Category Archives: Anxiety

5 Signs You’re Overscheduled

Mindbody Green


Do you ever wonder why some dreams come true faster than others? Why is it so hard to achieve that really big goal, yet you make others happen quickly without much notice? Manifesting your desires  Read

There is a fine line between not doing enough and doing too much in any given day. How do you know if you’re over-scheduling yourself into a total stress ball? Some say the clearest indicator is that you’re short-tempered. Do you find yourself getting angry with people for no reason? This is a common reaction to the stress of doing too much, which in turn can cause you to get hyper-emotional about everything and nothing.

Here’s an example. You race off to a meeting at a restaurant. You sit down and are immediately assaulted by the sound of a baby crying at the next table. You demand that the waiter talk to the baby’s parent. Why are you being so high-strung about this situation? Your reaction might not be a response to the baby’s crying but to the fact that you’re stressed-out in general.

Here are a few other clues that you’re turbo-loading your schedule in an unhealthy way:

1. You’re constantly screaming at people.

If you’re becoming a rageaholic, try some mindful breathing exercises. Another tip I like is to try to get rid of nonobligatory appointments and replace them with something relaxing.

For instance, if you feel you really don’t need to be part of your sixth school bake sale of the year, but you would be more than willing to volunteer to accompany your child’s class on a school trip spent wandering around a museum, make the change. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. You’re always feeling tired and slightly sick.

Remember that stress plays upon your health, so constant headaches, stomachaches, and even that nervous, jittery feeling are signs that you’re overdoing it with your schedule.

3. You’re always late.

Maybe that’s your thing — always being late. And your friends even laugh about it: “That Tom, he’s never on time. You can count on him being late.” The truth is, if you’re always late, you’re probably trying to do too much. Take out a few variables and you might be on time.

4. You’re a clutter king or queen.

Are there piles of stuff cascading all over your kitchen counter or desk? Maybe you don’t have a real filing system but are so busy that you just toss everything from bills to catalogs to that college reunion notice on top of the mountain of clutter.

If you’re too busy to run your own life, it’s time to stage an intervention. Hire a clutter expert or spend a long Saturday organizing and throwing out and shredding what you don’t need. Set aside a day each week to keep it all organized, or fit in a half hour at work to do the same with your desk.

5. You can’t remember the last time you smiled.

If you’re just trudging through your day trying to get it all done without much success … well, that’s no way to live. If you can’t remember the last time you smiled or had a bit of fun, then it’s time to examine your schedule and weed out what’s not necessary.

Remember that life is short. You don’t always want to spend time doing things out of obligation — such as watching your neighbor’s kids for the tenth time.

Adapted from Soothe by Jim Brickman. Copyright (c) 2015 by Jim Brickman. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

What’s Behind Our Secret Habits and Superstitions

The simple explanation for our compulsive behavior, and the way to stop.
Published on October 14, 2014 by Teri Woods, Ph.D. in Compulsive!

An intelligent 36-year-old woman weighs about 50 pounds more than is healthy and knows what she needs to do to hit her target weight. During the day, she counts calories, logs her meals, and monitors her pedometer to assure she’s getting 10,000 steps in. She works out four hours a week at the local gym. And she drives home every night along a special route that takes her past seven fast-food restaurants so she can order a greasy drive-thru meal from each. Her goal is to have each one completely eaten before she reaches the next restaurant on the route. She disposes of the bags and wrappings at a gas station three blocks from the middle-class home she shares with her husband and kids. Once home, she cooks a dinner they’ll all share that evening.

A happily married woman with a wide circle of friends is out for a day of shopping. She’s just gone through the checkout line, gathered up her purchases, and taken the change handed her by the cashier. She finds the closest free bench in the mall and sits down. Then she pulls out her wallet and organizes her money. Nickels go in one zippered compartment, heads facing the interior of the purse. Dimes and quarters have their own section, all with heads facing front. The paper money she arranges not in order of denomination, but by each bill’s serial number. Once every piece of money is in place, she picks up her packages and heads out.

A healthy, attractive man in his mid-twenties begs off an evening of drinks with friends. Instead, he goes to his apartment, swallows a few Tylenol, and pulls the old vise his father left him from out of the bottom of his closet. He puts a rubber bit in his mouth. A few deep breaths later, he places his slippered left foot into the vise and starts turning the crank. He focuses on the pain, turning the crank harder and cursing the inner voice telling him to stop. He concentrates, needing to hear the moment his foot breaks.

