Learning To Be Assertive
Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.
How Panic Differs From Anxiety
Panic and anxiety are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different events. Instances of panic are short-lived and intense. They usually last less than 10 minutes because the body cant stay in such an aroused state for extended periods of time.
A panic attack activates our fight-or-flight response that helps prepare our body to protect us from real or perceived threats. However, panic attacks can occur with or without a threat. Anything from watching a scary movie to exercising to consuming excessive caffeine can trigger the physical changes that may lead to a panic attack.
On the other hand, anxiety is a more future-oriented emotion and usually results from thinking or imagining a negative occurrence in the future. Anxiety can be long-lasting, with a lower level of arousal in the body.
Gruner specializes in obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders. The anxiety part of the disorder involves worrying about future panic attacks, he says. A person with panic disorder may think, When will my next panic attack occur? What will happen? Theyre anxious about the panic attack, even when theyre not having it.
Find Things Youre Grateful For
Its easy to get so caught up in the difficult or negative stuff and lose sight of all the good things in your life. Taking a few minutes to notice what youre grateful for can drastically change your outlook and your mood. Try incorporating these gratitude exercises into your daily routine:
- Including a gratitude list in your journal entry each day.
- Use sticky notes to capture things you appreciate. Hang them up in a location where you frequently find yourself stressed out for example, your desk at work, your bathroom mirror, or your car dashboard. Whenever you are feeling negative or overwhelmed, read your posts and add a new one.
- Check out more of our tips on how to create your own gratitude practices to help improve your outlook.
Connect With Someone You Trust
There will be moments when you just need to talk to a friend. When you are feeling overwhelmed, hearing a supportive voice or seeing a friendly face who you can be open and honest with can help you feel better. This can be especially powerful if you feel comfortable sharing a little about what is causing your anxiety. If that feels more agitating, it can be as helpful to take your mind off what is agitating you and using the energy to help or do something fun with someone you like.
Immerse Yourself In Truth
Take the time to read the Bible and work on memorizing Scripture truths that can bring you peace and transform your thoughts. The battlefield is in your mind. God promises us that He will transform our lives through changing the way we think, which is why it is so critical to be aware of your thoughts and make sure they line up with the truth . Ive studied this biblical principle and put it into practice in my own life long before writing Meet the New You, so I know it works. But first, you might need the help of a counselor to get to the place of speaking truth to your soul.
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What Do I Do If Im Having A Panic Attack
With or without panic disorder, panic attacks are common. And theres a big misconception around dealing with them, Gruner explains.
The most common advice people hear when theyre experiencing a panic attack is to take deep breaths, think positively, and try to calm down, he says.
However, trying to control anxiety in these ways can backfire. Struggling to prevent a panic attack can have a paradoxical effect and actually cause a panic attack.
During a panic attack, a person should do the counterintuitive thing: let go of control and allow the panic attack to run its course.
It can also be useful to remind yourself that you cant die from a panic attack, and that its your bodys normal, natural reaction, which is not dangerous.
Gabe Gruner, LICSW, is a psychotherapist at the Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic at Brigham and Womens Hospital .
Six Simple Habits That Defeat Anxiety
Deanne Repich, Director: National Institute of Anxiety and Stress
If youre like most anxiety sufferers, you probably spend much of your day wrestling with physical symptoms, feeling afraid, or even hiding your anxious feelings from others. When stressors arise your racing heart, trembling, dizziness, obsessive thoughts and other symptoms take over.
Anxiety can keep you feeling trapped and once you feel this way, its difficult to know how or if you can ever feel better.
If you suffer from anxiety, take heart. Studies show that simple anxiety-reducing habits can go a long way toward improving how you feel.
Here are six simple habits you can use to defeat anxiety and take back control of your life.
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How People Get Tricked
People’s natural instincts to protect themselves are what lead them to get tricked. See if you recognize your responses in these examples below.
A person with Panic Disorder gets tricked into holding her breath and fleeing the store , rather than shifting to Belly Breathing. and staying there until the feelings pass.
A person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder gets tricked into trying to stop the unwanted “what if?” thoughts, rather than accepting them and taking care of present business as thoughts come and go.
A person with Social Phobia gets tricked into avoiding the party, or hiding in the corner if he attends, rather than say hello to a stranger and see what happens.
