Ever since middle school, I've had moments of unwanted racing thoughts caused by my instinct to worrying excessively. I was constantly fatigued and restless. I didn't know how to calm anxiety. What I thought was just stress turned out to be something I had little to no control over. 

I knew anxiety and depression were present in my family, but I had no idea that I'd become a victim myself. Imagine sitting in class as a 13-year-old and feeling the need to worry about insignificant issues such as if you'd make the bus, even though you knew you had more than enough time. I'd "stress" about everything.

Rather than living a young, innocent, and carefree childhood like my fellow peers, I found myself mimicking the reaction adults had to important company deadlines or trying to figure out how to pay the bills. I, on the other hand, was unreasonably worrying about my calculator dying during a test, or if I would have enough time to finish my homework while being able to get a proper nights sleep. My anxiety was an issue I hadn't confronted until recently

Now as a freshman in college, I have seen enough therapists and social workers to understand my triggers and how to calm my anxiety. I tend to resist medication and turn to natural methods to calm my anxiety instead.

1. Color

My aunt got me The Mindfulness Coloring Book which is known to calm anxiety and stress. The pocket size paperback book has a plethora of different patterns and designs to color. By focusing on coloring within the lines, your mind immediately gravitates from racing thoughts to a focus on the drawing.

2. Drink Tea

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There's something about steeping tea that calms the soul. My favorite thing to do is place hot water in a white cup and slowly tug onto the tea bag string and pull it up and down. The more times you immerse the tea bag in the water, the concentration of the water gets darker and darker. This repetitive motion forces you to simplify your actions and focus on the aroma of the cozy drink.

3. Find a Furry Friend

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It amazes me how pets are always ecstatic to great their owners at the door. Rubbing your fingers through the soft and silky fur of a four legged creature is extremely therapeutic. Spending time and interacting with my dog and her everlasting happiness forces me to smile.

4. Meditate

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Some people think meditation is funny, but once you connect with your inner self, you will forever be changed. Before meditation, I felt as if I was not in control of anything. Doing guided meditation has helped me be mindful of my breathing and how my body feels. By using meditation to calm my anxiety, I finally feel that I have control over my life. 

5. Talk to a Friend

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When all else fails and you think you need the extra TLC, find a trustworthy friend and see if they're available to talk. Talking to friends releases oxycontin in the brain which increases serotonin production. Therefore, good friends are the best medicine for calming anxiety. 

Trust me, I know dealing with anxiety can be one of the hardest things to do. But by taking the time to listen to your body and do your best to naturally relieve stress, you may form sustainable and beneficial habits that will make you forget what anxiety even is.