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How Can I Manage My Anxiety?

Do you find that you are anxious all the time or have panic attacks? If the answer is yes, it may be time to start thinking about getting your anxiety under control. Anxiety is the body’s way of responding to “danger”. In modern life there is not a lot of danger. But our bodies are conditioned to run away or flee at a moments notice if a tiger or wild animal is chasing us.

We developed this as a means of survival in prehistoric times. In the present day, tigers are not chasing us, but our mind does not know this when it thinks we are in danger. Some thoughts you could have when you are experiencing anxiety can include. “ I am in danger right now.” “ I can’t cope with this.” I know that the worst thing is going to happen.” Your body will also react to the danger by increasing your heart rate, breathing can become faster, your stomach can become upset, and your muscles can become tense.

One of the first things that I suggest that people do is to identify what is triggering your anxiety. Is a certain person in your life making you anxious? Is a place or thing triggering the anxiety? Do you worry what is going to happen in the future?

The next thing to think about is by avoiding any of your triggers for anxiety you are actually causing yourself to have more anxiety by avoiding these triggers. So now is the time to think about doing things differently. Make a plan to start exposing yourself to some of the people and situations you normally avoid. If you are avoiding large crowds or stores, go out shopping during slow times. You can slowly build up to shopping during peak times. You can use some coping skills such as deep breathing and speaking positively to yourself to get you through the feelings of anxiety. Ask yourself, Am I overreacting to the situation? What is the worst thing that can happen? If this is something that you have a ongoing problem with, contacting a therapist to help is a good idea. Together we can figure out a plan to get your life back on track.

Have the Summer Blues?

It is finally July and summer is in full swing. You may be thinking to yourself, why I am still depressed? In the summer time people are often planning vacations, going to holiday picnics and doing outdoor activities. So what could you be doing differently in order to get rid of the summer blues?

People often do the same things all of the time. You work, maybe go to school, take care of the children, or aging parents. The bottom line is that you have been neglecting yourself. Ask yourself this question. What are my hobbies? Do I make time to do things that I find fun and exciting? If the answer is no, you make be on track to find out why you have the “summer blues.”

In order to fight the summer blues, start by looking at what is going on in the city around you. Summer time is often a good time to make new friends and start participating in new activities. There is often summer book clubs, boot camps for exercise, and other opportunities to meet people in the community around you.

You may surprise yourself and discover that you have met a lifelong friend. You may be saying to yourself, I am really shy, I just can’t leave the house to go anywhere. The best way to overcome this is to push yourself out of the house.  The best way to overcome fears is to face them. Make a commitment to do something different. You may find that afterwards the summer blues have faded away.