Last week we laid the groundwork for what anxiety is and what triggers it. (Check out last's week article here: Dissecting Anxiety Part 1) This week I am going to share my top three tips for managing mild-moderate anxiety:
(1) Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) workbooks
There are many books I recommend depending on the individual. However, Mind over Mood by Dennis Greenberger & Christine Padesky is one of my favorite 'go-to' recommendations. This book fleshes out the concepts we discussed in the first blog post and empowers you with knowledge about YOUR anxiety and how it manifests in YOU. Many of the patients that have completed the entire workbook with me, have reported feeling more in control of their anxious feelings, and mentally lighter.
I love recommending breathing techniques to patients to help mitigate or thwart anxious feelings. From deep breathing techniques to mindfulness based breathing techniques, breathing is such an easy and convenient tool to carry with you at all times. Physiologically, focusing on breathing helps to decrease heart rate and increase oxygenation which automatically results in a calmer mind & body.
(3) Positive self talk
It is amazing how the continued practice of affirmations or, in other words, positive self talk can rewire your thinking. Positive self talk has the ability to address anxiety at its root by transforming how you view or think about your 'anxiety triggers.' It is a tool that requires practice to sharpen but can be very effective with consistent efforts.
In addition to the above recommendations I, also, frequently use herbs/botanical medicines for additional support. However, we will discuss which herbs I use in next week's blog post, so stay tuned!