corners or edges.

Select Relaxing and Balanced Paint Colors

According to feng shui, warm colors reminiscent of skin tones, such as cream, peach, beige, yellow, coral, tan or cocoa, are ideal on bedroom walls because they're thought to be soothing.

Light blues, greens, and lavenders are considered restful and conducive to sleep. But too many cool colors, such as grays, blues, or stark whites are believed to interfere with relaxation. Aim for a balance of 50 percent warm skin tones and 50 percent cool blues, greens, or lavenders.

How to Recognize Signs of Teen Anxiety

Teen Anxiety

As we all have more and more distractions on a daily basis, it’s increasingly easier for parents and teachers to miss signs of anxiety among teens.

Here’s a list of symptoms you should notice and consider if they’re related to anxiety. They include:

  • headaches

  • stomachaches

  • physical distress (when they can’t put words to how they’re feeling)

  • not wanting to go to school

  • talking frequently about not feeling well

  • withdrawing from social opportunities

  • trouble sleeping

  • excessive fears

  • excessive worries

  • restlessness

  • hypervigilance

  • always being on the lookout for what might go wrong

  • performance anxiety

    If any one you know appears to be struggling with anxiety that interferes with school, friendships, family relationships, or other areas of daily functioning, it’s important to get an evaluation from a licensed mental health practitioner. Anxiety is treatable, and most teens can learn to cope with and manage their anxiety independently.

VarCity Lifehacks: Breathe Away Your Anxiety

Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety.  We all feel it and when we do it can paralyze us in the most important of times.  Aside from working out, there are a few techniques that can significantly improve anxiousness.  One technique that is used by a lot of professionals in high pressure situations is “box breathing”.

Benefits of box breathing

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is sufficient evidence that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system. This system regulates involuntary body functions like temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost-immediate sense of calm.

Box breathing can reduce stress and improve your mood.  It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed.

What is box breathing?

Box breathing is a technique used in taking slow, deep breaths. This can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever.

Also called four-square breathing, this technique can be beneficial to anyone, especially those who want to meditate or reduce stress. It’s used by everyone from athletes to police officers, nurses, and yoga practitioners.

The steps of box breathing

Before you get started, make sure that you’re seated upright in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Try to be an a stress-free, quiet environment where you can focus on your breathing. Keeping your hands relaxed in your lap with your palms facing up, focus on your posture. You should be sitting up straight. This will help you take deep breaths.

Step 1
Sitting upright, slowly exhale, getting all the oxygen out of your lungs. Focus on this intention and be conscious of what you’re doing.

Step 2
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four. In this step, count to four very slowly in your head. Feel the air fill your lungs, one section at a time, until your lungs are completely full and the air moves into your abdomen.

Step 3
Hold your breath for another slow count of four.

Step 4
Exhale through your mouth for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs and abdomen. Be conscious of the feeling of the air leaving your lungs.

Step 5
Hold your breath for the same slow count of four before repeating this process.

Tips for beginners
If you’re new to box breathing, it may be difficult to get the hang of it. You may get dizzy after a few rounds. This is normal, and as you practice it more often, you’ll be able to go longer without the dizziness. If you get dizzy, stay sitting for a minute and resume normal breathing.

To help you focus on your breathing, find a quiet, dimly lit environment to practice box breathing. This isn’t at all necessary to perform the technique, but it can help you focus on the practice if you’re new to it.