Anxiety Management Toolbox
Below, I’ve listed a number of symptoms that people who have anxiety may experience, along with some tools you can use to manage those symptoms. We will discuss these issues further during your psychotherapy session.
Symptoms: Helplessness about anxiety, fear of anxiety
- Tool: Knowledge about anxiety. Read Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry by Craske and Barlow, or read any of the links on my page about anxiety and stress.
Symptoms: Anxious thoughts and feelings
- Tool: Cognitive strategies. Read Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry by Craske and Barlow
- Tool: Calming meditations
Symptom: Physical feelings of anxiety, agitation
- Tool: Relaxation Training. Read Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry by Craske and Barlow, chapter 5
- Tool: Guided Meditation. Try mindfulness meditations.
- Tool: Exercise. This web page provides some helpful guidance about getting started with an exercise plan.
Symptom: Health worries and anxieties
- Tool: Knowledge about health anxiety
- Tool: Understanding and monitoring unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors
- Tool: Mindfulness meditation when practiced regularly decreases the tendency to ruminate.
- Tool: Enhancing self-compassion. Try mindful self-compassion meditations here or here.
- Tool: Distraction can be a great tool for dispelling rumination. Here are some suggestions.
- Tool: Self-management strategies. Read Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry by Craske and Barlow, chapter 8
Symptom: Disrupted sleep
- Tool: Maximize the quality of your sleep habits. We call this sleep hygiene. Read about it here and here
- Tool: Avoid LED screens on phones, tablets and computers before bedtime and when awakening at night. The blue light can disrupt your sleep. If you must use them, turn the brightness down to the minimum. Here’s an article to learn more.
Symptom: Problematic relationships, with responses of anger and/or passivity
- Tool: Assertiveness skills. Read When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within by McKay, Rogers & McKay
Symptom: Stress from Parenting
- Tool: Mindfully and lovingly setting limits. Read Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
- Tool: Coping skills. Take online course: mindfulness4mothers.com
Check out the Depression Management Toolbox, too.