If you are a person who suffers from anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be. Sleepless nights, panicky feelings, and physical discomfort often plague those who are anxious. To lessen anxiety, try the following techniques:
1) Challenge your own thoughts.
Challenge your worry or fear by examining how realistic it is and the real consequence if it does occur. Worriers often spend too much energy thinking about things that never happen. Try to deal with the here and now and be mindful of the damage that intrusive thoughts can do to your day.
2) Give yourself permission to worry—but only for a set amount of time.
Assign a designated “worry time” to your day that typically lasts no longer than 30 minutes. Use this time to indulge in your worst worry fantasies, but once that timer goes off, your worry time is over. Another idea is to spend time writing about your fear in a journal. Once your entry is complete, you move on to other tasks.
3) Understand your body’s physiological response to anxiety and how to counteract it.
When you worry, you might experience a variety of physical responses including increased heartbeat, shakiness, dizziness, sweating, etc. Acknowledge what is happening and why. Your body is in a state of arousal over a perceived threat or fear. Take several slow, deep breaths and you will begin to relax.
4) Face the fear.
We typically avoid what we are most anxious about, and in doing so, we perpetuate the worry. Overcoming anxiety means dealing with it. Professionals advise taking small steps towards a gradual exposure to what your fear or worry is. One technique is to allow yourself to vividly imagine your fear. As you are doing this, use deep breathing to keep your body calm. The next step would be to actually physically confront your fear (for example, petting a snake, giving blood, putting your feet in the ocean, etc.).
5) Admit you are powerful.
People with anxiety tend to overestimate their fear and underestimate their own coping skills. Don’t undervalue the role you play with your fears—you not only create them, but you have the power to diminish them and even make them go away!
6) Explore the severity of your anxiety.
If you feel stuck or have trouble beginning any of the steps above, consider seeking professional help. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons that people go into therapy and, thankfully, it is a highly treatable condition. Your life CAN get better—you might just need a little help to make it happen.
If you’d like additional support and guidance and live near Roseville, please contact me for a free, 15 minute consultation at (916) 622-3996.