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Anxiety-Schmanxiety

TJ DeSalvo
I’ve mentioned my cat in passing before several times on this blog, often in the context of discussing how owning a pet can help with anxiety.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety usually involves some form of fear. Anxious thoughts often involve worry: fear of what might happen, of worst-cases scenarios and disastrous consequences of something that has already happen or might possibly happen in the future. Anxiety and fear aren't exactly the same thing, however. Here's a look at the difference between fear and phobia and a common thread between them. 
TJ DeSalvo
One of the most damaging misconceptions about mental illness, anxiety included, is that it’s somehow necessary to produce something creative. This could not be further from the truth – the reality is often the exact opposite. Anxiety can often be crippling to creativity, for reasons that are, when they are given even just a little thought, more than obvious.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Do you find that anxiety is causing you to avoid your life? Do you avoid people, places, situations, and events that, if it weren't for anxiety, you might actually enjoy? If so, first know that avoidance is a common and natural reaction to anxiety and is not a sign of weakness.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety affects us deeply and in many ways, including taking over our thoughts. Anxious thoughts can be loud, obnoxious, repetitive, and bothersome. They seem real and accurate. We think something; therefore, it must be true. In reality, however, our thoughts--especially anxious thoughts--aren't reliable. There are many different types of anxious thoughts that become repetitive patterns, and because they repeat in our heads, they feel very real. We come to believe them, and this affects our actions and overall happiness. Here's a look at one particularly bothersome anxious thinking pattern, all-or-nothing thinking, and an exercise to change these anxious thoughts.
TJ DeSalvo
Today is one of those days when I woke up anxious for what seems like no real reason. This happens on occasion, but every time it does it catches me off guard. Between the overall feelings of anxiety and feeling powerless and surprised when it happens, it’s hard to even get out of bed on days like this. One of the ways I deal with this feeling of stress and powerlessness is to return to a small collection of music, movies, and video games that occupy a special place in my heart.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Relationships of all types are important in our lives, but as positive as it is to have a connection with someone, relationships can also be incredibly anxiety-provoking. Choosing what we pay attention to can go a long way toward reducing anxiety in relationships. 
TJ DeSalvo
Recently, we were hit with a period of deep cold that often made it dangerous to do anything outside. Ordinarily, I don’t mind the cold, but in these instances, where it is inadvisable to go outside for one’s safety, it can be difficult.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Do you play tug-of-war with your anxious thoughts? I often find myself playing this exhausting, time-consuming game, and it can be frustrating. If you find yourself trying to let go of anxious thoughts, but they keep returning, you could be playing mental tug-of-war with anxiety. It's something that happens automatically and repeatedly, but you don't have to play. If you tend to overthink, playing tug-of-war too often, and would rather do something else, read on for insights into this annoying mental game and ways to put down the rope.
TJ DeSalvo
Those who read this blog may remember that it was a little over a year ago that I lost my apartment, almost all my possessions, and nearly my life in a massive fire. In the year since the fire, I have tried my best to return my life to some degree of normalcy. This has proved to be much more difficult than I could have imagined. Having never had to come to terms with a traumatic experience such as this, I’ve learned that the aftereffects of such traumas can be surprisingly unexpected.