Hello again friends, good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. I hope this blog finds you well. Today, I want to visit the topic of anxiety. Anxiety is a common experience these days. In fact, about 95% of my clients arrive to treatment with some degree of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can be a tough symptom to manage because there are different types with various causes. For example:
Anticipatory Anxiety: When we worry about that big exam, first date, huge presentation, or having that tough conversation with a friend or co-worker.
Doom and Gloom Anxiety: A close cousin to anticipatory anxiety, this is a feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong. This could be anxiety that just seems to pop up out of no where as you’re peacefully going about your day. Or my favorite experience, that feeling that happens on Sunday evening around 8 PM when you began to create all sorts of stories regarding the upcoming work week.
Lack of Control Anxiety: This feeling tends to hit when everything in your world seems like total chaos. Attempts to organize and carefully plan your life fail at every turn. Nothing is going “right” and knowing which step to take keeps alluding us.
This is a very short list and we will cover more types of anxiety in the future. For now though, awareness that these are common experiences, helps us to recognize that a) we are not alone b) it is manageable.
Below I have included 5 ways to manage anxiety. These practices are simple and can be performed anywhere, at any time. Start off with practicing one strategy per week. The human brain likes small baby steps when it comes to getting motivated with a new practice. More importantly, have fun with it and use during times of non-stress too!
1) Scan your environment.
State out loud, or in your head, 10 objects and their color.
2) Send breath to your stomach.
On an inhalation, expand your stomach with air. Upon exhalation, squeeze navel back to spine. Repeat 10 times.
3) Think of a recent funny moment.
Replay the memory in your mind with as much detail as possible.
4) Listen to your favorite upbeat playlist.
This playlist is a compilation of positive, upbeat songs. Concentrate on the words and evoke opposite emotions and brain patterns.
5) Repeat an affirmation.
Say an affirmation out loud or in your head (out loud is best). Examples include: “I am okay.” “This is only temporary.” “I will get through this.” or create your own.
If you have found any of these techniques particularly helpful, please leave a comment below and share them with your friends and family!