What compels these high-functioning adults to engage in behaviors that seem to make no sense? Why would the young man willfully hurt himself, or the overweight mother sabotage all the good work she puts into her health each day? And what’s the deal with our money lady?

Why do they do these things?

It’s easy to figure out the “why” behind adaptive behavior, isn’t it? We eat because we’re hungry. We sleep because we’re tired. We spend time with our friends because they make us smile—and we clean our toilets to avoid unpleasant odors and disease. But what about behaviors that don’t have such an obvious cause and effect? We all do something, ranging from quirky to self-destructive, that seem on the surface to have no benefit at all. When those behaviors get in the way of our being able to function at the level we or society thinks we ought to, we label them as compulsions. We can’t explain why we do them, but there’s a certain discomfort if we don’t. Some of us may display our gently eccentric behaviors and proclaim, “That’s just how I roll.” Our more destructive behaviors we do in secret and explain to no one.

Yet still we wonder why.

Here’s the answer: We do the things we do because they work for us. It’s as simple as that.

Every behavior we repeat offers a reward. It doesn’t matter if the reward isn’t obvious. Nor does it matter that the consequences appear to cause pain or misery. The reward is there. And as anyone who’s ever trained a puppy or raised a child knows, behavior that is rewarded will be repeated. Behavior that is ignored will go away. Compulsions, those anxious behaviors driving us to do all kinds of seemingly crazy things, carry their own reward.

Consider the nervous flyer who has a certain ritual he follows on every business trip. He always sits on the aisle. He double-checks the exit row to make sure the people there seem competent to manipulate the emergency door. He hangs on every word of the flight attendant’s safety announcement, despite his familiarity from so many previous trips. During liftoff he recites the names and birthdays of each of his children, and he takes sugar in his in-flight coffee, though he drinks it black at home.

Seem a little odd? What could be the “win” here? Simple: The plane lands safely, and all of his ritualized behavior is rewarded. His brain doesn’t care that planes take off, fly, and land safely thousands of times each day. His brain has linked his rituals and safe landing, and thinks on some level that he made it happen. It’s like that old joke about the man standing on a busy Wall Street corner hopping on one foot. A guy asks him what’s up. The hopper says, “I’m keeping the polar bears away.” The guy responds, “There are no polar bears on Wall Street!” The hopper smiles and says, “Yeah, I’m doing a great job.”

That’s the link our brain makes. Our guy on the plane just wants it to land in one piece. He wants to feel safe. He’s allowed to want that; it’s his win and he’s chasing it. There’s nothing crazy about it.

What, then, do we make of those compulsive behaviors far more sinister—the compulsions that interfere with regular human functioning or even health?

We look for the win. We find what it is these people are chasing and work to replace it with another, less costly, way for them to get it. The question isn’t “why,” but “what”: What is the win?

The woman with the money organized so peculiarly had a father who arranged his own coins and bills that way. She often teased him about it. But when he died she missed him and yearned for the fun they’d shared. One day, on a whim, she sorted her money just like Dad. It felt good. It harmed nothing, eased her grief, and let her feel closer to a man she loved dearly. So she kept it up until it became uncomfortable not to sort her money like that. She deserved those wins. The “cost” of her behavior is minimal and no respectable psychologist would insist that she change that compulsion.

It took a while for the woman with the seven nightly fast-food stops to discover her particular win. She came to realize that food had always been the way her family celebrated achievement. Got an A on that term paper? Let’s go for pizza. Played Chopin’s sonata flawlessly at the recital? Ice cream for everybody! She was now married to a quiet man who withheld praise. She worked as a marketer in a high-tech firm where no sale was ever big enough, and no contract ever long enough. No one marked her good and hard work. She yearned to have her accomplishments recognized, so her brain served up the activity it had been taught all those years ago. It wasn’t the food she was chasing, it was the win of recognition. So she learned to ask her husband and family to listen and comment on her successes—and started getting her win in a way that didn’t cost her the calories, grease, and guilt of the drive-thru.

