ANXIETY : Self help

How to worry constructively

About 39% of the things you worry about never actually come to pass. An additional 32% of the things you worry about have already happened. A further 21% of your worries are over insignificant trivialities. That leaves 9% for important matters where you have legitimate cause of concern.
If you stopped worrying completely, you would be of little value to yourself, your employer or your family. A certain amount of worry and tension makes you feel better, so keep on worrying. Concentrate in that 9% and put the other 91% behind you.
KEEP A WORRY NOTEBOOK:
A worry notebook will help you to worry constructively. Please see exe. 1
EXE 1 :
Take a notebook and divide it into 4 sections:
Things which might happen:
Worries for today, i.e things which might possible happen.
Worries for today, i.e things which have already happen.

Today’s real Events
Worries for today, i.e minor insignificant things
Worries for today, i.e important problems.

Make the entries for heading 1,2, and 3 before you go to bed. Choose the time of the day yo are at your strongest and brightest to complete section 4.
Section 4 merits special comment. Worrying about a problem does not solve it, but doing something about it certainly does. Many people are fearful of making a decision in case it is the wrong one. However, what people forget is that making no decision is decision-making by default. After all, if you take no action, something will still happen and only you can decide whether you want to be in control (as much as possible), or just let the situation happen.

RELAXATION : (7 - 11 TECHNIQUE)

When you are feeling anxious, angry or tense it can be useful to do some relaxation exercises. There are many forms of relaxation, ranging from those that require physical exertion or movement, to those that require nothing more that breathing or visualization techniques. Listed below are five common techniques.
Breathing : (7 – 11 Technique)
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 7
Breathe out through your nose for a count of 11
As you breathe out, consciously relax your shoulders
When you breathe in and out, use your stomach muscles to control your breathing. For example, when breathing in, use your stomach muscle to push in. This way you will breathe out use your stomach muscle to push in. This way you will breath more deeply, which will help you gain the maximum benefit from this kind of relaxation.
When people are anxious, they tend to breathe shallowly. When this happens, the body gets less oxygen and many people are therefore tempted to breathe faster to make up for this deficit. However, breathing too fast can make a person feel dizzy or faint may be frightening. This type of breathing can lead to a condition called Hyperventilation.
Keep practicing the above until you feel confident that you would be able to undertake this breathing exercise anywhere and at any time. It is simple but effective and can take the edge off feelings of nervousness. It is particularly helpful for times when you are about to face difficult situation, or a confrontation.
Muscle tensing exercise:

Lie on the floor and make yourself comfortable.
Starting with your feet, tense all your muscle and then relax them. Focus on how heavy your feet feel and the way in which they are sinking into the floor.
Tense all the muscle In your legs as hard as you possibly can, then relax them. Focus on how heavy your legs feel and the way in which they are sinking into the floor.
Move up along through the other parts of your body – hips, stomach, chest, arms, neck and face – tensing and relaxing the muscles as you go.
Note : If you suffer from high blood pressure or heart problems, you should consult your doctor before engaging in this exercise.

VISUAL IMAGERY

Choose a safe place to sit or lie down.
Imagine you are in a garden at the time of the year you like best, enjoying looking at flowers, shrubs, trees and so on.
You notice a wall along one side of the garden. In the middle of the wall is an old-fashioned wooden door with a wrought iron handle on it.
You make you way over to the door and open it.
On the other side, you find yourself in your own, very special safe place. A place that no-one knows about and where no-one can get you.
Enjoy being there.
When you are ready, make your way back to the door.
Leave and shut the door firmly behind you, knowing that your special safe is always there, whenever you choose to visit it.
Walk around the garden and, when you are ready, open your eyes.

ANCHORING

Anchoring is a simple technique whereby you associate positive, calming, confident feelings to a particular object, usually something you wear frequently. All that is required is that in moments of anxiety you touch the chosen object and then focus on the feelings associated with it.
Choose an object – say, a ring
Now, close your eyes and focus on the same aspect of your life that brings a warm glow to your face. This could be a person, place, or an activity which makes you feel good about yourself
Rub the ring as you reflect on that happy thought and continue doing it for five or more minutes.
Wait for a few minutes and then repeat the process.
In carrying out this simple routine, you will have anchored positive feelings to your chosen object. From now on merely touching that object should bring on good feelings instantly.

DISTRACTION

Another method of reducing the frequency and severity of anxiety is distraction. When anxious, we tend to focus on physical sensation on thoughts connected to anxiety. Distraction works because our attention is focused away from the thoughts or physical sensations that contribute to our anxiety

Explore the Antecedents of Your Panic Attacks
You can increase your mastery over panic attacks by investigating the types of circumstances that tend precede them. If you are agoraphobia, you are very familiar with these circumstances. You know that you are more likely to panic, for example, if you are far from home, driving over a bridge, or sitting in a restaurant, and so you systematically avoid these particular situations. If you have spontaneous panic attacks that come “ out of the blue” you might find it helpful to monitor their occurrence for two weeks and take careful note of what was going on immediately – as well as for several hours – before each one occurs. You might observe whether any of the following conditions makes a difference in the likelihood of your having a panic reaction:
Were you under stress?
Were you by yourself or with someone?
If with someone, was it family, friends, or a stranger?
What kind of mood were you for several hours before panic came on? Anxious? Depressed? Excited? Sad? Angry? Other?
Were you engaging in negative or fearful thoughts just before you panicked?
Did you feel tired or rested?
Were you experiencing some kind of loss?
Were you hot or cold?
Were you feeling restless or calm?
Had you consumed caffeine or sugar just before panic came on?
Are there any other circumstances that correlate with your panic reaction?
You can use the Panic Attack Record that follows to monitor every panic attack you experience over two-week period. By making the effort to record your panic attacks and carefully observing any circumstances that consistently precede them, you are taking an important step. You are learning that you need not to be a passive victim of an event that seems totally outside your control. Instead, you can begin to alter the circumstances of your daily life in a direction that significantly reduce the odds of having panic attacks.

PANIC ATTACK RECORD

Fill out one form for each separate panic attack during a two-week period:
Date:________________________________________________________
Time:________________________________________________________
Duration (minutes) _____________________________________________
Intensity of panic ( rate 5 to 10 using the Anxiety Scale that follows): _____________________________
Antecedents
Stress level during preceding day ( rate on a 1 to 10 scale where 1 is the lowest stress level and 10 is the highest): ________________________________________________________________________
Alone or with someone? ____________________________________________________________
If with someone, was it family, friend(s), stranger? _______________________________________
Your mood for three hours preceding panic attack:
Anxious __________________________________
Depressed ________________________________
Excited __________________________________ _
Angry ____________________________________
Sad ______________________________________
Other ( specify ) ___________________________________________________________________
Were you facing a challenge or taking it easy? ___________________________________________
Were you engaging in negative or fearful thoughts before you panicked?
Yes _________________________________________
No __________________________________________
If so, what thoughts ? _______________________________________________________________
Were you tired or rested ? ____________________________________________________________
Were you experiencing some kind of emotional upset or loss?
Yes _________________________________________
No __________________________________________
Were you hot, cold or neither? ________________________________________________________
Were you feeling restless and impatient?
Yes _________________________________________
No __________________________________________
Were you asleep before you panicked?
Yes _________________________________________
No __________________________________________
Did you consume caffeine or sugar within 8 hours before you panicked?
Yes _________________________________________
No __________________________________________
If yes, how much?___________________________________________________________________
Have you noticed any other circumstances that correlate with your panic reactions? (specify)
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________