School is starting and anxiety is high.  Where are my classes?  What are other people going to think of me?  Am I going to be successful?  The list of worries goes on…and on…

Our mind is made to think and in times of change and stress it tends to think even more.

Here are some helpful distress tolerance skills to help navigate the start to this new academic year:

1.  One thing in the moment.  With anxiety, our mind tends to bounce from one thing to the next very quickly. Give yourself permission to focus on just one thing at a time. When your mind wanders, re-focus your attention back to the activity at hand.

2.  Encouragement.  Negative self talk increases our suffering and makes a challenging situation worse. Cheerlead yourself with statements like “I can stand this”…”This won’t last forever”…”I am anxious, and I am okay”.

3.  Observe your breath.  With anxiety, our breath tends to be short and shallow.  Focusing on your breath can help you to accept yourself, the world, and reality as it is in the moment.  Consider counting to 5 on your inhale and 7 on your exhale.

4.  Self soothe.  Our senses are powerful in calming anxiety.  Consider putting on some relaxing music while getting ready for school, lighting a candle while doing homework, drinking some tea while studying, etc.

Incorporating these skills into your daily routine will help to ease your anxiety during this transition.  You’ve got this!