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Ask Alex!



How To Create Healthy Habits! 

By Brianna Benavidez-Lopez 


Have you always wanted to build a healthy habit for yourself but always seem to forget about it the next day? Or you do not have the motivation to be consistent. Everyone has tried to get better, but sometimes it does not work and that is okay. You are asking yourself; how can I make this into a good habit and do it every day? Well, if you are not sure how, stick around to find out how! 

It's important that you set a goal for yourself. But not just any abstract goal, but a specific, detailed plan of what you want to do. Don’t say, “I'll do this every now and then” but instead say, “I will do this every day for 15 minutes” make sure it’s a small goal. Remember, you’re just starting out so making a small goal is a big step! Having a detailed plan can reduce the chances of it being forgotten.  

The next thing is extremely important, make it fun! Making the pursuit of your goal enjoyable will make your goal to create a habit easier and faster to accomplish. You are most likely to achieve more by doing something that is fun. For example, listen to your favorite music while cleaning your room or doing homework.  

The last thing is to have the right kind of support to help motivate you throughout your journey. So that means telling others about your goals, for the people around you will influence you. Also find others that have the same goal as you and gain courage. Or find another who already has the habits you want so you can learn from them.  

That should be enough advice to hopefully get you started on the road for building a habit you’ve been putting off. A detailed plan, making it fun, support and motivation are key into making habits.  







Q: How do I stay motivated enough to be able to do my work in class? 

A: If you are feeling unmotivated, make sure to be around people or an  
environment that isn’t distracting to you. Take away or cut time from things like video games or binge watching a show. Find calm places, play some chill music, and set your mind to only do your work. Take small breaks every now and then too if you feel like you need it. 




Need Advice? 

By: Ivan Acosta 

Q: How do I get better grades in school? 

A: If you want to succeed in school, you should make sure you have time for your homework and be paying attention in school. Don’t procrastinate your work, put your phone down every once in a while, and give yourself the quiet space and time to do so.










ASK ALEX FALL 2021: Fighting Anxiety 


Scares are to be expected from the Halloween season, but for many of us fear and anxiety are a year-round specter that can haunt every aspect of our lives. It’s impossible to live a completely anxiety free life, but if you’re struggling to keep your head above the water in the day-to-day, you probably want a change. No one deserves to be held back from participating in their own life, and hopefully this advice will help you take yours back. 


Pay Attention 


The most important skill you’ll need to develop if you want to tackle any form of general anxiety is the ability to recognize when your emotional state is being controlled by your anxiety. If anxiety has become your default emotion, you may not even notice the true impact it’s having on your life anymore. It’s like insomnia. When you first start having trouble sleeping you feel really obviously tired and awful all day, but as time goes on and the sleep deprivation continues, you don’t notice so much anymore. Your body and mood are still suffering from the same unhealthy conditions, it’s just that you’ve adjusted to the lack of sleep as your new normal. The ability to be mindful of your emotional state and which emotions are currently motivating your actions and decisions in any given moment is vital not just for recognizing when you’re making life worse for yourself because of anxiety, but for being able to maturely handle any negative emotions in your life and stopping yourself from making impulsive choices based on anger, sadness, jealousy or whatever that you wind up regretting later. Practice thinking about your actions and asking yourself what emotions you’re feeling in different situations throughout your day. If you find you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety, look into what you can do to minimize your exposure to the particular situation that caused it, or find a way to manage the emotions if it’s something you can’t get around. There’s a hundred lists and articles out there about different self-care activities to manage anxiety and depression and whatnot and everyone has their stuff that works for them, so I won’t give you advice on that front. Just make sure whatever activities you choose work for rejuvenation, not avoidance. The goal is to take a limited break and reduce your stress enough with your chosen method that you can go back and have enough energy to be successful even in a situation that may cause anxiety for you, not reduce stress by hiding from the scary thing and busying yourself with a more agreeable activity so that you can try to push it off your mind. Avoiding difficult anxious situations feels good in the moment but doesn’t actually help to reduce your stress all that much and does nothing to help you learn how to reduce or cope with your fears about that situation in the future. Depending on the anxiety, this strategy may even make things worse. Focus on trying to be aware of and active about managing your feelings. 


