Reduced Anxiety

How I Reduced My Anxiety

By Liz Hankin, M.A., MFT

In todays digital age we are all very concerned with what’s coming next and never seem to be happy in the moment.

I swear every time a new iPhone or Apple Product comes out anxiety amongst the masses skyrockets.

This need to be the best, by always knowing what is coming next in the technological world

sometimes bleeds over to our personal world.

I know for me, who still has an iPhone 5 s (I’m fine with it), I still find my anxiety spiking at various times due to my mind pushing me into the future before I am ready.

Living in the future in your mind and making up possible outcomes to things that have yet to occur, can make anyone anxious.

It has been said that, “anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of

its strength”, and as someone with a Anxiety Disorder I tend to agree.

In recent years I have gotten my anxiety under control, now I no longer even need medication to get me through my days.

Over the past 10 years here are some things that I have used to help me get to the point where I am today, at peace with my anxiety.

1.Anxiety is NO JOKE: If you feel as if you are having anxiety, take a moment to think about

where it is coming from?

Where in your body do you feel its effects? Is there some way to alleviate the situation before it

turns into a panic attack? Ignoring your anxiety could lead to more severe attacks down the line.

If we do not deal with our anxiety it can begin to find its way into other areas of our life where

we never thought we would have anxious feelings (think, going for a drive or having sex).

So assess where it is coming from.

2.Find someone to talk to:

Whenever I find my anxiety levels rising I make sure to talk to a friend or family member who I trust to

hold my feelings, and validate my experience.

Even when I do feel better after talking to this person, I still make an appointment with a therapist.

A therapist can serve as an impartial sounding board with whom to work through your anxiety.

3.Find a Physical Outlet: When my anxiety began to get really bad,

I was living far away from my family for school and could not move home.

I felt like everything that I did that was not geared towards helping them was selfish and a waste.

My therapist talked with me about getting into some kind of workout.

I found a boathouse nearby and began to row Crew, something I had not done since high school.

I found that the intense workouts coupled with the quiet mornings spent out on the water helped me to

clear my mind and began to help me think more lucidly about the matters that were causing my anxiety.

Exercise, especially where we need to focus on the task a hand, allow for a sort of “mental vacation”

this can also be said about mediation.

4.Find a Mental Outlet: The calm and tranquility I found out on the water changed my whole

perspective on what was worth worrying about and what was not. I began to research meditation.

Now, being someone who was diagnosed with ADHD at 8 years old, I do not pride myself on my

amazing concentration skills,

I have let that ship sail, but there are meditations that I have found that have worked for me.

Progressive muscle relaxations and guided mediations that I found on Youtube have made a lot of

difference in my life.

Starting the day with a 5-minute mediation helps to slow my thoughts down, and keep me present to

set my intentions for the day.(Reduced Anxiety)

The brain is a muscle so start short and build your way up to longer mediations, if this is a route that speaks to you.

5.Say NO to your every day legal stimulants and depressants: This is probably obvious to some,

but coffee is a stimulant and thus will raise your heart rate and, in turn, your anxiety. LAY OFF

until you can pinpoint where your anxiety is coming from and treat it.

Do not poke the bear!! Drinking, though a depressant also has the ability to spike your anxiety.

Many who suffer from social anxiety use alcohol and other drugs to calm themselves.

This is not recommended and can also cause your anxiety to get worse when you are in the

hangover or withdrawal phase of use. Again, until you find where your anxiety stems from, try

to avoid things that are under your control that will affect you.(Reduced Anxiety)

 

6.See a Psychiatrist: If you are still struggling with getting your anxiety under control

please see a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can prescribe you things like benzodiazepines or

anti-depressants to alleviate your symptoms.

Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin), are considered “short term” and “quick fixes” by most Psychiatrists.

This is the type of pill I was prescribed by my doctor, which helped me when I felt

a panic attack coming on and helped me calm down enough to fall asleep.(Reduced Anxiety)

These drugs are highly addictive and should only be used in moderation, as prescribed.