A person with OCD gets tricked into repeatedly washing his hands, or returning home to check the stove, rather than accepting the intrusive thoughts of contamination and fire and returning his energies to the present activities at hand.
A person with a dog phobia gets tricked into avoiding the feelings by avoiding all dogs, rather than spending time with a dog until the feelings pass.
Dont Give Up On Praying
God is listening to you, even if you feel like He doesnt hear from you. Make time daily to pour out your heart to the Lord. Explore journaling, too. And be willing to sit quietly and listen for God to speak to you. Confirm what you hear with the Scriptures or seek the input of a godly friend or pastor.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder
Just because you occasionally get nervous in social situations doesnt mean you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Many people feel shy or self-conscious on occasion, yet it doesnt get in the way of their everyday functioning. Social anxiety disorder, on the other hand, does interfere with your normal routine and causes tremendous distress.
For example, its perfectly normal to get the jitters before giving a speech. But if you have social anxiety, you might worry for weeks ahead of time, call in sick to get out of it, or start shaking so bad during the speech that you can hardly speak.
Emotional signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder:
- Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations
- Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation
- Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you dont know
- Fear that youll act in ways that will embarrass or humiliate yourself
- Fear that others will notice that youre nervous
Physical signs and symptoms:
- Avoiding social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life
- Staying quiet or hiding in the background in order to escape notice and embarrassment
- A need to always bring a buddy along with you wherever you go
- Drinking before social situations in order to soothe your nerves
What Does Severe Anxiety Feel Like
Its a constant cycle that leaves people molded so deeply in their anxious state, that many times they subconsciously fear recovery because its so unknown to them, and sometimes dont want to recover. That one struck a nerve Im sure. But as most of my clients I work with know, Im all about getting to the cold hard truth when it comes to peoples severe anxiety, and this simply leads to results not years down the road , but now.
Think about the moments after you came out of your mothers womb. Immediately through the people who were around you, you began gathering information into the hard drive of your brain. This information throughout your childhood years leading up to your teens, and adult years, began creating the person you are today.
Severe Anxiety Is No Accident!
Your fears didnt just appear in front of you one day, you built it up within you in three different ways:
- Specific Incidents That Have Happened The incidents you noticed that happened to you such as noticing a sensation of anxiety
- Modeling What you saw in your physical world that you subconsciously began to model yourself after
- Verbal Programming What you heard from others
They built up confidence within them, ended their mental, emotional and physical fatigue, and never looked back.
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Tips On How To Manage Anxiety
The best way to combat anxiety is to commit to a comprehensive treatment program. Overcoming anxiety needs to be a lifestyle, meaning that it is something you work towards on a consistent basis. Think about the last time you wanted to get fit for the summer. You knew you had to exercise, but you couldnt just do it sporadically it required consistent healthy eating and exercise to achieve your fitness goals. This is the same with managing anxiety.
That being said, there are various tactics that can help you better manage anxiety and can be integrated into your life at home, without medical intervention.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of talk therapy can be useful, but the following represent how to overcome anxiety without medicine.
Tip : Face Your Fears
One of the most helpful things you can do to overcome social anxiety is to face the social situations you fear rather than avoid them. Avoidance keeps social anxiety disorder going. While avoiding nerve-wracking situations may help you feel better in the short term, it prevents you from becoming more comfortable in social situations and learning how to cope in the long term. In fact, the more you avoid a feared social situation, the more frightening it becomes.
Avoidance can also prevent you from doing things youd like to do or reaching certain goals. For example, a fear of speaking up may prevent you from sharing your ideas at work, standing out in the classroom, or making new friends.
While it may seem impossible to overcome a feared social situation, you can do it by taking it one small step at a time. The key is to start with a situation that you can handle and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations, building your confidence and coping skills as you move up the anxiety ladder.
For example, if socializing with strangers makes you anxious, you might start by accompanying an outgoing friend to a party. Once youre comfortable with that step, you might try introducing yourself to one new person, and so on. To work your way up a social anxiety ladder:
Dont try to face your biggest fear right away. Its never a good idea to move too fast, take on too much, or force things. This may backfire and reinforce your anxiety.
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How To Live With Anxiety And Recover
Finding constructive ways to cope with your anxiety disorder can empower you to return to your usual activities and feel positive about your well-being and relationships.
