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This page is about how self-compassion and mindfulness and skills such as forgiveness, kindness and compassion can help us with depression and anxiety.
There are certain concepts central to all anxiety cures that I integrate into therapy and teach to my clients regardless of their diagnosis.Each specific diagnosis of anxiety has researched treatments, medications, and protocols. These concepts remain the same. In this page I outline those 5 concepts.
Anxiety Cures 1 : Think about what is it costing you?
In my therapy sessions, I emphasize that the anxiety is self created. You create your anxiety by what you are doing. Does this mean you are entirely responsible for your anxiety? No. Obviously you are not purposely making yourself anxious! Most people don’t know that they create anxiety, or how they create it. Therapy teaches you this. Most people who have anxiety have environmentally and genetically determined patterns that contribute to their anxiety. Still, the power to “ cure it” is within you.
All anxiety cures consist of the first step of assessing your life and determining what your anxiety is costing you. We all get one life, everyone dies, and we never know when we will die. Every day is a gift to explore our lives! Are you able to enjoy it? Are you able to be present in your life and the lives of your loved ones? If today was your last day, would you be satisfied with how you lived it? Can you do your job, be with your kids, or love your spouse with your anxiety ruling your life? What will happen if you don’t change? What will happen if you do change?
I take my clients through these steps to help them get the motivation they will need to cure their anxiety.
Anxiety cures 2 : Don’t resist or avoid it
When people come to therapy for the first time they will often have an urgent need to make their anxiety go away. They are determined to conquer it, get rid of it, move away from, or live without it. Unfortunately, sometimes this very attitude can be what makes it worse. It is the nature of our mind to try to do what we don’t want it to do. Don’t believe me? Try not to think of a pink elephant. See?
The second step in all cures for anxiety is to understand that you don’t have to make your anxiety go away to feel better. You just need to change how you deal with it. If you have anxious thoughts and you don’t believe them, then they aren’t so powerful. The good news is you have the ability to be less anxious. You can do this all by yourself, without changing anything in your life but how you respond to your anxiety. Avoidance is the key perpetuator of all anxiety. Get more curious about your anxiety. Pay attention to it. Separate yourself from it and watch the experience as if you were an outsider. Work on anxiety consists of separating yourself from the experience and challenging it. Isn’t it funny the thoughts that drive your anxiety? They aren’t real and you don’t have to believe them. In fact, research shows that people who are less anxious pay less attention to these thoughts.
Anxiety Cures 3 : Learn Accept Uncertainty
Acceptance of uncertainty is also an important concept here. You must be able to tolerate uncomfortable feelings of anxiety that are associated with uncertainty. We are not certain about much in life. People who have anxiety have a lower tolerance for uncertainty. The solution? Practice understanding that life is uncertain and practice not responding with attempts to control the uncontrollable. Why? You can’t control it.
Anxiety Cures 4: Be Hopeful and Positive
If you want to be happy, you must stop predicting disaster, and stop focusing on the negative when you have a choice. Challenge beliefs that are not supporting your goal of enjoying and living your life. If you wake up and you have a choice to think positively or negatively, think positively. You can choose to view life as safe, positive and full of opportunities or unsafe, negative and full of bad luck. If you pick the first option your experiences will be consistent with that. Practice this one day and see if I am not right.
Focus on your ability to face and deal with difficult situations, rather than dwelling on how insurmountable they feel. Explore what you are capable of doing in the moment. Warning. This is not denial. This step can be a tricky step because people may use this strategy to hide and deny the truth. If you are faced with the truth this does not mean you pretend it is not there. In fact, one of the other cures for anxiety not mentioned here is to face the things that you are not dealing with.
Anxiety Cures 5: Move through it.
All anxiety is maintained by avoidance. If you aren’t afraid of it, you can experience the sensations and thoughts, and then you can go through it. Moving through anxiety consists of confronting the thing that you are afraid of. All treatment has this as a core principle.
Moving through it
This is the phase where you make changes. You begin to examine how the choices you make when you respond to anxiety are really dominating your life, and you make another choice. After you do this for a while, anxiety will lessen, and you will be able to begin to enjoy your life in the present moment, and live more consistently with your values.
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