One way to reduce anxiety is to look at the big picture. What’s giving you trouble? (Relationships, work, family, old habits, old attitudes…) What power, if any, do you have to change those things? One way that therapy can often help is by questioning long-held beliefs about what can and can’t be changed. You can ask those questions of yourself when completing this New Year’s Resolution Worksheet. The worksheet’s just a few pages long, but can be really useful in helping you focus on things you wish were different in your life and the steps it may take to make changes happen. Give it a try. Let us know how it goes!
Wishing you a great, less-anxious 2017!
Posted by anxietyLA on January 2, 2017
Have you been finding yourself worrying more than usual? You’re not alone. Here’s a good list–ways to help manage anxiety from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Posted by anxietyLA on November 30, 2016
A new book looks at Americans’ pursuit of happiness and discovers a source of anxiety (NYT review):
The problem with our quest for happiness is that, apparently, it’s making us miserable. After some idle Googling, her suspicions are confirmed. Various clever studies by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, show that “paradoxically, the more people valued and were encouraged to value happiness as a separate life goal, the less happy they were.” When it comes to emotional temperament, America is the clumsy suitor of nations. We yearn and obsess and plot new elaborate strategies as the object of our desire shrinks ever farther away.
Posted by anxietyLA on November 4, 2016
This “study” (with only three subjects!) indicates yoga may help with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. It’s not the first. You can run your own one-person study if you are struggling with GAD. Try some yoga and see what result you get. Might help!
Posted by anxietyLA on October 24, 2016
We need anxiety. (We just don’t need too much anxiety.)
Along with the very useful emotion of fear, anxiety has been “largely responsible for the survival of the species,” he says. Sensing future dangers and figuring out what to do about them is hugely valuable, survival-wise. The clan with no one worrying about fermenting enough fish for winter was the one that didn’t make it to spring. “People will accomplish more, perform better, will act in more appropriate and fruitful ways for having been anxious”….
Posted by anxietyLA on October 3, 2016
Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. Here’s an essay from Pagan Kennedy about her insomnia and efforts to overcome it. One possibly valuable tip: tune in to tune out. Listening to something diverting but not terribly interesting can help you let go of being awake. The Sleep with Me Podcast fits the bill, because that’s what it’s designed for. It’s “the podcast that puts you to sleep. A lulling, droning, boring bedtime story to distract your racing mind.”
See what you think. Sweet dreams!
Posted by anxietyLA on September 19, 2016
The NYT asks, why do girls have more anxiety than boys?
It may start with how they feel about how they look. Some research has shown that in adolescence, girls tend to become more dissatisfied with their bodies, whereas boys tend to become more satisfied with their bodies. Another factor has to do with differences in how girls and boys use social media. A girl is much more likely than a boy to post a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit, while the boy is more likely to post a photo where the emphasis is on something he has done rather than on how he looks. If you don’t like Jake’s selfie showing off his big trophy, he may not care. But if you don’t like Sonya’s photo of herself wearing her bikini, she’s more likely to take it personally.
More maybes in the article.
Posted by anxietyLA on July 5, 2016
Many–forty percent–who have experienced serious depression recover completely, says a new study. What helps? One trusted friend:
Social support was a major factor associated with complete mental health. “Formerly depressed adults who had emotionally supportive and close relationships were four times more likely to report complete mental health than those without such relationships. Having at least one trusted friend was critical to cultivating complete mental health.”
Posted by anxietyLA on June 22, 2016
From the “not for everyone” department: Anxiety-Prone May Relax Better in a Busy Environment (PsychCentral).
Provocative new research suggest a one-size fits all strategy to wind-down or reduce anxiety/stress is probably not the right approach.
For some, the best way to relax after a difficult day at work is to go for a walk or hike in nature. However, this may not be an effective strategy for everyone as a new study found evidence that people who are more prone to anxiety should instead take a walk in a busy, urban environment.
If that’s you, you probably already know it. Enjoy that crowd!
Posted by anxietyLA on May 16, 2016
Writing about how anxiety can ruin relationships, PsychCentral blogger Peg Streep asks, “Is This You?”
Here are four common patterns that amp up both your worry and your reactivity. Learning to recognize these triggers is the first step in getting into the present that’s really the present, unfiltered by the past. Awareness of these underlying patterns is the key. The examples are drawn from stories shared with me.
1. You’re overly sensitive to possible slights
2. You need constant reassurance about everything
3. You want to depend on people but it makes you crazy
4. You personalize everything
Details in the article at PsychCentral.
Posted by anxietyLA on April 7, 2016