And the young man who crushed his foot? Some old-fashioned detective work with his therapist led him to his win as well. He came from a family of high achievers—prep schools, Ivy League colleges, long and accomplished careers. But he wasn’t moving up the corporate ladder as fast as he imagined his parents would have hoped. Any attempt to discuss his struggles with his mother or siblings only led to abrupt admonitions to work harder and do better. The only time he could recall his parents being tender with him was when he fell off a horse at age 11, breaking some bones, cracking a couple of ribs, and bruising one entire side of his body. He was allowed to come home to heal. His parents set up a place on the sofa for him and checked in several times a day to make sure he was on the mend. He felt warm and connected to his family in a way he hadn’t before. That was his win. So, when he found himself, as an adult, yearning for that closeness and support, his brain served up the only thing that had brought it to him before. It wasn’t the pain or the injury he was chasing. It had nothing to do with self-punishment or distraction. He wanted to feel connected, so he learned to develop alternate behaviors to give him the win his brain was chasing and was eventually able to set aside the need for self-harm.

Teri Woods, Ph.D., is a psychologist interested in OCD, self harm, and other self-sabotaging behaviors. She is also the author of three thrillers.

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep Better

From Psych Central by Polly Campbell

The fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.

An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.

Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.

Sleep is essential to repair and restore the brain, says lead researcher Claire Sexton. If the repair process is interrupted by a sleepless night, brain function also can be affected. In her study, participants who experienced poor sleep also showed brain shrinkage in the three lobes of the brain linked to decision-making, movement, emotions, thoughts, memory and learning, according to the study published in the journal Neurology.

It doesn’t take a study to remind us that sleep is essential, but for many getting a good night’s sleep begins long before bedtime.

Parents of young children talk often and even obsess about how to get their kids to sleep. When my daughter was a toddler, we put her on a sleep schedule.

Every night beginning an hour or so before bed, we followed the same routine, a ritual of sorts, to help her wind down and get primed for sleep. We turned off the television, dressed her in her pajamas, brushed her teeth, snuggled in the rocking chair, read books, and finally, after she was tucked in with lights out, we sang some little songs. By the time we left her room, she was, most nights, ready to rest.

A sleep schedule or consistent sleep-priming routine also can help adults get better sleep. Here are five things to include in your routine:

Turn off all devices. Starting two hours before bed, shut down the smartphones, computers, televisions sets and other electronics that emit blue light waves. This light throws off our natural rhythms, making it harder to sleep.

Eat early and wisely. If you are an evening snacker, nibble on a few crackers and a slice of cheese, or another small protein/carb combo at least two hours before bed. Also lay off caffeine and alcohol in the evening hours.

Turn down the lights. When darkness falls, turn off (or at least dim) the lights in the house. Our bodies are sensitive to the natural day and night light patterns called circadian rhythms. When the sun rises, the light helps us wake up and become alert and our bodies secrete cortisol. When darkness falls, our bodies are infused with sleep-inducing melatonin. But here’s the rub: artificial lighting throws off those biological rhythms, suppresses the release of melatonin, and makes it hard to sleep. Keeping things dark at night and exposing yourself to natural light during the day will help.

Release the niggling negative thoughts.   After you’ve created a sleep-promoting environment, choose a relaxing activity such as meditation, a hot bath, deep breathing exercises, journal writing or something else that allows you to release the day’s stress. Sometimes, I practice mindfulness while brushing my teeth and washing my face as a way to release bad feelings and promote calm.No matter which you choose, do use this time to quietly observe, without judgment, your thoughts and concerns and then release them. This will keep you from ruminating into the early hours

Go to bed. Finally, after you’ve gone through your sleep routine, head to bed, turn off the light and lie down. Even if you don’t feel like sleep, it’s important that you develop the habit by lying down in bed and getting up at the same time, every single day. It may take a few days, but soon your body will catch on that it’s time to sleep when you lie down in bed.

In this hectic, heavily-booked culture we live in, a sleep schedule may seem like a cumbersome way to get rest. But anything that will help you sleep better will also improve your physical health, daytime productivity, mental resilience and even your relationships. Sleep could just be the simplest way to boost overall health and happiness.

Polly Campbell is a sought-after motivational speaker and the author of two books, Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People and How to Reach Enlightenment.

10 Things You Can Toss With No Regrets

Great article for hoarders and those wanting to move forward in their lives.

