Five Ways to Ease Anxiety
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Five Ways to Ease Anxiety

Anxiety in everyday situations causes stress and robs your life of zest and joy. Take time to insulate yourself against this by practicing some common sense preventatives: Research your situation, practice deep breathing, talk to a friend, repeat self affirming statements, use mental rehearsal. Repeat these steps often, and learn to view life with humor.

If you are having difficulty with anxiety, let me reassure you that you are not alone.  There are ways to deal with this problem

  • Research the situation that is causing your stress.
  • Practice steps such as deep breathing or calming thoughts to relieve your anxiety
  • Find a friend, counselor, or psychologist to talk to about how you feel.
  • Increase you understing and confidence by talking to other who do what you have anxiety about..
  • Practice.being calm with mental rehearsal of the situation.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anyone may experience anxiety occasionally due to environmental pressures or in response to a specific situation.  If you are anticipating surgery, it is not unusual to worry about the doctor, the diagnosis, the hospital, and your immune system.  In this case, it is sensible to check out the doctor’s credentials, get a second opinion on the diagnosis, check the hospital’s infection record, and take you vitamins to boost your immune system.  Once you have satisfied your questions, you should be able to take a more relaxed view of the situation.  I am not suggesting that you will be joyous, but you can put yourself in the hands of professional, and expect a good outcome.

Constant worry and distress over things you cannot control waste your energy and lessen your joy in life.  If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to do something about it.  There are some things you can do yourself.

Research the situation.  If you are stressing out over bills, or traffic, or the germs, look at the problem with another person to help you see it without your own bias attached.  Visualize the solution and the steps it will take to be in a stress free place.  Accomplishing the steps you chose will give you new confidence.  Plan a budget and stick to it and you will gain the confidence to get control of the bills.  Review a map to make sure you know where you are going and choose a less busy time to do you errands.  Keep a personal size dispenser of hand sanitizer with you and have your car detailed. 

If your anxiety goes beyond limits that simple steps can satisfy, it may be time to consult a psychologist for Behavioral Therapy.

Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia

You may experience anxiety in social situations if you are meeting new people.  Sometimes anxiety occurs when you feel people are judging you or you are not confident about your appearance or behavior in a unique situation.  You may experience anxiety when you are expected to speak in public.  Giving a speech is very fearful for many people, but if you plan your speech well, are well-versed on your topic, and practice you will probably do better than you thought you would. 

Don’t assume that you should not be stressed over this:  public speaking is very stressful to almost anyone.  The heightened awareness is also what makes the event exciting for you.  If you are relaxed by medication in this situation you may appear dull or uninterested to your audience.

Other Anxiety Provoking Situations

Many situational anxieties present themselves regularly.  Math anxiety is common and girls get the most press from it.  Boys seem to have a better grasp of math than girls because gender differences in the brain.  To deal with this problem, advise your daughters to review and learn the steps of math problems.  And especially don’t freak out or give up.  About the middle of the high school years girls take a big leap forward in the way the brain processes these sequential problems.  Math really does get easier.

Test anxiety and dental anxiety fall in this category too.  Reassure yourself with self-affirming statements.  I did it last time.  I can do it again.  I do know the answers.  Take a deep breath and remember the pride you felt when you were through the last time.  Your dentist may give you medication to get you through the appointment.

OCD—Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Agoraphobia

OCD and Agoraphobia are anxiety disorders that may require a psychologist and medication.  Anxiety disorders are cousins of depression, and they sometimes respond to the same medications.  If your anxiety is so pervasive that you cannot function, the medications may offer some relief by blocking reuptake of Norepinepherine and Serotonin.  The OCD sufferer is more than picky and perfectionistic: They feel they cannot function until the details are just as they require.  They may repeat routines over and over and gain assurance by the repetition.  Hand washing or bathing is one common characteristic.  Agoraphobia is a fear of the market place.  They are in extreme distress when outside their own yard or house and sometimes their own room or bed. 

Anxiety lies on this continuum from everyday ordinary concern to extreme debilitation.  We all know people who are worriers, but don’t ignore this persistent fearful state if it infects you mind with haunting threats of “what if this or that happens?”  Most of the things we envision in these scenes will never happen.  See a doctor or a psychologist or a counselor or your pastor to get help to deal with anxiety.

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