This is from a handout I am studying in my out patient group therapy. I think it has some valuable tools for coping with anxiety. I hope each of you will get something from it.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL SKILLS
1. Maintain your basic needs. Eatt right, get the proper amount of sleep, take medications as prescribed, ect. Neglecting your basic needs could make you more vulnerable to panic and anxiety.
2. Accept the emotion and recognize that it's part of being human. If the panic or anxiety is intense, work on managing it rather than reducing it to a level of zero. Attemprs to ignore or bury feelings of anxiety will not be effective.
3. Retreat if possible. In other words, temporarily leave the situation or avoid an individual. This differs from escaping, in that, you eventually return to the situation that leads you ro panic or anxiety. For example, putting distance bewteen yourself and someone who causes you inesense panic or anxiety until you gain the skills necessary to deal with that person. Or,leave a grocery store, practice deep breathing skills, then go back into the store.
4. Utilize your support system. This may include talking to them about your anxiety, panic, or stressor, or just using them as a distraction.
5. Exercise several times a week, making it FUN!! Consider taking a dance or fitness class, riding a bike, swimming ect.
6. Practice Mindfulness. Give your full attention to what's going on in the moment and encourage yourself to become completely focused on it. You're less likely to become panicky or anxous about the past or future issues if you stay in the moment and are mindful of the present. This could include moving at a slower pace by doing one thing at a time, rather than multitasking or becoming frantic.
7. Allow yourself to let go of tension and practice deep breathing. This can be done anywhere, such as sitting behind your desk or while waiting for a stop light.
8. Engage in Distraction techiniques, preferably something enjoyable. Do a crossword puzzle, watch TV, play with the kids or a pet, clean house, do gardening work, ect.
9. Redirect irrational and self-defeating beliefs. Panic and anxiety are often the result of viewing a situation irrationally, such as expecting the worse case scenario, believing that you are not capable, or seeing only the negative aspects of a situation.
10. Maintain a sense of spirituality. Worry thoughts can be redirected through faith. Having a higher power can allow you tor turn it over and let go of it in order to relieve yourself of the panic and anxiety.
11. Work on Problem solving skills if Possible. Analyze what aspects of the situation over which you have control, and what aspects of the situation will require letting go or accepting.
12. Practice assertiveness skills. Relieving panic and anxiety may involve confronting someone or directly communicating your needs, especially when there's a need to set limits with others.
13. Give yourself extra time when getting ready to go somewhere, rather than waiting until the last minute. If you don't have the extra time, give yourself permission to be late rather than be rushed.
14. Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Once the item is on the list, know that it will eventually get done. Do not put a time limit on it if possible. Check off each iten as its accomplished.
15. Give yourself permission to take breaks, rather than feel like you have to fill in any extra time with something.
16. Choose to see more options in your life. Recognize you ahve a choice of scrubbling the kitchen floor or going for a walk.
17. Give yourself permission to make mistakes without feeling bad about yourself or judging yourself harshly.
18. Spend a little time each day giving of yourself, and then a little time for yourself.
Cynthia~~~ A follower of Jesus Christ!!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.
Co-Leader of Dealing with Anxiety Team!
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