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Overcoming Anxiety

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Todd McPherson

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Overcoming Anxiety

ANXIETY OVERCOMING What is Anxiety? Anxiety is intense worrying, usually triggered by negative thoughts and can lead to intense stress. Most of us feel anxious at times throughout our lives, and this is normal. An anxiety disorder is when this worry interferes with our daily lives for a prolonged period of time.
Normal worry:
worry about paying bills or a child's safety
realistic fears of dangerous situations or things
reasonable concern about one's health

Excessive anxiety:
Avoiding social situations
Avoiding objects like elevators or knives
Engaging in compulsive behaviour
Worrying about disease every day Anxiety consists of several elements Thoughts Physiology Pounding/fast heart
Tight chest
Difficulty breathing
Hot/cold
Shaking
Dizzy
Unreal feeling Emotions Fear
Dread
Helplessness ANXIETY Anxiety disorders are the most common form of "mental illness." They affect approximately one in every five people. Anxiety disorders include:
Panic attacks
Phobias
Obsessive compulsive behaviours
Social anxiety
Generalized anxiety disorder
Even though not classed as disorders, problems like perfectionism and excessive health worries are also forms of anxiety. Anxious Behaviours Fleeing
Avoiding
Compulsive Behavior
Perfecting
Worrying
Obsessing When you do these behaviours, you might feel better, less anxious. This can lead you to believe that your behaviour has kept you safe.
Being rewarded with reduced anxiety after doing the behaviour reinforces that behaviour.
Is is more likely to occur again next time you're anxious. When we are physiologically aroused we expect there to be a problem, but if none is apparent, we often create one or find one to explain our feelings.
This situation is awful
It's too crowded and suffocating
Something bad will happen
Maybe I have a disease
I might make a fool of myself
People are thinking negatively about me
This isn't good enough
There are sharks in the water, it's not safe However, there really was no danger. Nothing bad was going to happen to you. The physiological symptoms would have stopped by themselves. But, since you associate your behaviour with the bad feelings going away, you'll be more likely to do the behaviour again...even if you know it doesn't make sense. Anxiety or fear of anxiety Relief 1. Control your body
2. Control your thoughts
3. Control your behaviour Don't Fear the Symptoms
The physiological symptoms of anxiety are okay and won't hurt you.
It is just like when you are excited or scared. Your body is ready for action, but there is nothing to react to.
You will not die, pass out or do anything crazy. It Will Pass
The horrible bodily feelings will go away. Your body cannot keep them up for long.
Think of them like a wave that washes over you, makes you uncomfortable, but will go away if you can wait it out. Don't "Bodywatch"
It is easy to become obsessed by bodily symptoms. Don't pay so much attention to your body.
It is normal for heartbeats to feel erratic, for us to feel hot and to be breathless sometimes.
Just think, "hmmm.... that's interesting." Control Your Breathing
Learn and master "diaphragmatic breathing."
Use it to gain control over the symptoms. Reassure Yourself
When you feel very anxious, tell yourself that you'll be alright and nothing is wrong, you body and mind are just acting up. Refuse to Listen to Anxiety's Lies
When you're calm, write down what anxiety wants you to think.
Follow the chain of thought that anxiety wants you to think.
Write down the truth. Stop Your Thoughts
Once you've identified negative thinking patterns, get into the habit of stopping yourself.
Recognise that anxiety lies to you, and you don't have to listen or believe it.
Tell yourself, "that's not true."
You don't have to tell yourself that you feel wonderful. You can say, "I feel awful and I hate this feeling, but I still don't have to believe the negative thoughts." Refuse to Cooperate with Anxiety
Pay attention to what anxiety wants you to do. Make a list of all the things you do when you feel anxious or that you do to avoid feeling anxious.
Decide which of these things make you feel good about yourself and which don't.
Write down beside each "cooperating behaviour" an alternative action that doesn't cooperate with anxiety.
Refuse to cooperate with anxiety.
Keep a scorecard each day of what you do that cooperates with anxiety and what actions refuse to cooperate. Try to improve each day. Defeat the Anxiety with Every Choice You Make
It's okay to feel anxious and to feel dread. It won't hurt you.
However, cooperating with the anxiety by engaging in its thoughts and behaviours will hurt you. It will have you completely change your life to avoid the anxiety.
Every time you cooperate with the anxiety, it grows larger.
When you refuse to cooperate, you shrink it and rob it of its power over you.
Feel anxious, feel terrified, but be in control of your own behaviour. "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Cooperates with Anxiety
Take my temperature every day
Constantly pay attention to every change in my body
Go online and look up every symptom I notice
Worry that I have every disease I learn about
Go to the doctor weekly
Talk constantly about sickness
Do less socialising
Rest and nap more often because I might be sick Me Worry
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x Think about being anxious about giving a speech. Todd McPherson
Psychologist

+673 8637750
counsellingbrunei@hotmail.com

Tuesdays at Panaga Health Centre
Full transcript