By: Bridget Eickhoff
Anxiety, worry, and panic are felt by many of us at some point in our lives. After attending a training by David Carbonell, Ph.D. on chronic anxiety, I picked up some helpful tools that I would like to share.
The more you oppose unwanted thoughts, feelings, and sensations the worse they can become
A big reason behind anxiety symptoms is self-protection. People often interpreted anxiety as a signal for danger, meaning fight, flight, or freeze; but what if that was a false signal. What if this feeling is intense discomfort that will eventually pass if it is not forced to be silence. Next time you are experiencing anxiety check-in with yourself and if you indeed are in danger or is this discomfort? If it turns out to be discomfort allow yourself 5-10 minutes to worry, you may be surprised how different it feels to allow the worry to have its time rather than continue to suppress it.
The Rule of Opposites
Think of yourself swimming and trying to avoid a large wave coming your way. You may ask yourself “what is the best way for me to avoid this wave?” Your instincts may say to swim away from the wave and hope you can be faster, but in reality the easiest way to avoid the wave is to swim under it. The same can apply to feelings of anxiety and worry. During a panic attack your gut may tell you to hold your breath or take in more breaths at a time, when what is shown to help is taking deep belly breaths. Next time you find yourself beginning to feel anxiety or panic, try to recognize how your gut tells you to react and think about what the opposite might be.
The next time you are experiencing high anxiety or a panic attack be AWARE
Acknowledge and accept the feelings
Wait and Watch – recognize what the sensations in your body and your thoughts (this could be a good time to try doing the opposite of your usual)
Action – make yourself comfortable while waiting for it too pass
Repeat – go through steps a-c and try to think to yourself it will end no matter what I do
End of intense anxiety or panic attack
Our therapists at CARE Counseling are trained and competent in working with those experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Your counselor will be able to help explore with you common patterns of negative thinking, help you develop successful coping skills, and teach calming strategies.
For more helpful information on anxiety click here
Interested in scheduling an appointment?
Call us at 612-223-8898 or schedule online here