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Reduce Anxiety by Doing This

We all feel anxious from time to time but this one thing will help


Feeling that hot flush come over your face and a rising unsteadiness is zero fun. Anxiety can be mild but it's still crushing.


Working out what causes your anxiety in the moment can be a major game changer. Now I'm not talking about trauma from the past. I'm not a therapist so that's not the scope I work with. Thankfully there are ways to reduce anxiety that don't require therapy. Try these and see how you go.


  1. Make a list of the specific people and/or places where you feel most anxious

  2. For 7 days keep notes on how frequently you feel anxious

  3. Record the intensity of the anxiety (a scale of 1 to 10 usually works well)

  4. As you start to make notes about your anxiety, take some extra time to write out what's happening in the moment, as in, where are you, who are you with,, what happened before you felt your anxiety rising

  5. Chances are you'll begin to see patterns that weren't there before


When I was first introduced to this process I thought my anxiety was a free floating thing. But it turns out I was mostly anxious around men. As I recorded the times I felt my anxiety rising it became more clear to me that it was when I was in the presence of men I find attractive.


I could easily have missed that. And I could just as easily dismissed it as being unimportant. But the thing about collecting data is you become way more aware of what's really happening. If you take time to make long form notes you'll witness other factors such as the place and smells that are part of your 'anxiety memories'.


Obviously there's much more to this than the 5 steps above, but it's a starting point. And there is a psychological phenomenon called 'reactivity' that comes into play when you begin observing yourself more closely. What can happen is the unwanted behaviour (in this case, feeling anxious) can begin to wane.


What I love about the process when it's performed in more depth (12 weeks to be precise) is that you come to have so many insights that change not only your anxiety but other areas of your life too.


Working with the neuroscience of behaviour means you don't necessarily need to delve into the past to reduce anxiety. It's possible to work with your current situation and retain the brain to adapt in a more positive way.


It's worth saying that anxiety may have a strong hold on you, but even if it's moderate or mild, spending time to unravel it is hugely beneficial. Committing to the process is easier when it's evidence based which is why I've transformed my coaching practice from a positive psychology model to one based on science.


Both are effective, it's just a choice. And because this method requires mapping you get to see the results in graphs and tables, which adds to your ability to gauge whether and/or how well it's working.


if you have anxiety and would like to work on reducing it, get in touch.

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