Anti-depressants on the other hand are used for more long-term alleviation of symptoms.

Both should be closely followed by the prescribing doctor and should also be coupled with

psychotherapy to receive maximum benefits.

After being on Benzodiazepine’s for years my therapy began to get to the root of my anxieties

and now I no longer need any medication to deal

with my anxious mind.(Reduced Anxiety)

In the end, you need to find what works or you. Whether it is one or two of the things I listed or

all of them combined. Most importantly though, please do not ignore what your body is saying to you.

 

One day I hope that you can make peace with your anxiety the way that I have and not miss out

on things just because they scare you.(Reduced Anxiety)

Trust me, I still get anxiety and anxious thoughts run rampant in my head sometimes but instead

of letting them cripple me I use them as a reminder to stay present and enjoy the

discomfort because in the end that is how we grow and change.

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Amazing Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress

6 Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be the happiest time of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful.

Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress.Between hunting down your gift checklist, cooking, cleaning, decorating, hosting guests, reuniting with

family and friends–it’s understandable why some of us go from holiday cheery to downright dreary.

In fact, it’s not entirely uncommon to experience depression during the holidays. According to the American Psychological Association, 44 percent of women deal with an increase in stress this time of year; men are not far behind, surveyed at 33 percent.

Don’t settle on being a Scrooge by forgoing the holiday season – you’ll only feel more like one. Instead, take a look at some of these tips to keep holiday stress down and your spirit up.

  1. Create a budget. Not only are the lines at the mall enough to induce stress, but gift spending can get very expensive, leading to added anxiety over money, or worse, debt. Set limits on how much you’d like to spend on each person, and stick to your budget. It’ll give you financial and personal peace of mind without the pressure to go overboard. In addition, remember that there are many way to show you care or to make someone feel special. You can be thoughtful and creative in your gift-giving, rather than just purchasing an expensive item. Think out of the box!
  2. Don’t overdo it. Do you ever go into people pleaser mode during the holidays and try to do more than you can handle? Spreading yourself too thin can lead to added stress. Take care of yourself, prioritize your responsibilities, and take care of important tasks first while seeing which ones can be done post-holiday. Remember what the holidays are really about and what is important. One hint–it is not how much money you spend!(Amazing Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress)
  3. Accept people for who they are and have realistic expectations. Going into that big family gathering with optimism is admirable, but don’t set your expectations too high: you can’t change anyone’s personality, and you may end up letting yourself down if conflicts, arguments or squabbles arise over the dinner table. Try to set boundaries with your family. Also accept that not everything is going to go smoothly (with family, friends, presents, or food) during the holidays, and that is ok.
  4. Be thankful and focus on what you do have. A variety of stressful feelings can arise during the holidays, and you might even feel envious or jealous over our neighbors’ or family members’ accomplishments or possessions, without feeling appreciation for our own. Take this as an opportunity to step back and feel gratitude for what you have – it’ll remove stressful feelings and create newer, healthier ones. Think of it as a jumpstart to your New Year’s resolution!(Amazing Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress)
  5. Remember to Take Care of Yourself! It’s easy to get caught up in doing too many things and being there for everyone else. But you will end up not being good for anyone if you don’t prioritize yourself and practice self-care. By taking some time to do things for yourself—i.e. take a bath, sit down and read a book you have been wanting to finish, get a massage—you will decrease stress and anxiety and be recharged so you accomplish your goals.
  6. Make a conscious choice to be joyful! While the holiday stress can build up, it is important that you take responsibility for your emotions and make a conscious choice to be joyful. You have the opportunity to make this year different than previous years by changing your mindset and reactions. It is almost guaranteed that if you change how you are showing up, others will have to make at least slight adjustments in their responses and reactions. While change can certainly be uncomfortable for some, others might surprise you and actually welcome the change!
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