3-2-1 Approach to Take Control of Your Anxiety

I woke up this morning feeling not so great.  My jaw and shoulders are tense.  I have a tingly sensation in my body.  I sit and think what is wrong with me?  Then I remember the bad dream I have and the people who are in it.  I’m experiencing anxiety at this moment.  I tell myself “I’m really anxious”.  So I work through ways to decrease my anxiety.

Yes!  I suffer from anxiety just like many other people do.  I’m hear to share with you ways to overcome your anxiety.  I teach adults and younger people many different techniques to manage their anxiety.

Here is my 3-2-1 Approach to Take Control of Anxiety3 Ways you need to Assess your body:

1.  Know the signs your body is sharing.  What do you physically feel like?  For me it’s muscle tension from my head down.  Sometimes I have headaches and shoulder pain from it.  Many people have stomach issues, trembling, dizziness even.  Get to know your body when you feel anxious, angry, sadness.  It’s not just an emotional feeling, it affects you physically too.

2. Find the trigger.  What is causing you to feel this way?  For me, it was the after-effects of a bad dream I had . I didn’t even remember I had the dream until I sat and thought about why I was feeling anxious.

3. Manage those thoughts in your mind.  Don’t let the trigger consume you.  Tell yourself for instance, “It was a bad dream.  Everything is fine.”  For me, my bad dream is a piece of my past that I know cannot happen again.  And because it was a dream, it was more intense than my past experience.

2 Techniques to Fight the Anxiety:

1. Deep Breathing: Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly.  When I teach people this skill, I use a balloon so they can visualize their stomach as the balloon.  When you take in breath, the balloon expands, then you slowly let it out as if air is seeping out of the balloon.

             Inhale:                                                                   Exhale:image0

 2.  Mindfulness: Another technique I often love to use for myself is mindfulness.  Today I did this while sitting at my desk.

Take a Deep Breath and Do These 5 Easy Steps:

5 Things I see (my messy desk : ), the light shining bright, books stacked up, a picture my kids made, my dusty blinds.

4 Things I hear…

3 Things I feel (the cold desk against my arms, my legs touching together crossed, the feel of the floor on my bare feet.)

2 things I smell (coffee brewing, the smell of my house)

1 thing I taste

Practice this technique.  as you get closer to 1 it gets a little more difficult to hone in on those senses.  I love to teach this technique.  It is very effective in bringing you to the present.  It will relax your body the more you are able to focus on just those senses and divert your attention to what is surrounding you.  The here and now….

So, as I completed this exercise, I thought this would be a good thing to share with you.  To let you know there are ways to overcome your anxiety, and yes, I too suffer from it at times.

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