From The Huffington Post UK
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How can you actually reduce anxiety?
1. Build up your sense of control
As I have highlighted above, building a strong sense of secondary control is important in reducing anxiety. You want to develop resilience and realise that you do have the skills and resources to deal with any situation. Two ways that will help you to do this are:
• Start changing your thoughts whenever you think in a powerless way. Our language strongly influences our beliefs and emotions. By using positive, powerful language, you will create less stress, anticipate positive outcomes and feel more empowered. Pay attention to the words you use and change any unhelpful words for more helpful ones. For example, ‘‘it’s terrifying at the dentist, I’ll be a wreck” could become “it’s a bit unpleasant at the dentist, but I can cope with it”.
• One of the best ways to feel more in control is to overcome challenges. So, set yourself a personal challenge that you are going to achieve over the next week or so. This should be something that will be a little bit difficult for you to achieve BUT is something that you can do, if you put in some effort.
To ensure that you succeed, you want to think about what steps you are going to take to achieve your challenge. As you work towards your goal, you want to keep encouraging yourself and praising yourself for the effort you are putting in. Once you have completed your challenge you want to recognise your achievement and say ‘well done’ to yourself for your hard work.
2. Stop avoiding feared situations
When you want to avoid a particular feared situation, remind yourself that you do not need to do so. Tell yourself that you are capable of tolerating any feelings of discomfort and that you do have the skills and resources to cope with the situation.
Make sure that you praise yourself for tolerating the experience. If you start to feel anxious and want to get away, slow your breathing down and tell yourself you can cope with the situation. Eg. ‘This is OK, I can tolerate this situation’.
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