Slow Down to Reduce Anxiety

Are you in the midst of a fast paced lifestyle, struggling with racing thoughts and sleepless nights? If all consuming fear makes you feel hyper vigilant and like your mind is constantly on red alert, join the crowd. There has been more than a 1000% increase in the diagnosis of anxiety over the past 30 years.

Beginning early on, we all experience periods of anxiety, and different issues can cause it to recur periodically throughout our lives.  Think about the separation anxiety when young children start kindergarten, physical and social changes that occur in middle school, peer pressure and potential dangerous behavior throughout high school, college and the first time living away from home.

As adults there are always problems to worry about–family, terrorism, work, natural disasters, finances, health. As we grow older, we sometimes become disillusioned by negative external influences. When a new obstacle crosses our path, we may stumble and fall. But especially while our kids are trying to develop skills to deal with their own negative emotions, it’s important to monitor our anxiety. You know how they’re always watching and how readily they react to our moods.

Whereas a certain amount of stress is a natural motivator, more severe anxiety can interfere with your life. If you’re wondering what you can do to reduce these immobilizing feelings, here are a couple of ideas to help you restore balance:

Free yourself from negative thoughts. Although you can’t necessarily change the situations you encounter, you can change how you handle them. Face uncertainty with a positive attitude or reframe a pessimistic reaction into a more neutral or optimistic one. By learning more about constructive responses to difficulties, you will have access to a wider variety of positive emotions, resources and strategies.

Take control of what is within your reach. And know the difference between what you can manage and what you can’t.  Ask for help when you need it–you don’t have to do it all alone. Sometimes seeing a psychiatrist for medication consultation or a mental health professional for cognitive behavioral therapy can help you minimize and manage the symptoms.

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