Anxiety & Social Anxiety

Stress and anxiety inevitably play a role in our lives at one time or another. We feel stressed when the demands on our life are not met with equally effective coping strategies.

Stressors may include:

  • academic demands
  • managing relationships
  • coping with social anxieties
  • making career choices
  • financial issues
  • personal growth worries
  • managing overall wellness

Many of us have excellent coping strategies in some areas, but may lack adequate resources in others. Fortunately, we've compiled quite a few resources to help you manage these anxieties!

 

resources

Self-Help Apps
  • Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool. Built on the iPhone mobile app platform, it's a hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercise. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body's 'fight-or-flight' response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.
  • The Tactical Breather app can be used to gain control over physiological and psychological responses to stress. Through repetitive practice and training, you can learn to gain control of your heart rate, emotions, concentration, and other physiological and psychological responses to your body during stressful situations
  • Stop Panic and Anxiety is a free Android app that offers self-help methods to control panic and anxiety. The info in this app assumes that you are suffering from panic attacks due to Panic Disorder. It may not be applicable to other forms of anxiety. It focuses on the fear of having a panic attack and the fear of the sensations when having a panic.
How to better manage stress and anxiety

Most people tend to react to stress without thinking. Depending on the situation, you may avoid it completely, take out your emotions on others, and either withdraw or confront the situation head on. Depending on the consequences and people involved, we all react to stressful situations in a variety of ways. Below are some strategies to help you assess, prioritize, and manage stress. College is an ongoing challenge; to be successful you must accept change, develop a support system, and most importantly BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

  1. Assess your priorities – determine what should require the most energy and what should not. Organize your day according to activity priority (i.e. #1 study for exam, #2 go to the bank, #3 do laundry, #4 meet friends for dinner.)
  2. Find your weakness – Do not leave planning for stressful situations to the last minute. Visualize the event, recognize points of stress, plan accordingly, and get it done.
  3. Adjust Expectations – Base your expectation in REALITY! The key word is perfectionism! High levels of stress and anxiety are to be likely if you feel the need to perform perfectly, behave like someone you are not, or are inflexible with your priorities. Expecting more than is humanly possible for you and others can lead to disappointment.
  4. Stay healthy – Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and relaxation can decrease your blood pressure, strengthen muscles, and reduce stress and anxiety.

It is important to recognize when stress becomes harmful. Should you discover that you need assistance in managing the stress in your life, call the Towson University Counseling Center staff for help. Overall, the stress that we all experience can be helpful and motivating. The problems arise when you experience too much stress. Below are some additional resources to aid in recognizing stress and anxiety, learning coping strategies, and increasing the enjoyment of your college experience.