5 Ways to Lower Anxiety
Anxiety is the new buzzword. In the 1980’s it was depression, followed by the boom of ADD and ADHD and now it is full thrust into anxiety with meds that go along with the diagnosis. Instead of regulating our lifestyles, we have come to simply ‘slap a band aid on it’ and move on without actually dealing with the issues relating to the anxiety. Here are some ways to reduce the cause of the anxiety and see lasting results.
- Lower your stress level. Yes, it sounds funny, but it must happen. What is causing you undue stress that (and here is the KEY to unlocking anxiety) you can control. Certain things are simply out of your control, but there are a lot of things that you have in your immediate grasp that you can handle. Make a list. If a certain street in traffic gives you anxiety, you can always take a different road. Maybe you need to leave a few minutes earlier to avoid the traffic or switch the trip up altogether to avoid the stress. You have options and these are things in your control.
- Learn to say ‘No’. People that have high anxiety, have a hard time actually saying, ‘No’ and they end up overpromising and underdelivering. Start saying ‘no’ more often. It is imperative that you get self-care and those with high anxiety have trouble permitting themselves downtime because they are so afraid of letting someone else down, but they end up suffering in the end. You are just as important as your family and friends. Remember that. Say it with me. I AM IMPORTANT!
- Create an Anxiety board. Similar to a vision board, an anxiety board is in reverse. Find pictures online or in magazines that represent the things that cause you anxiety and post them on your board. If parties and having to network makes you anxious, put up a picture of everyone having fun at a party. Then create a way to lessen the anxiety by taking one event at a time. Go to the party, but only stay one hour. When you get back, note it on your anxiety board. Give it a scale of 1-10 (1 being it was great, 10 being it was horrible, and I wanted to jump off the balcony. Well, not really, but you get the idea). Then do it again, and again, each time increasing the time you spent at the high anxiety event. The anxiety will go down, over time.
- Create a weekly schedule and stick to it. Sometimes not having a solid schedule can cause anxiety as you may or may not know where you need to be or what is on the agenda and it can cause undo anxiety. Also, if you schedule ‘ME TIME’ on your calendar, when you are asked to do something, you can practice saying ‘no’ because you really do have something booked in that time slot. Me Time is imperative in lowering anxiety, which brings us to number 5 (and our last idea for you today)
- Allot at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day of Me Time. You can go to the gym, do yoga, meditate, play cards, etc. Anything that makes you relax and feel plugged back in. Something you can look forward to daily. Me time does NOT include TV, FB or kids and/or partners. It is for you only and should be an event that you look forward to where you can unplug, unwind and relax. If you can not give yourself 30 minutes, try 15. Even 15 minutes of time knowing that you are not ‘on the clock’ pleasing anyone or worrying about anyone, can improve your mood and lessen your anxiety.
Dr. Estes is a Certified Masters Level Addiction Professional. She holds a Ph.D from DSU in Psychology and Life Coaching, a Master’s Degree from WCU, and an undergraduate from PSU, International Certification as a Drug and Alcohol Therapist, Master Certified Addictions Professional, as well as 24 certifications and over 20 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher, Pilates Teacher, Food Addictions Specialist and Life Coach.
Her unique approach to get to the root cause of the problem with each client and relate on a humanistic level makes her desirable in this industry. Dr. Estes is more than a ‘sober coach’. She has a background in clinical and personality psychology, addictions and forensics and has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNN’s Don Lemon, MSN, Dr. Drew Podcast, Washington Post, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times and many more.