Thursday, December 9, 2010

Therapeutic Thursday: Talking about Anxiety

Life can be complex and confusing. As we move through our busy lives, it is important to be aware of and conscious of what causes us to feel overwhelmed. Checking-in with ourself helps us stay connected with what, in the here and now, causes us to feel overly anxious.
Right now, what is happening in your life that you need to cope with?
~ becoming overwhelmed by feelings caused by this time of year
~ dealing with the death of a family member, friend, etc.
~ feelings of loneliness, shame, guilt, anger, and abandonment
~ Fear of change 
Clients image of fear of change
Below is a list of things that you can do to help settle the body and mind if you experience overwhelm or stress:
~ Sit down and try to figure how what the triggers were.
~ Make a plan of how you will handle the situation, feelings, emotions, etc. when it happens again, in a healthy way.
~ Call someone and talk about what happened and how you feel. (friend, therapist, family member, etc.)
~ Be gentle with yourself and do something nice for you.

Clients sandtray image of overwhelm

The following tips can be used for containing a flashback, shock or an anxiety attack.  They can be used any time you feel that you need to be grounded and centered in your body. 
~ Blink hard. Blink again.  Do it once more as hard as you can.
~ Change your body position.
~ Breathe slowly and deeply.
~ Go to a safe place.
~ Say your name out loud.
~ Drink a glass of ice water.
~ Tell someone what you need.
~ Move vigorously to release energy.
~ Name the people or objects in the room.
~ Hold something that is comforting.
~ Listen to a tape or something soothing.
~ Make tea.  Drink it.
~ Call a friend.
~ Eat a snack.
~ Find your feet and reconnect with the ground below them.
~ Jump up and down waving your arms.
~ Make eye contact with someone else or your pet.  Now hold it.
~ Clap your hands or rub them together fast.
~ Alternatively tense and relax some muscles.
~ Wash your face.
~ Repeat to yourself:  “I am safe.  This is (month, day, and year).  I am _____ years
old.   I am a big person.  I can protect myself.”

1 comment:

The Creative Beast said...

You've done it again Karen - this post is just what I need right now...

I am someone who has a hard time getting into the "joy of the season" and this year is no different, so far. This list of tips will definitely help me get through the season, though I am seriously considering celebrating Kwanzaa this year as the VALUES for each day of Kwanzaa are so much more meaningful to me:

Unity - Self*Determination - Collective Work and Responsibility - Cooperative Economics - PURPOSE - CREATIVITY - Faith

Thank you for this post!!


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