10 Things You Can Toss With No Regrets from psychology today

Are you still hanging onto jeans you haven’t been able to zip in a decade, or a grudge against a co-worker that’s long past it’s expiration date? Let’s face it, even if we’re not hoarders we all have stuff from our past—unnecessary keepsakes as well as emotional baggage—cluttering our lives.
Here are some suggestions for what to toss to the curb to make room for better things:

1. Clothes That No Longer Fit Your Lifestyle

Clothes can be a wistful reminder of days gone by—the funky poncho that was so fun to wear back in college or the beige power suite with wide lapels. “Women have a hard time letting go of clothes that hold memories, but if you haven’t worn something in a full year it’s probably time to turn the page on it,” says Donna Smallin, author of Organizing Plain and Simple. Someone else is bound to love it, and any profits from a consignment shop or yard sale can go toward buying something great you can wear now.

2. Your Old Self-Image

Who you were 20 years ago has little to do with the person staring back from the mirror today. Yet many of us harbor old self-images that are hard to shake. Carole Lynch was a mother of two and a respected police officer, yet she hung onto the geeky image of herself as a shy teen with a bad perm and no fashion sense well into her 30s. “One day, as I was cleaning the basement shelves and my hand touched my junior high yearbook, I started thinking about all the murders and rapists I’d taken off the streets,” says Lynch, now 62. “I realized how silly it was to keep a record of my low self-esteem from decades ago.” Lynch didn’t just throw away her book of bad memories; she put it through the shredder as a ritual statement for really letting go of the past.

3. Failed Diet Souvenirs

We all have dieting skeletons in our kitchen pantries—like an abandoned bottom shelf packed with low-carb snacks or high-protein shakes. “We tell ourselves that one day we’ll get back to eating that ‘good’ food, but it may be just a useless reminder of a failed diet that wasn’t right for our body,” says Philip Goglia, author of Turn Up the Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism. “Some people crave carbs because their body really does need more of them.” (The same goes for exercise equipment; the stationary bike you keep tripping over in the garage may be there because it never really worked for your body. Get a trial membership at a gym, see what you really like using, and then make a wiser investment.)

4. Nagging Expectations

Of course, most of us have something we wish we could change about our spouse. (For me, it’s my husband’s amnesia about turning out the household lights before going to bed.) “Renegotiating household responsibilities, allowing each partner to toss jobs that just aren’t on their radar screen, can take the pressure off your marriage and leave more room for enjoying each other,” says Detroit psychotherapist Cindy Glovinsky. My husband and I recently negotiated a win-win deal: I’ll do evening light patrol and he’ll cook dinner an extra night every week.

5. Old Grudges

Everyone has someone who did them wrong lurking in their past—the co-worker who snitched on you or the girlfriend who stole your guy. Many of us hold some grudges for years, but when it comes down to it, haven’t we all made mistakes? In a University of Michigan survey, nearly 75 percent of respondents said they believe God has forgiven them for a past misdeed, but only 52 percent of them had forgiven others. “Many of us find it difficult to forgive if the offending party doesn’t own up to their actions and apologize,” says Stanford psychologist Fred Luskin, who teaches forgiveness seminars. “The trick is to give yourself permission to put your bitterness in the past for your own good—regardless of the other person’s actions. Why give all that power to someone who’s done you wrong?”

6. Family Ghosts

Every family history is filled with cherished memories as well as some that are best parted with. Marilyn Paige of Philadelphia felt so strongly that she needed to let go of her family legacy of secrets and lies that at age 33 she legally dropped her last name. “My grandmother was a single mom before anyone knew what that meant,” says Paige, now 47. “She was ashamed and bitter, and passed along that history of guilt to my father. After I filled out the legal forms to officially let go of a family surname attached with such dark feelings, I finally felt free to embrace a new history all my own.” Paige did keep her father’s first name, Heywood, as her middle name, to honor the part of her family history she wanted to hang onto—the loving father who instilled a great sense of humor and curiosity about others in his children despite the nurturing he lacked in his own childhood.

7. A Pack Rat Attitude

Sometimes the main thing standing in the way of tossing keepsakes we no longer need is our attitude. “Many pack rats keep absolutely everything because they can’t bear to think of their mementos as garbage,” says Gail O’Neill, host of HG-TV’s Mission: Organization. “Finding a second home for keepsakes can soften the blow. Even if you can’t sell something, you can usually give it away.” When Maria Rock began remodeling her garage into an apartment for her father, she was at a loss for what to toss. “I couldn’t bear to throw out any of our family collectibles—shelves overflowing with Christmas decorations, stacks of boxes with my grown children’s faded school papers,” says the Chico, California horticulturist. “Then, my dad suddenly died and losing something really precious swung everything into focus.” By the time Rock was done, she had filled an 8-foot trailer bed with dump-worthy items, while salvaging enough ornaments, stuffed animals, and ceramic Santas for 20 needy families to have a merrier Christmas. “I realized that even though I got rid of 30 years worth of accumulated things, my family history would always stay in my heart.”

