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One Way to Manage Anxiety posted Nov 1, 2017

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Anxiety is so common in our everyday experiences that the word is beginning to sound like a person’s name. I can imagine some of you waking up and audibly saying, “Hello Anxiety, how are you today? Will the awful thing that I thought about yesterday actually happen today? What do you do when you are not bothering me?” For some of you, the next few paragraphs will be a new way to deal that pesky Anxiety (capitalization intended).

The first way to manage Anxiety is to personify her or him. Ask Anx (a nickname) a few questions and then be still and notice what part of your body feels something. Is it your head, throat, stomach or back? If you have the courage, say what you would say to him/her as if you were finally standing up to a bully.

You may ask the questions specific to what’s going on in your life like: “Why do I put up with this stupid job, boss, committee, or car?” Why am I beating myself up when all I’ve done is be a good friend to …? What would really happen if I said 'No' to my mother when she makes unreasonable requests of me as if I don't have a life of my own?” You get the point. Again, wait a few minutes and see what signals you get.

Specifically, wait to see what part of your body reacts. Then talk to that part of your body, saying similar things. Notice what happens. Okay, say something to your stomach like "How do you make those rumbling sounds?" Or, say to that bulging vein on your forehead or next to your eye, "Don't you get tired of throbbing like that?" Then notice what happens. It may not happen in those areas of your body. Something different may change in your palms or in your chest. Just pay attention and be patient with yourself. This is ground-breaking behavior on your part. Right? Because nothing else has worked.

Now, this all may be too strange for you, and if you can’t do it, it’s understandable. But, if you can get into it, it might be better than the constant worrying you’re experiencing right now at the brutal hands of Anxiety. And of course, you can always seek a good therapist, no worries, we are here to help you.

So, the dis-ease in the form of anxiety just might be your body's way of letting us know something in your relationships is not working. So, when anxiety shows up, you might want to have a long talk with her/him to see what it is you need to do differently to have a different experience. If she/he changes in any way, you are on to a new way.

Guess what? Anxiety just might have been waiting for you to change your behavior.

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