My name is Ciarra, and I’m currently majoring in Psychology at The Ohio State University. Upon becoming a college student, I began to struggle with anxiety. I guess I’ve always had it, but it wasn’t apparent until college. Unfortunately, because I never had to deal with something like this, I didn’t know how to handle it. As a result, my coping mechanisms were not always the best.
Recently, I attended an event held by the Black Mental Health Coalition (“BMHC”) at OSU, regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At this event, I learned about many healthy coping mechanisms and how I can apply them to my everyday life. Some of the mechanisms I am beginning to use include adjusting expectations and creative work. Lately, I’ve been adjusting my expectations to have a more positive outlook going into situations as a means to combat my anxiety of having a potentially bad experience. I’ve also been taking advantage of adult coloring books to help me relax when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Both of these means of coping have helped me significantly.
Sadly, my usual means of coping consist of blaming myself for situations that are out of my control. For example, last week I had to participate in a history class debate. Usually, I’m more prepared and vocal in class. However, on this day, I was put on the spot by my assigned group to present an argument on a given topic. When it was time for me to speak, my anxiety got the best of me. I froze in front of my entire class and couldn’t articulate my point. It was extremely embarrassing, and I was beyond disappointed in myself. I blamed myself for not being prepared for the debate—but how prepared could I be when I was only given 15 minutes? In retrospect, I could’ve used the problem-solving coping mechanism I learned at the BMHC event, which would’ve helped me figure out a solution in order to successfully get through the debate. Going forward, I plan to continue using these coping methods until they become subconscious, so that it won’t affect me as much if something like this happens again.
Coping with my anxiety is definitely a process that I’m trying to work through. I’m still learning how to overcome my mental obstacles every day. If you also deal with anxiety or other mental health issues, how do you cope? Leave a comment below!