Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Very Short Course on Managing Anxiety

In our stressful world, nearly everyone is anxious at times. These techniques should help:


1. Getting good sleep gives you a reserve, a gas tank of anxiety antidote, to cope with anxiety. These can help:
  • Have a comfy pre-sleep ritual. For example, I exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Right after exercising, I'm energized, but 2 or 3 hours later, the fatigue caused by the exercise sets in.
  • Recognize that if you're getting up in the middle of the night, you have the skills to get back to sleep: just take moderate relaxed breaths, thinking, "In with the good air, out with the bad air." until you're back to sleep. Moderate breaths are better than deep ones because the extra oxygen in deep breaths makes you more awake.
  • If the above doesn't get you back to sleep, perhaps you've had enough sleep for that night. The next night you'll be more tired, or if you tire during the day, maybe you can take a nap then, even if you have to leave work and hop into your car for a 20-30-minute "power nap."
  • For more on getting good sleep, click HERE.
2. Do you excessively use caffeine? Intoxicants? Do you overeat? Avoid those and you protect your reserve, your anti-anxiety "gas tank."

3. So you're prepared with how to respond when you feel anxious, now, when you're calm, list the positive thoughts you want to replace the worrisome ones. On the spot, you may be too anxious to think of them.

1. As soon as you start to feel anxious, well before it reaches the panic attack level, take three long, deep breaths from the belly (diaphragmatic breathing.) Think of it like filling your belly first with air and then as that's full, you fill your chest.

2. Then turn your attention away from yourself and outward to the external world. For example, study the pretty picture in the room, think about what's good in your life, listen to someone else's problem, take a walk and look for the beauty all around you.

3.  Say an affirmation, for example, "Worrying won't help at all, and I have the skills to calm down."Even if the anxiety worsens into a full-scale panic attack, remind yourself that you have the skills to calm yourself down. Make a list of what you want to do if anxiety or even a full-scale panic attack hits: for example:
      a. Take 3 diaphragmatic breaths.
      b. Transfer your attention outward.

That is your "fire extinguisher" for anxiety.

1 comment:

Linen Method Reviews said...

Therapies – are a very important anxiety treatment. These target the psychological aspect of anxiety. CBT or the cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to alter the way of thinking – converting negative thoughts into positive ones. Techniques used in CBT include role-playing and relaxation technique.


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