This week’s tip is related to ways to curb your anxiety. We have many tools to help us relieve some of our anxiety, it is all about practicing these tips to ensure that when you have a full blown anxiety attack you have some useful skills already memorized to help you navigate the unpleasant feelings. When anxiety rears its ugly head having a readymade toolbox to help you makes coping with anxiety a little bit easier. So, grab a bin and place some of these things in the bin so they are easy for you to access. Have skills printed out in this bin to help you in times of urgency. Did you know that anxiety has 2 driving forces behind it, it is either FEAR or LOSS of CONTROL? It can be good to identify with your therapist which one of these is triggering your anxiety for additional personalized skills to help you navigate this unpleasant emotion.
1. Five finger skill- this skill is detailed on the blog and on my Instagram page. But the basics of it are you create a fist, and for each finger you let out, you take a deep breath, hold it for 3-5 seconds, let it out and say out loud, “I am calm and at peace”, then repeat until you have an open hand.
2. Practice an observe skill from DBT where you focus your attention on one thing it could even be the wall or a small object, then you describe it in as much detail as you can (you can write this down or say it out loud), when you describe this make sure you include the following: what does it look like, the color, the texture, does it have a smell, does looking at it give you any sensations in your body.
3. Remember that anxiety is driven by your own thoughts, work to challenge the thought you are having. To do this write the thought down, then write at least 3 things that disprove the thought, repeat the 3 things out loud to make sure your brain registers them.
4. Have items on hand to self soothe, as learning how to self-soothe is critical for oneself even if you do not have anxiety. A self-soothing kit should have something in it for all of your senses.
5. Challenge how you are interpreting an event, if you think negatively about something, it will be negative. You can actually control how you interpret events, to do this look for the small piece of positivity in the event. Even with something that can seem catastrophic can be turned into something positive.
This is how I turned something negative into something positive. When my daughter was 8 she became paralyzed from the neck down in a matter of 4 hours….worst thing ever right…no it was not the worst thing ever! Both her and I worked very hard to find the positive in the situation, and we came out with things everyday in her struggle to walk again that were positives, and at the end of the event we even pulled more out; things like we were closer than ever before, she learned how strong she really was, she learned how to accomplish impossible things (the doctors told her she would never walk again), she learned that hard work does eventually pay off, she learned how much people cared about her, and I could on and on. To this day this event is not a traumatic event to her as she framed the event with positive nuggets, which until we started that journey I never would have believed that we could endure it and come out stronger and better for it.
This message goes out to all of my subscribers, hopefully you can find the tip useful for yourself if not look for other mental health tips or past ones at https://www.holistictherapeuticservicespllc.com/blog.
You can also follow me on Instagram for more mental health skills at htspllc2019. 😊