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  • Tracie Dee

Learn how to free yourself from anxieties with these 3 easy steps

Anxiety is a natural biological response to certain events in our lives. It comes in different forms, maybe the anxious/excited feeling you experience before riding a roller coaster or going on a first date, both examples of natural anxiety. Unnatural anxiety may occur when you feel fear or begin worrying about something in your life. These fears can lead to sustained or recurrent anxiety and snowball into feelings of loss of control over your life. Working with patients in the Emergency Room who were suffering the effects of unnatural anxiety taught me how to identify it and implement techniques to help others eliminate or decrease their anxiety.

Step #1. The first thing you must do if you are experiencing unnatural anxiety is to recognize it for what it is, it is an emotional feeling. It cannot hurt you. Realizing that it is an unnatural thing you are experiencing, and that your body was designed with the anxiety response to work for you in situations when you actually need it. For example if you were facing a fight with a Sabre-toothed tiger back in the caveman days it would be natural for you to feel anxious. On the other hand if you feel anxiety while standing in a fast-food restaurant line and you have no idea why, you need to be able to know that what you are feeling is not natural. It does not mean there is something wrong with you, it means you have to do the work to figure out what fear or worry is behind the anxiety and take action to change the emotional feeling behind it. Ask yourself, "am I justified in feeling anxious right now?"

Step #2. On of my favorite Dr. Phil quotes is "you can't change what you don't acknowledge". Once you acknowledge the emotional feeling of unnatural anxiety that you are feeling you take back control over it. Acknowledging it is basically saying "okay, I see you now. And I know what you are and what you aren't". Realizing it is an unnatural response and acknowledging it (without judging yourself for experiencing it) are the first 2 steps in freeing yourself from anxiety.

Step #3. Develop your strategy to use when the feeling of anxiety starts to take over you. There are so many tools and techniques that actually work but you have to find one that works for you and implement it! Deep breathing, shift your focus, find something beautiful around you and focus on it -- a flower, a tree , anything! Or look at something funny, something that makes you laugh! Practice shifting your focus away from the anxious feeling and replacing it with another feeling. Repeatedly using this technique will help you learn faster how to shift your emotional feeling and get you back to a sense of well-being. Don't be impatient or too hard on yourself if this takes time to master, you can still do it. Self-talk is another great way to take back control over the anxious feeling. Talking to yourself doesn't make you crazy. Tell yourself to relax and say things like "I am in control. This emotion is passing, it doesn't control me, I control it. All is well, I am safe." Self-talk or auto-suggestion has a proven effect on the subconscious mind and will work if you consistently use this technique. Before long, when the anxiety begins to rise your brain will automatically know how to destroy the thought before it takes root.

I hope these 3 tips help you to manage unnatural anxiety when it comes up in your life. This advice is only suggestion and is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. If you feel you need help with anxiety, please seek a physician or licensed mental health professional in your area. Thank you for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day ~ Tracie

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