Many people suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, which means that they are often on edge, tense, and generally hopped up a good part of their day. This style of living becomes habitual and a norm without even realizing it. These ways of life like habits can be changed by recognizing all people are not like this and there are alternatives. Such folks tend to rush about sometimes in a scattered way and yet there are easy coping skills that can settle them down.
Here are six suggestions to change those everyday ways of being:
• Slow down! You may find yourself moving more quickly than is necessary. Slow your pace and everything will get done but you will be calmer. Drive slower, walk slower, talk slower, answer phone calls and texts slower. It all helps a great deal.
• Take a 15-minute "power stress relief time." This just involves sitting down or lying down and doing nothing but attending to your heart beat. If it is racing, take slow deep breaths and empty your mind of anything that worries you or is on your schedule.
• Have a cup of decaffeinated (very important) tea that is soothing.
• If it's a nice day, go out and let yourself feel the sun's rays for a few minutes. The warmth is comforting.
• If you're a loner, that's fine, but not so great for anxiety. Put on some easy listening music with head phones and zone out for a while.
• If you're more on the gregarious side call that friend who is a calm inducer and either chat about random stuff or share your worry. Whatever works for you. The connection and feeling understood can do wonders.
If you notice that these changes are actually working for you, it's easy to let them slip and slide away from you and you're back feeling anxious. It's important to keep these coping skills uppermost in your mind every day until they become your new norm.
You may become aware that people around you are noticing you are a more relaxed person. You may find that even though you're moving slower, you're more productive because your focus and concentration have increased. Be sure to give yourself credit for your improvements in your well-being. There's nothing wrong with lots of pats on the back for making changes that had been habitual. This is no easy road. It's a slow but steady journey to give you a healthier happier life style.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold.