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Anxiety-Schmanxiety

Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a month dedicated to highlighting mental health and mental health difficulties so that people understand how common it is to experience challenges and to provide a very realistic sense of hope. This message is crucial, for it reduces the unfortunate sense of shame and isolation that so many people feel when they suffer from anxiety or any other mental health challenge. In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some truths about anxiety.
TJ DeSalvo
Anxiety and being tired is common, and I’ve also noticed that anxiety can mess with your sleep patterns in weird ways. Sometimes, it’s impossible to get to sleep when you’re anxious – this makes sense, given that your mind is probably racing like crazy. But on the other hand, sometimes, if you’re anxious, you just can’t stay awake – this also makes sense because anxiety can make even the mundane seem overwhelming, and sleeping is a way to filter all that out. For me, there’s no telling when anxiety will cause me to be tired or lose sleep – recently, I’ve been going through a bout of always feeling tired, so I wanted to talk about that.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Exercise and mindfulness are both widely accepted and research-supported ways to reduce anxiety. Combined, their anti-anxiety power skyrockets. When you exercise mindfully, anxiety takes a big hit. Read on to learn why and how to do it.
TJ DeSalvo
I’ve never been the most athletic person, and because of that, I’ve tended to avoid sports for my entire life. Despite that, I’ve always been one to keep up with my exercise, and walking is my most common form of exercise.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
In still-limited ways, society is finally beginning to reopen and emerge from the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, surprisingly, is a source of increased anxiety for many people. Shouldn't we all be relieved and happy? Is it normal to feel continued or even heightened anxiety? It is indeed normal to have a host of mixed feelings, including anxiety, as COVID-19 rules change. Here's why, plus five tips to deal with it.
TJ DeSalvo
I am now living alone, and almost every one of my family members and friends do not live close to me anymore. For that reason, I am used to doing almost everything by myself, because I have no other choice. But being alone by necessity has made me forget that just being in the presence of another person can be a great source of anxiety relief, and helping with flight anxiety is but part of the story.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety can severely limit lives, so much so that it can be difficult to leave the house to go to work (or anywhere else, for that matter). Anxiety symptoms can be crushing and exhausting, and anxiety attacks or panic attacks can leave you overwhelmed, drained, physically ill, and haunted by strong, negative thoughts and emotions. This makes daily functioning, including going to work, incredibly difficult. While it's not necessarily a quick and easy process, you can break free from the shackles of anxiety, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks and not only get to work but feel steady and actually enjoy life again.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety often causes impatience. It's a unique type of impatience, though--not that feeling of annoyance that comes from being mildly inconvenienced, but a deeper sense of immediacy or urgency that makes us believe that we have to act on a sudden thought or emotion now because it is our only chance and disasters might happen if we don't take action immediately. It's also different than the impulsivity that makes people do things without thinking them through. The impulse to act driven by anxiety happens because of too much thinking. It's possible to resist the urge to act and operate from a sense of peace rather than anxiety.
TJ DeSalvo
Often, the most profoundly helpful methods to combat anxiety are also the easiest to do. In that spirit, I want to discuss what is perhaps the easiest of all the easy methods: the simple act of recognizing the integrity and worth of other people.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
The following two powerful mindfulness techniques can reduce anxiety's strong grip. Living mindfully is about being present in your moment and with yourself no matter what that moment is like or how you feel.