8. Gifts Wrapped in Guilt

Some people have no sixth sense about gift giving and keep wrapping up that proverbial fruitcake. “Lots of gifts wind up as clutter—usually hidden away in closets—because we feel guilty getting rid of presents from people we care about,” Smallin says. “But if it truly was a gift from the heart, the giver would want you to enjoy it or give it to someone else who can.”

9. Books You’ll Never Read

Great books can be read time and again, but we all have paperbacks that were at ten-for-a-dollar at a garage sale, or titles that looked better on Amazon.com than when they arrived. There’s no written or unwritten rule that says we can’t toss these volumes before we’ve read them cover-to-cover. “For years, I collected serious books on topics that I knew I’d never read, but I thought it made me smarter just having them around—as if through osmosis I would soak up the information,” says Janice Taylor, who recently gave up dozens of books when she moved out of her Brooklyn, New York home of 21 years. “As I started packing, it hit me: Having these unread books didn’t actually make me feel intelligent, but quite the opposite.” Taylor felt really smart as she dropped the piles of books off at a high school for kids who would actually appreciate them.

10. Your “To Do” List

What would you do without your To-Do list for just one day? “You wouldn’t forget the things that are really important just because they aren’t written down,” Glovinsky says. As for all that other stuff? “Let it sit for a day—it will still be there tomorrow, and you’ll have more energy after a refreshing day off.”

Jennifer Haupt is a freelance writer living in Seattle, Washington.

Jennifer Haupt is a writer based in Seattle, Washington. She has written for O, The Oprah Magazine, Readers Digest, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Get a Hold of Yourself: 3 Kinds of Deep Breathing

3 Kinds of Deep Breathing everydayhealth.com» by Therese Borchard on June 9, 2013

Deep breathing has become increasingly important in my recovery from depression and anxiety because I recognize that shallow breath contributes to my panic. In fact, at my worst hours, I would use a paper bag to keep from hyperventilating.

The practice of deep breathing stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest. It functions in opposite to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the flight-or-fight response. I like to the think of the PNS as the calm sister and the sympathetic nervous system as the non-sympathetic crazy sister on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You know that woman in the movie “Airplane” that’s wigging out (watch this clip), and there is a line behind her of people with weapons saying “Get a hold of yourself.” The woman represents the sympathetic nervous system, and the long line of folks with bats, ropes, purses, etc. are members of the parasympathetic nervous system trying to calm the panicked passenger.

Of all the automatic functions of the body—cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal, glandular, immune–only the breath can be easily controlled voluntarily, explain Richard P. Brown, M.D. and Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D. in their book, “The Healing Power of the Breath.” They write:

By voluntarily changing the rate, depth, and pattern of breathing, we can change the messages being sent from the body’s respiratory system to the brain. In this way, breathing techniques provide a portal to the autonomic communication network through which we can, by changing our breathing patterns, send specific messages to the brain using the language of the body, a language the brain understands and to which it responds. Messages from the respiratory system have rapid, powerful effects on major brain centers involved in thought, emotion, and behavior.

In their eight substantive chapters, the authors discuss several techniques of deep breathing to reduce stress and anxiety. They start off with three basic approaches which provide the building blocks for the others:

Coherent Breathing

Coherent breathing is basically breathing at a rate of five breaths per minute, which is the middle of the resonant breathing rate range. I achieve this if I count to five inhaling and count to five exhaling. The five-minute rate maximizes the heart rate variability (HRV), a measurement of how well the parasympathetic nervous system is working. Brown and Bergarg explain that changing our rate and pattern of breath alters the HRV, which causes shifts in our nervous system. The higher the HRV the better because a higher HRV is associated with a healthier cardiovascular system and a stronger stress-response system. Breathing at a rate that is close to one’s ideal resonant rate (around five breaths per minute) can induce up to a tenfold improvement in HRV.

