Helpful Techniques for Overcoming Anxiety

By | September 25, 2016

In the course of one’s life almost everyone deals with a certain amount of anxiety. Sometime this anxiety is relatively mild and sometimes it is severe. Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable and sometimes it stops us from doing things we really want to do. How we can best mitigate the challenges of our anxiety depends on how severe it is. This newsletter simplifies the experience of anxiety by putting it into three categories mild, moderate, and severe and then offers some ideas for working with each of these levels of anxiety.

Mild Anxiety
Mild anxiety might make your body tense and your mind unsettled. It might leave you stumbling over your words or stumbling over your feet. People frequently experience this type of anxiety when preparing for a performance, a test, or in unfamiliar social situations. The most common mistake people make when dealing with mild anxiety is sometimes the way they interpret this feeling of mild anxiety. For example, you might tell yourself that there is something wrong with you for feeling this way. When in fact, at this level, anxiety is quite similar to excitement. Some tools for working with mild anxiety are:

Tip #1: Keep breathing. Use long slow breaths to calm your body.

Tip #2: Think Positively. Train your mind to focus on positive outcomes verses negative ones.

Tip #3: Compare body cues. Next time you are excited pay attention to how your body feels see how it is similar and different to when you feel anxious.

Moderate Anxiety
When a person starts to feel a moderate level of anxiety the similarity between excitement and anxiety starts to fade. Moderate anxiety begins to inhibit the person in such a way that they are no longer able to function satisfactorily. Over time, experiencing anxiety of this level might stop a person from engaging in the activity at all. The most common mistake people make at this level of anxiety is to think that they must either fix the problem on the spot or it will continue to be a problem for ever. The opposite is actually true. It takes consistent work, even when one is not feeling anxious, to help shift moderate anxiety. Here are some tools to start with.

Tip #4: Use breath and meditation daily to calm and relax the body.

Tip #5: Use a STOP. Every time you catch yourself in an anxious cycle. Envisions a stop sign and mentally say, “stop.” This cognitive behavioral technique actually slows the frequency of anxious thoughts.

Tip #6: Rationalize. Is it possible that when you feel this way you make things out to be worse than they are? Try to think rationally about the situation. Is it really likely to be as bad as you are thinking it might be?

Severe Anxiety
Anyone who has a phobia or has dealt with a panic attack knows that they are dealing with a very strong feeling of fear that can feel impossible to overcome. Even worse, once one has identified the problem, the anxiety about the anxiety can become a problem unto itself. There is not quick fix for severe anxiety and it requires the attention of a qualified professional. However, along with that attention all of the above techniques can be used help lessen the impact of sever anxiety.

Kate Siner Francis Ph.D: My practice, Larger Visions is the key to effectively creating change. It’s time for you to do what you DREAM of doing with an ally who understands you and can offer you essential support and tools. To receive your free consultation visit:

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