How do you contend with anxiety on the job or in school?

“I think the first thing that should be done is acknowledging that you are having an anxious thought or feeling. From recognition comes understanding, and by understanding how anxiety manifests itself within your mind and body you can build a healthy management strategy. For me I always try to first determine if there is anything that I can do about my perceived ‘source’ of anxiety. Sometimes this is possible, but oftentimes there is nothing ‘in particular’ that is causing my anxiety, it is just a general feeling. Or I am anxious about something that I have no control over whatsoever.”

“For manageable cases I will often try a few anxiety techniques. Controlled breathing, going for a walk, talking to a friend, hugging my cat. For the times where I can affect the source I will try and enact a plan to do that. For example, if I am anxious about a presentation, I can practice in front of peers, I can reread and edit it, and/or I can record myself saying it. Just remember that confronting your anxiety is an act of bravery that you do not need to do on your own.”

John Montalbo
Data Scientist for Travis County

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