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Treating Anxiety

George Abitante
Maintaining healthy relationships when you're under stress is difficult. For example, this past week, I had a really tough time at work. I was feeling sick, working on a lot of projects, and struggling just to keep my head above water. As the week went on, I became progressively more focused on myself, trying to figure out how to get through all of my work and stop feeling so stressed out by it. Unfortunately, this meant that I was devoting most of my attention to myself and wasn't supporting my girlfriend as I normally would. By the end of the week, I was struggling to figure out what I could do differently to be supportive despite the stress I was experiencing at work.
George Abitante
Think small improvements to reduce anxiety -- what does that mean? I'll explain. This past week, I was walking to work and had to stop for what felt like an inordinately long light. Eventually, it changed and I realized that the whole time I was waiting, I could have crossed the adjacent street. Now, this other street is much smaller than the one I was trying to cross, but even so, it would have brought me closer to my destination than just standing there waiting. Oddly enough, this experience made me think about anxiety and the costs of waiting for a major change instead of looking for other, small opportunities to improve.
George Abitante
Is anxiety ever an opportunity rather than an obstacle? If you’re experiencing anxiety frequently, it is tempting to think of it solely as a negative, frightening experience. However, anxiety at its most basic level is a protective response that can help you adapt to threats in your environment. The next time you feel anxious, try developing a positive mindset about your anxiety by using it as an opportunity to improve.
George Abitante
Every year, I take time to reflect on my experiences and identify goals I want to pursue. Inevitably, some of these new year's goals fall by the wayside, regardless of how passionate I was about them at the start of the year. For a long time, I couldn't figure out why I stuck with some of my goals but not others. Eventually, I realized it was for a simple reason: some of my new year's goals set me up for failure.
George Abitante
Anxiety often seems to come from out of nowhere, interrupting your day and making it difficult to focus. This kind of anxiety can make it feel like you have no control over it, but anxiety can actually be broken down and understood as something we all have experience with: habit.
George Abitante
We need to know how to reduce anxiety quickly. During a busy day at work or school, a lot of situations that are anxiety-inducing can arise -- whether conflicts with coworkers, challenging assignments, or upcoming deadlines. Unfortunately, when you're moving quickly from one task to the next, it can be difficult to address your anxiety without taking a lot of time away from your work. Because of this, I wanted to share three ways you can reduce your anxiety in under three minutes. These anxiety strategies can be used in combination with each other or individually -- the key is to choose one and use it whenever you really need to reduce anxiety quickly.
George Abitante
Did you know you can short-circuit your anxious thoughts? You can, and I'll tell you how.
George Abitante
Treating anxiety and suicidality may not be something you think about, but anxiety is a heterogeneous disorder, encompassing a wide array of symptoms and consequently requiring distinct treatments. Although people often think of depression being involved in suicide, fewer realize that different types of anxiety contribute to suicide as well. Social anxiety, emotional dysregulation, and distress intolerance are associated with suicidal thoughts in adolescents. Panic disorder also increases the risk of suicide and is associated with higher levels of impulsivity, depression, and hopelessness. Higher suicide risk has also been demonstrated in individuals with OCD.  
George Abitante
You can cultivate a positive outlook without also creating expectations that cause anxiety. Have you ever felt so worried about something that you couldn't focus on your family, friends, or work? For me, the answer is certainly yes -- especially when I'm thinking about something I really want to happen. I've found myself thinking a lot about expectations, specifically how my expectations increase my anxiety and make it harder for me to focus on the present. For graduate school, I have a lot of expectations for myself, involving grades, developing research, and cultivating relationships. And although in some ways it is beneficial to have expectations, ultimately, they engender a narrow perspective that ignores a host of positive outcomes. 
George Abitante
One aspect of anxiety that can be challenging is the physical sensations of anxiety. Anxiety is frequently accompanied by the unpleasant side effects of anxiety in your body that can include rapid heart rate, feeling short of breath, having discomfort in your stomach, or even feeling dizzy or foggy. These sensations can make it difficult to work through your anxious thoughts, and can actually exacerbate your initial anxiety. Additionally, if you experience the same physical sensations of anxiety often enough, you can reach a point where those physical sensations induce anxiety on their own, creating a feedback loop that can be very difficult to disrupt. One tool that I've found helpful for working through physical sensations of anxiety is meditation.