10 Quick Tips to Have Control Over Your Anxiety & Stress Today
It may feel like it is impossible to get relief from anxiety & stress, or that you have tried every medication under the sun. I have seen Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) improve the well-being of many lives and provide a set of tools to help reduce anxiety. It is like exercise for the mind that helps improve how you feel based on your thoughts and response to the stressors. This article is going to provide 10 quick CBT tips you can put into practice today to start finding relief:
1. Rather than focus on the fears and negative thoughts; redirect your thoughts towards your strengths or virtues. The negative thoughts are going to just leave you feeling powerless, focusing on your strengths allows you to start thinking about how you are going to overcome the stressors.
2. For worries & stressors occurring this week; start putting a plan in place for how you are going to approach them. Anxiety puts us in a state of fight, flight or freeze; starting to develop a plan is helping you to start engaging your strengths against the stressors, focusing on the control you have.
3. You have the uplifting thoughts versus the negative misery focused talk in your mind. Which voice to you want to listen to? Start choosing to set aside the inner critic and listen to those thoughts you want to have.
4. Keep your mind focused on the solutions. Even if it feels like everyone else or the world needs to change, start asking the question “how am I being called to change my response to the challenge.”
5. Take intentional time to address your worries and time to take a break from your worries. Taking intentional time to do all the above allows your mind to be focused on how you are going to approach your worries tomorrow. Having that time schedule can free your mind to be able to take time to relax and recharge.
6. Do activities daily that recharge you and put you in the best mindset. I don’t care how busy your schedule is, you need at least one thing that is going to help put you in the best frame of mind today for 15 minutes.
7. Connect with your relationships. This doesn’t fix it all, but it gives a place that allows us to process what is stressing us and having the feeling like we are not alone to address it. Connecting with your supports is often the medicine that can keep us going strong.
8. Connect with your spiritual supports. You can’t control everything in the world or have complete certainty over anything; we have a need for a higher power to take over for the things we cannot control. This is a child like trust to parents. Spiritually we need to have the same child like faith in the Lord. Give what you can’t control over to God and trust.
9. Exercise, as it puts your body in a place of power. It is amazing to see the body, mind and soul connection. Moving your body into a more power position, can make it easier to go on the offense on your stressors versus being stuck in the defense position.
10. Visualize yourself conquering or overcoming the fears and stressors. Most of the time we are looking at the worst-case scenario or the awfulness of the situation. Visualization exercises have been shown to help direct your thoughts and actions onto handling the stressors effectively. You will feel better for doing so today.
Working with a trained psychotherapist is a great way to put these practices in place. Feel free to reference my anxiety & stress management page for more about my approach in therapy.