Self Help Tips for Anxiety

There are many ways anxiety effects people, some of the common problems are listed below. There is not a specific way that everyone experiences anxiety. There is also not a specific solution, but you may feel that one of the descriptions fits your closer than another.

General Anxiety

If you don't have a specific reason for feeling anxious and you are simply feeling anxious in general, there is a cure! :)

This usually means that your life has greatly become out of balance. Your mind and body have the ability to heal itself. It does so every day!

The problem occurs when you haven't given your body the tools it needs to repair itself. I can help you learn what those tools are and how to use them. Some of the tools your body needs are adequate sleep, a proper diet, good nutrition, staying away from junk food, staying away from caffeine, and exercise (greater than 20 min. non stop). Not giving your body what it needs to function is like expecting to have a finished product in a factory without giving the workers raw materials.

Even if your body has the tools that it needs, you cannot put stress on your body faster than it can heal itself. This means you need to be organized, not put yourself in compromising positions, not tear yourself down with negative thoughts, set appropriate boundaries, and not overwhelm yourself.

Easier said then done, right! That's where the therapy part comes in.:)

Obsessions and Compulsions

Obsessions and compulsions are a symptom of anxiety that recursively creates the anxiety that drives it. A compulsion often feels like pressure building up inside, pushing out. The pressure is built up of anxiety. The mind tells the body that the pressure will be released if the compulsion is carried out. When the compulsion is carried out, there is a release of the anxiety, but it is not long lasting.

The compulsion is driven by the anxiety. If you get rid of the anxiety, the compulsion will become manageable. Once it is manageable, you will be able to set boundaries with yourself about when, how much, and where you will perform the compulsion.

The obsession is a slightly different creature. It too is driven by anxiety. An obsession can be eviscerating in it's attack or it can be mild and annoying. Obsessions that are mild can be managed by training your mind to think differently. It is a matter of recognizing triggers and retraining your mind to respond to a trigger. If no trigger exists, it is simply stopping the obsession and moving the mind in a different direction, over and over again until the positive direction becomes the natural one.

Obsessions that are overbearing are not easily controlled. They cannot be mastered by the mental gymnastics alone. You must also be taking care of yourself physically. You also will need to decrease or eliminate any other stressors that are current in your life. As you do so, the overbearing obsession will disappear altogether or become manageable.

Boundaries

Often we cause problems for ourselves by the way we set boundaries with others. When we love others, we want to do everything we can to take away their pain and suffering. This often results in us doing all the work, and them developing a sense of entitlement. After a sense of entitlement is developed, the expectation is that you will continue to make their life comfortable. If  you do not, it will be considered to be an act of malice on your part.

Direct stress is a motivator and often balances out in a family like a scale. Stress on the scale must be tipped to whoever needs to change. If the parent is feeling stress, and the child is not, the parent will be motivated to try something else. If the child is feeling stress, and the parent is not, the child will be motivated to try a different way of dealing with the situation.

 To shift the stress to the child, the disciplinarian must discipline while he is still feeling calm. This will automatically mean that he is acting while his side of the scale is still up in the air. Correspondingly the child's side of the scale will be tipped down toward stress, and he will act as if he is stressed out. This is not bad. The child will not like feeling stressed and will become motivated to not repeat the behavior that resulted in him feeling stressed. If the parent is consistent, the child will soon learn that he must follow the established rules if he is not to feel the stress of being disciplined. The key is for a parent to act before his tolerance level is full and while he is still calm. 

Stress Level Scale 1:

1----X------------------------------------------10 Parent

10--X---------------------------------------------1 Child

1 = low stress 10 = high stress

In this scale, the parent takes a stand while his tolerance and stress level is low. The parent in this scale can control his tone and actions easily. The child in this scale has nothing to get stressed about except for the natural consequences of breaking a rule that he broke. The parent, who is not expending energy through stress, has the will to keep lovingly putting the stress back on the child until the child takes responsibility and completes restitution (i.e. cleaning up all of the room or all of the spilled milk). 

Stress Level Scale 2:

1---------------------------------------------X--10 Parent

10--------------------------------------------X--1 Child

1 = low stress 10 = high stress

In this scale, the parent has waited until his tolerance and stress level is at its highest. The child is aware that the parent is at his limit and after a quick burst of energy manifested in yelling, threats, or spanking the parent will feel drained. The child in this scale is just as upset at the parent as he is at the consequences of breaking the rule. This child can now continue to put the stress onto the parent until the parent gives up for this round or completes the restitution themselves. Even if the parent in this scale succeeds in having the child complete restitution, the parent has expended more energy than the child and will not be able to continue using this method of discipline for the remainder of the day. Eventually, the parent’s energy will run out and the child’s will not.