A Note on Anxiety


Like any new experience in life, especially if you’re a neurotic stress case like me, the beginning of my internship came with some anxiety. Although I always feel comfortable in the morning on my commute and when I’m actually at my desk, I’ve struggled a bit since the transition with nighttime anxiety. It makes it hard for me to shut my brain off and succumb to sleep. Mostly, I lie in my bed rehashing conversations with my supervisors, coworkers and sources. I always catch myself thinking things like: “I’m sure I shouldn’t have asked that question, it makes me seem like I’m not self sufficient enough.” In order to help combat this spiral of pointless anxiety and get my sleep schedule back on track, I’ve adopted a method called 7-11 breathingstressedcake

While I hope none of my fellow interns are experiencing a spike in anxiety like me, I would recommend this method as a good way to cope with stressful thoughts and overwhelming feelings at work. If you bring headphones to work, you can even listen to this relaxing soundtrack while doing your deep breathing.

In order to combat my anxiety, I’m also working on being kind to myself. On a day-to-day basis, I think most people are unaware of the negative thoughts they project onto themselves. I know in my case, I wouldn’t stand for it if a stranger said to me some of the horrible things I think to myself. Although we are all in a stressful situation, in a new town working a professional level job, a small level of error is inherent in the process of being human. If we beat ourselves up over our small failures, we may miss our large successes.

Nicole Cordier

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9 Responses to A Note on Anxiety

  1. hansonlauraj says:

    Hi Nicole!
    It’s great to hear that you’re working on treating yourself well to combat the stress you’re feeling in the new position. The good news (something that I’m using to reassure myself–and you could too) is that everyone in this program is self-sufficient and hard working. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t! As long as you’re trying your hardest and “kicking ass” every day, your supervisors will be happy to have had you and will either hire you or recommend you for another position. What more can we ask for?
    Great post.

  2. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Nicole! Everyone needs a good relaxation technique. Laura is right, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t able to handle the heat. 🙂

  3. cbuch232 says:

    Great post Nicole! I also find myself often projecting negative thoughts onto myself. Though it’s sometimes really hard, it’s important to find happiness within yourself rather than exterior stimuli. You never know what’s going to happen in life, but maintaining a positive self perception and outlook can make life a whole lot easier. Observing your thoughts through meditation can also help for understanding the negativity.

  4. These are all awesome points! I definitely share that anxiety with you. I’m also the one to hash things over in my spare time and over react to things. Today I decided to ask my supervisor how he thought I was doing and what progress I was making in our weekly meeting and that honest conversation with him really helped me ease my stress! I’m glad we get to share all of our ways we cope with it because it is all good advice.

  5. kaitlynchock says:

    Nicole, I really enjoyed your post. Your last paragraph is gold. You’re a wonderful writer and I like hearing your perspective. Thanks for ending on a positive note.

    I definitely am the same way when it comes to rehashing conversations, especially when I couldn’t figure something out that I should have been able to. I appreciated the link you included. Deep breathing is an effective way to calm down and I’ll definitely try the 7-11 count the next time I’m stressed. Also, I didn’t realize that breathing through your chest could make you panic more. Good to know. Thanks, Nicole!

  6. Nicole, what a great post! These all seem like great techniques to help with anxiety. Although I am not an overly anxious person I do find myself reflecting back on my day when I get home. Also similar to Ali I checked in with my supervisor to get some feedback which really helped me gain some perspective on how was doing. I appreciate you sharing these tips on how to relax. I think it is imperative that we maintain positive thoughts and by doing so it will carry over into our daily work.

  7. Thanks for writing such an honest post. One of the hardest things is not to psych yourself out before you get there. Entering a new job is definitely very stressful and it’s awesome you’ve found a method that works to neutralize stress. Also, I love the idea of a peaceful soundtrack to help unwind. I never thought about it, but I use white noise in a similar way. Great post and I agree with your last sentence: we’ll miss out on success, if we’re too worried about failure.

  8. simonemyers says:

    Hey Nicole,
    Your post really resonated with me! I definitely agree that we are a lot harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else. Lately I’ve been saying to myself, “would I say the same things to my sister if she was in this same circumstance?” and most likely, the answer is no. I think it’s great that you’re recognizing this and shifting your thoughts. It really is so important that we extend the same kindness to ourselves and ease up on the judgmental comments.

  9. I’m so glad you chose this topic to write about. I think you’re right in that many of us are going through a stage of anxiety and stress. It’s difficult enough to transition to a new city and be away from close friends, but adding a professional-level job into the mix really makes it tough sometimes. I think your tips could be very helpful (I especially like the soothing soundtrack idea) and when I find myself starting to get harsh on myself, I’ll remember what you said. Thanks for this. Best of luck with the rest of your (hopefully not as stressful) time at Portland Monthly!

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