Anxiety Management 101

I once had a client who often experienced the catastrophic fear that she would be a homeless hooker if something “went wrong.” This may seem rather out there, but to her it was a very real concern that was interfering with her ability to self regulate, sleep, process stressors, be assertive and set healthy boundaries with responsibility. 

Anxiety is something that will always exist and can actually be helpful in certain circumstances. But when it gets overwhelming, we need to first name the fear and speak truth to ourselves about reality. Identify if it a hypothetical problem or a current problem. For my client is was hypothetical. She had to actively remind herself that she had never been homeless before, she had decent savings, supportive community, and was very capable of getting another job in her field.

Other tools for managing anxiety include exercise, participating in enjoyable hobbies and meditation/prayer. Allow yourself some “me time” each day to relax, increase serotonin, laugh, or enjoy a fun activity. Giving yourself over to the positive experiences in life will in turn decrease the amount of negative self-talk that can lead to catastrophic thinking. Also externalize your feelings, as we tend to act the way we identify ourselves. Avoid labeling yourself “an anxious person” but rather claim that you are a person learning to manage anxiety.

 If you feel your anxiety has become too overwhelming, reach out to a mental health professional that will help normalize your situation and give tools and voice to the overcomer in you.