Resistance Breathing

Resistance breathing is exactly what its name suggests: breathing that creates resistance to the flow of air. Per the authors:

Resistance can be created by pursing the lips, placing the tip of the tongue against the inside of the upper teeth, hissing through the clenched teeth, tightening the throat muscles, partly closing the glottis, narrowing the space between the vocal cords, or using an external object such as breathing through a straw.

All that sounds a bit complicated to me. Breathing should be easy, right? So I simply breathe out of my nose, which, according to Brown and Bergarg, creates more resistance than breathing through the mouth. I do think it’s interesting when they explain that singing and chanting – all musical sounds created by contracting vocal cords—are forms of resistance breathing, and that is why they provide that relaxed sensation you can get meditating (if you CAN meditate).

Breath Moving

Breath Moving is when, well, the breath moves. Courtesy of your imagination. Brown compares this exercise to an internal massage. I’m not sure I’d go that far. I like the real deal. However, I do think sending your breath on a little journey around your body – as long as it doesn’t get too lost — does help you keep your concentration on the exercise and not on your to-do list because counting to five can get a little old. For example, here’s part of a circuit the authors offer in their book:

As you breathe in, imagine you are moving your breath to the top of your head.

As you breathe out, imagine you are moving your breath to the base of your spine, your perineum, your sit bones.

Each time you breathe in, move the breath to the top of the head.

Each time you breathe out, move the breath to the base of the spine.

Breathe in this circuit for ten cycles.

The history of Breath Moving is fascinating. According to the authors, the technique was created in large part by the Russian Christian Orthodox Hesychast monks around the eleventh century. The monks would teach the technique of moving the breath to the holy Russian warriors to help protect them from harm and to empower them as they defended their territory against invaders.

Anxiety Need Not Control Your Life: Five Tips

Anxiety is a big problem. A significant percentage of my caseload comes into my office suffering from this issue. Given the lifestyles we live and current events I think it will only get worse.

Anxiety Need Not Control Your Life: Five Tips

From All Health Secrets

Original article

Anxiety can be a normal reaction in a situation that is new or unfamiliar. It can even be a healthy reaction that protects us from dangerous situations. However, experiencing severe anxiety constantly that interferes with your everyday life is not normal or helpful. Use the advice and techniques in this article to get your anxiety in check so you can return to a less stress state of minds.

Avoid leaning on drugs or alcohol to treat your anxiety, as this will only lead to other problems. Anxiety should be treated professionally, or dealt with in a manner conducive to your well being. In addition, relying on substances to get over anxiety will cause you to become addicted and even worsen your anxiety.

Consider your diet when dealing with anxiety. A diet that is high is sugar and unrefined carbohydrates can contribute to feelings of anxiety. It takes place because when you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar raises first. Then, you experience a blood sugar drop that can leave you feeling weak, anxious and craving more sugar, which only exacerbates the problem.

Learn to say no. Overextending yourself can quickly drain your reserves and leave your mind racing as you try to live up to your commitments. Your refusal to put more on your plate than you can manage may cause disappointment for someone, but your mental health and well-being are most important.

When you start feeling anxious in public, find ways to distract yourself. When in line at the store, start looking at the items hanging near you or the products in your basket. Observe the ceiling, count the number of checkstands, and do anything else you can to preoccupy your mind and keep it from dwelling on anxious thoughts.

If you have been prescribed medication for anxiety, be sure that you take it at the same time every day. You can put your bottle by your toothbrush in the cabinet, or just wherever you will notice it. Remember that some medications take a while to work, so you have to take it every day.

Find a hobby. When your mind is idle, it is free to worry. Instead of sitting and dwelling on whatever is making you anxious, find something that you enjoy doing to serve as a distraction. If you don’t have a hobby already, start looking for one. Whether you start knitting, constructing model cars, or restoring old furniture, you give your mind something to focus on besides the fear. As a bonus, having a hobby that you enjoy can reduce your stress levels all around.

Set goals for you to reach every day. If you are constantly reaching positive goals on your list, you are happy about your life, and can tackle one problem at a time. You can then put that bother that caused some anxiety behind you forever. Who wants to spend their time worrying?

As previously covered, anxiety can be a normal reaction when you are faced with a new or unfamiliar situation. Anxiety can even be a helpful emotion to protect us in stressful situations but if your anxiety is extreme and interferes with your everyday life, then use the recommendations and techniques from above to help you.

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