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Someone said, I gave up worrying when I realized that it doesn’t either stop stuff from happening or make stuff happen but it DOES stop me from enjoying the good moment that I’m having right now.

Partly why this is so poignant for me right now is because I just had this conversation with my 16 year old grandson. He was telling me about religions that he had learned about including Buddhism, Stoicism, and others. We talked about living in the moment, not worrying, not obsessing about the past and I told him that if “I was worrying right now about something in the future, I would miss out on enjoying being with you right now.”

What is the basis of worry?

Anxiety … the feeling or fear that something bad is going to happen. It’s our brain’s red flag – telling us that something may be wrong. The problem is that sometimes anxiety is based on feelings from the past that trigger the feeling in the present. In other words, you’re safe, there isn’t any real danger; it’s just a feeling. Granted, it is a very uncomfortable feeling for sure!

Here are 3 tips to help reduce anxiety when it rears its head:

  1. Make a list of 3 things that you can see or smell right now – at the moment you are having the anxiety.
  2. Suck on a strong lemony sour candy or a candy like Hot Tamales.
  3. Stick your face in a bowl of ice water. Brrrrr!
  4. Practice having anxiety and letting it go. Remember how we used to practice Stop, Drop, and Roll in case of fire? We learned it so well that we didn’t even have to think about what to do if we were ever threatened by fire. You can do the same thing to help reduce anxiety: practice feeling anxiety, practice one of the hints that you know will help reduce it, and feel calmer.

WHY do any of these things? Because they cause you to use your other senses like paying attention to how something tastes or smells. You might say that it’s just distracting you but not really. These hints shock your brain into knowing that it’s okay, you are not in danger, your brain doesn’t need to be on extra high alert right now.

Contact me if you need support reducing anxiety or depression.

Dr. Martha