Here are some evidence-based ways to help you live with and recover from anxiety:
See a healthcare professional
A healthcare professional can help you undergo a mental health assessment and offer various treatment options or medications. This can be your main doctor or a psychiatrist.
The sooner you explore treatment options, the better your outcome is likely to be.
Exercise and make other lifestyle changes
Making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, prioritizing sleep, stepping away from social media, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, reducing or eliminating alcohol and caffeine intake, quitting smoking, and maintaining a good support network can all help manage your anxiety.
Stick to your recommended treatment plan
This may involve taking medications as prescribed, going to appointments, or following up on homework between therapy sessions.
If you have any concerns about your treatment or experience any side effects, its important to discuss this with your doctor before making any changes.
Psychotherapy helps to manage both the physical and psychological aspects of anxiety disorders.
Untreated Anxiety And Fear Can Lead To
- sense of doom and difficulties concentrating
- headaches from constant worry and stress
- breathing problems
- feeling wiped out and fatigue
- increase in blood pressure
- poor quality of life
Fortunately, there is a solution: Fear and anxiety are treatable with medication or professional coaching or therapy. We will focus on anxiety disorder treatment without medication, but with proven techniques adapted from cognitive-behavioral therapy which has turned out to be one of the best methods.
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Is It Possible To Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety. Its a word none of us like. Its more than a word. Its an experience that seeks to undermine the full life God promises us , whether were struggling with anxious feelings or in a full out battle against anxiety.
Anxiety is the silent joy-stealer wrecking the lives of Gods children.
Yes, its a real problem, even for Christians. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults . And women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime . But why? Well, we can look at the causes of anxiety to get to the root of the issue, but really, I think the biggest culprit is our fear in admitting a struggle.
Being honest about anxiety leaves the door wide open to commentary and criticism rather than being an invitation for compassion.
Isnt that a double-whammy to an already wounded heart! Its as though a less than label is smacked on your forehead and invites unsolicited advice . . .
Well, you should pray more, says that kind lady from church who doesnt seem to bat an eye at lifes trials.
On the one hand, shes right. We should pray. We should seek God. Isnt that what the Scriptures say to do:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
Is It Possible To Overcome High
Is it possible to overcome high-functioning anxiety? The answer to this question is more nuanced than you might think, and its what Im going to break down in todays podcast episode. Ill be answering questions such as, what does it mean to overcome a mental health struggle? Can you overcome anxiety? If so, what does it take?
In this episode, you will learn:
- What it means to overcome a mental health struggle
- The things you need to understand to overcome high-functioning anxiety
- What anxiety flare-ups are and how to manage them
Calmly Coping is a self-improvement podcast for overthinkers who struggle with high-functioning anxiety to help you feel more calm, balanced, and confident.
***** INTRO/OUTRO MUSIC *****
Rescue Me by copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Ft: Copperhead
All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.
Tati is a Licensed Professional Counselor and coach specializing in high-functioning anxiety. Her passion is to guide ambitious achievers to overcome high-functioning anxiety so they can feel calmer from within. She enjoys reading, arts and crafts, and being in nature in her free time.
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Treating Anxiety Without Medication
If you suffer from anxiety, the constant, nagging feelings of worry can be troubling and hard to control. These feelings are usually intense and out of proportion to the actual troubles and dangers in your everyday life. They can make it hard to function at home, at work, or in social situations.
Anxiety can be treated with medication, but several mind-body approaches may also be effective.
Hypnosis is sometimes used along with cognitive behavioral therapy to treat anxiety. It can help people focus their attention, rethink problems, relax, and respond to helpful suggestions. Hypnosis relies mainly on your ability to concentrate and on the trust you have in the therapist. If you are interested in hypnosis, discuss it first with your psychiatrist or psychologist. She or he can help you find a qualified practitioner.
Biofeedback measures specific body functions, such as heartbeat or breathing, and feeds this information back to you in the form of sounds or lights. This can help you become aware of your body’s responses and learn to control them using relaxation and cognitive techniques. You can practice different relaxation techniques while attached to biofeedback equipment and get immediate sensory input about which techniques produce the desired results, such as slowing the heart rate or relaxing tense muscles. The hope is that this extra feedback helps people find and refine techniques that can calm the body and reduce anxiety.