Get Some Perspective 


The emotions created by anxiety are very real, but often the causes of those anxieties are completely fake. If you’re the type that gets sick to your stomach at the idea of asking for extra napkins at a restaurant, take a second and think about why. What is it that’s scary about this situation? Someone might think you’re dumb? The cashier is going to yell at you? Jump the counter and announce to the entire Taco Bell that you’re some kind of horrible unhygienic failure because you need more napkins? If that actually happened that would not only be completely insane but also 100% the problem of that unbalanced cashier, not you, a reasonable person who just wants to keep fire sauce off their hoodie. And I guarantee that random minimum-wage employee has to deal with people who do infinitely worse stuff than just stuttering a bit while politely asking for a napkin, stuff that’s actually worth being embarrassed about. Anxiety is meant to be your brain’s mechanism to protect you, but issues arise when the things it tries to save you from aren’t dangerous. When you’re in a situation where you feel anxious, practice taking a step back and asking yourself why. Sometimes just acknowledging the flaws in the logic of your fear is enough to kill the anxiety around whatever you’re doing. 


Where’s The Evidence? 


Another effective strategy for anxiety management is objectively comparing the nightmare scenarios imagined by your anxiety with the actual reality of how the situation plays out. This one works especially well for chronic anxieties that you deal with often over long periods of time. If you’re always struggling with your assignments because your anxiety makes you too afraid to speak up when you’re confused in class or go to your teachers or parents to ask for help getting on top of the overwhelming mountain of work that always seems to be piling up around you, first use the perspective strategy to figure out what hypothetical outcomes are making these scenarios anxiety-inducing for you. Are you afraid that the teacher will get mad at you? Or are you afraid you’re going to fail the assignment, and feel like if you never start something then you’ll never have the chance to fail at it? Once you’ve got an idea of what is causing the anxiety, start listing times that you’ve dealt with this situation, or a similar one, in the past and look at each of the outcomes. When you got past the anxiety and were able to perform the stressful task, did the actual outcome usually match your imagined one? Whenever you’re able to successfully do whatever is causing you the anxiety, even in some small way, write down how you feel in that moment for you to look back on later when you feel anxious again and your brain tries to convince you that the situation can only end in disaster. You have to keep some actual record rather than just remembering because in the moment your brain will want to block out any of your good memories and focus only on the bad ones. This can take a while to build up enough examples for it to sink in, but the results are worth it. 


Stop Listening 


Ultimately anxiety is just a little voice in your head trying to get you to trust the incorrect beliefs that your brain thinks will keep you safe based on your past experiences with traumas or societal pressures, and once you acknowledge that, you can treat it as such. There’s the fake-it-til-you-make-it strategy, where you pretend that your anxiety isn’t screaming at you and go ahead with the stressful thing like you’re not scared at all until eventually your brain gets the hint and stops activating your fear response, and if your anxiety takes the form of actual thoughts rather than just gut feelings, viewing those thoughts as coming from a separate entity can be incredibly effective in reducing their effect on you. Basically, give that voice in your head a name. Try imagining your anxiety, or whatever you decide to call it, as a nervous friend that tries to keep the two of you out of trouble but often overreacts and talk to it the same way you would an actual friend in that situation. If the voice in your head takes a more self-loathing approach, imagine those words coming from some awful family member or politician or that one soccer coach that was a total jerk to you when you were a kid, or even just an imaginary bully. Anyone you really dislike and whose opinions you couldn’t give less of a crap about. Every time your anxiety tries to push you down with self-loathing thoughts, think about that persona you’ve given it saying those same things about you and tell it to shut up in the most aggressive way possible. Go nuts, the most scathing insults you can think of, use this thing to practice your comeback game. When we look at our thoughts like this from an external perspective, it’s much easier to view them rationally and react to them like we really should.  


Hopefully the advice for this issue was able to help you in some way, and if you find yourself struggling, it’s always a good idea to consider speaking to a professional like a therapist or counselor. 


Hoping you find solutions to all your problems, 


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