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Yesterday I started Part 1 of the 12 ways to Reduce Anxiety Series–check it out here:
As a reminder:
Anxiety, Stress Overwhelm…(whatever your name for the constant need to “go go go”) it is driving you crazy, affecting not only your physical health but your personal life, work life and your overall happiness.
Common signs of this issue:
- Constantly checking your todo list
- The feeling of unworthiness
- Checking and double checking everything
- Always on the go, always something to do “busy, busy, busy”
- Trouble Relaxing even when you have set aside time to relax
- Frequent physical symptoms: Racing heart, headaches, stomach aches, or insomnia (to name a few)
You don’t have to live this way!!! Anxiety can be reduced– I practice these principles and teach them to my clients. If you practice them you too can decrease your anxiety! Here are tips #5-8:
Often anxiety stems from feeling out of control. When we feel out of control it is usually a sign that we need to set some boundaries in our life. Saying no to the draining neighbor, to the PTA requests, to the co-worker that always wants you to cover for them, or to the family member that is just exhausting. It is ok to set boundaries in your life and say no. Pay attention to the activities you are engaging in and ask yourself: Do I want to be engaging in this activity? Why am I engaging in this activity? Could I say no to this activity?
Boundaries allow us to live a life that is full and juicy. Boundaries allow us to engage in the activities and with the people who energize us (therefore reducing anxiety). Boundaries allow us to feel in control of our lives as much as possible, which reduces anxiety.
Speak your Needs:
Boundaries and Needs go hand in hand. Once you start to know what you need and start asking for it you can ask for: support, help, a hug, feedback, a good listener…the possibilities are endless. Learning how to speak up for myself and ask for what I need in the moment, has dramatically reduced my anxiety. Life doesn’t feel so scary and out of control when you can ask for what you need.
Dramatize the Worry:
Frequently they thing you are fretting about it completely ridiculous. When I can dramatize my anxiety using silly voices, and over-indulgent hand gestures it puts my anxiety in its place. Let’s say you are worried about what your boss thinks of you. So you spend all morning stressing about what you are wearing, what you will say at your upcoming presentation and your behavior at the company luncheon. When you catch yourself stressing…start to play it out. Say out loud (if you can) in the voice of your boss what you are worried she is saying about you. Act out an interaction with her based on your anxieties. I know it sounds silly, but so often our anxieties fester in our head and in reality they are absurd. By play-acting the worry the absurdity becomes more apparent.
Control What you Can Let Go of the Rest:
When you find yourself amping up…repeat the mantra (out loud preferably): “I can’t control everything.” The illusion of control is an anxiety sufferer’s biggest lie. Recognizing that much of life is out of your control. You can only control your self (e.g. you can set your boundaries and speak your needs) but you can’t control: traffic, other people’s actions, perceptions, reactions or thoughts. Remind yourself frequently that you are doing the best you can with what you have right now and let the rest go.
I would love to hear from you in the comments: Do you suffer from anxiety? What makes you the most anxious? What do you do to control your anxiety?
Want more information about reducing anxiety? Make sure to read parts 1 and 3. You can also contact me and we can determine the best way to work together to reduce your reactivity to life and start living happier!