4 Keys to Anxiety Management

anxietyAnxiety. Just the word can bring a little flutter to the stomach or make the heart beat a little faster. Most of us don’t like to   experience anxiety. Our bodies and minds can seem to be on overload when it is happening and for many they experience panic attacks as well.
The good news is that there are many ways to cope with and treat anxiety. I will mention for keys here to get you started.
#1 Coping Skills for In the Moment
This is the first essential step. Knowing how to have some things to do when you feel anxiety and/or a panic attack is the priority in knowing how to deal with it. There are many things that can be done to calm the body and mind down. One is breathing. This is often mentioned in a cliché manner, but breathing breathewell can really work wonders to calm the body and mind. Other solutions can help too, like calming music, talking with a friend, journaling, or tapping.
#2 Increasing Habits that Will Keep Anxiety Away
All treatment of anxiety includes this important step. It is crucial to know how to manage it in the moment, but research shows us that there are things we can include in our lifestyle to literally impact or brain physiology and decrease our anxiety. These are mostly activities that include calming and mindfulness. For example, meditation. Including even a few minutes of meditation in your daily routine has been shown in research to calm your brain. The same is true for Yoga. It clears the mind in such a way that the anxiety is less likely to creep in. I would also include activities that improve mental health, such as exercise of any kind, socializing with friends, and journaling.
#3 Accept the Feeling
Although anxiety can be overwhelming, oftentimes the feeling is giving us important information. It is our body’s way of telling us that something is concerning or dangerous in our environment. For many people accepting the feeling of anxiety and then exploring the possible causes and triggers can reduce the feeling. Then, you can be empowered with the information about yourself and your environment to make choices and take actions that are healthy for you.
#4 Deal with Root Issues
Many people with anxiety have a history of circumstances and situations that have produced a high level of anxiety. It could be a high pressure family environment, traumatic events, abusive relationships, and the list goes on. Diving in to find out what some of the root issue may be can help resolve the anxiety once and for all. I would recommend doing this part of the work with a trained psychotherapist who can help guide you through this process. It is empowering to get to know yourself on a deeper level and work through thinrootsgs that have happened in your past.
The most important thing is to do something! You do not have to live with anxiety controlling your life!
Rachel Harrison, LCPC, NCC

More about Anxiety

Anxiety may mean different things to different people.  Some people equate it with stress or nervousness.  To others, it is about having panic attacks or being afraid of heights or snakes.  All of these things are related to anxiety, but it is most important to note that anxiety is a physiological phenomenon that occurs in your body.

If you or someone you know has experienced a panic attack, it often feels like a heart attack.  The symptoms are very similar: sweating, heart palpitations, shaking, hyperventilating or trouble breathing, and dizziness.  Many people end up in the ER with their first panic attack for this reason!  Panic attacks are a clear signal from your body that your anxiety is too high and needs to be addressed.

The good news is, there are many things that can be done to treat anxiety, whether you experience it as a constant nervousness, fear of certain situations, or panic attacks.  Treatment should be two-pronged.  First, there are coping strategies and exercises to deal with the anxiety when it comes and to prevent anxiety from starting in the first place.   These include things such as breathing exercises and changes in lifestyle.  Next, the root of the anxiety needs to be discovered, examined, and dealt with.  Discussing your anxiety and triggers with a trained therapist can help address core issues and move past the anxiety.   Many clients express the feeling of freedom after working in therapy to address their anxiety.  In addition, EMDR therapy is a great tool to address this part of the process (see What About EMDR blog post).

More than anything, know that no one has to continue to suffer with anxiety!  There is help and healing.  Do not wait, set up a session with a Licensed Professional to address your anxiety today!