The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

How To Deal With Anxiety

Ever experience times where you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest or having trouble breathing, and not sure why? Maybe you are experiencing anxiety. Of course it doesn’t have to be as severe as the symptoms I just mentioned or it can feel even worse than that. Anxiety is usually produced by stressors in your life.

Normal stressors would be taking a big exam, doing a speech or presentation, or having a job interview. However, how you handle anxiety makes all the difference in your success in managing every day life. Some people experience what are called panic attacks- even without prominent provocation. Panic attacks can be managed and so can anxiety and stress.

If you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks or anxiety in general, the following tools may help to subside the effects and even make them eventually “go away.”

  • Journal- When you have a panic attack or feel an anxiety “attack” coming on, write what you are feeling and thinking: physically, emotionally, and mentally. When it’s passed or even if the moment if possible, try to think WHAT the triggers were leading up to you feeling this way.
  • Look through your journal- note if there are certain times of day that you happen to have more anxiety than others, or if there are certain events that make you especially susceptible to anxiety. Identifying triggers is your first line of defense.
  • Sometimes triggers can be eliminated, but often they are things you will have to deal with- so you cannot avoid them (i.e. your parent “stressing you out,” dealing with a difficult boss or colleague at work, taking tests, etc.). This is when you should institute some of the techniques I mentioned in my “article” about stress. Deep breathing, counting, grounding, and imagery are all very helpful.
  • The quicker you can identify that you’re having an attack or about to, the quicker you can utilize your tools to calm yourself. Often times, positive self talk can really be helpful. If you’re feeling self-doubt, keep telling yourself positive good things, try to push out the negatives.
  • Talk to your doctor or therapist about anxiety. There are medicines out there that can help with the symptoms of anxiety. Also, talking through these feelings and thoughts that you are having can be a sounding board for you to obtain advice and suggestions on how to further help yourself.

These are only a few tips on anxiety. Please check back often as I update these articles at least weekly. You can also check out my twitter account where I put daily affirmations, positive thoughts, and helpful tips.

28 comments (Add your own)

1. Alexandre wrote:
I, too, experienced knraely anxiety attacks for me it was pregnancy and post-partum related. Anyhow, it is NO fun! And feels very scary and like noone truly understands your suffering.A couple things: after resisting (due to expense) I ultimately was greatly helped by EFT (also known as tapping ). I recommend finding someone who has a lot of experience and can cite you referrals of those helped with specifically anxiety issues.Secondly, I would utilize an amazing technique that I actually learned from a Practitioner who does this Tapping techniques. He does this before every successful treatment, and I would often use this trick alone to ward off an attack when I would feel that humming of it coming on. It's called Balanced Breathing and, as I said, most often could get me out of an anxiety jam. Google Balanced Breathing & Dr. George Pratt, and I believe he has a link to a video of him doing the technique. Don't underestimate the power of 2 minutes of this simple technique. I pray and hope that you find relief. I was encouraged to do the meds thing when I was in the thick of it, and was just so grateful to find these things that helped me instead. When you seek So shall you find. I know you will find the right thing for you. Good luck!

Thu, September 27, 2012 @ 3:04 PM

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