Strategies to Undo Anxiety: Anxiety is a common and potentially serious condition. It can serve positively as a motivator, but too much anxiety can result in indecision, panic attacks and psychological paralysis. Some of the common psychological symptoms of anxiety are excessive worry, sleeplessness, perfectionism, stage fright, brief memory loss, inability to concentrate and obsessiveness. Some common physical symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, tingling sensations and trembling.
The good news is that psychotherapy can often address and reduce anxiety. The simple action of speaking in a safe, non-judgmental environment with an experienced psychotherapist often reduces tension and provides meaningful insights into the causes of anxiety. Most importantly, speaking with a therapist can help explore and set up effective strategies to reduce anxiety.
Here are some easy common techniques to reduce anxiety:
• Often there are causes or common repeat “triggers” that start the anxiety….usually certain people, places or situations. In therapy you will identify these triggers and with the therapist work on a strategy to better manage or avoid them.
• Identify negative predictions that are not based on facts…..Identify with the therapist thoughts and predictions you make when you are anxious. Then see if there is a difference between the actual facts of the situation and the stories or narrative you tell yourself. Are you making predictions not yet true? Can you explore with the therapist what assumptions you are making that are not factual? Do these predictions and assumptions make you more anxious and get in the way of problem solving?
• Having a support network and taking a pause by talking to a friend who does not judge you can be very helpful. Going for a walk does calm many people down. Just taking three to five deep breaths has been scientifically shown to relax the amygdala, that part of the brain triggering anxiety and fear.
• Having an Anxiety Toolbox is helpful. An Anxiety Toolbox includes meditation, keeping a journal, going regularly to a gym, listening to music, downloading apps or guided exercises to relax and learning positive self-talk that tunes out negative messages, helping you to let go of “perfectionism”.
These strategies are usually easy to implement with an experienced therapist and can reduce anxiety in a relatively short period of time.