Whatever it is you may be stressed about — money, COVID-19 or something else — know that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing high levels of anxiety right now.
“When anxiety impedes our functioning, it affects our quality of our life,” said Rick McClung, LCSW, M.Div., mental health therapist, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Behavioral Medicine. “Being stuck in an anxiety spiral can make you feel helpless.”
McClung offers the following tips to help calm your mind:
- Realize when you are catastrophizing things and reframe your thinking.
- Understand that you can’t control everything.
“Practice acceptance and remember we’re all in this together,’” McClung said. ”Acceptance is where the power lies.”
- Take deep breaths.
- If you’re too anxious to breathe deeply, focus on what is happening in the present moment using all of your five senses. What do you see? What do you smell? This short mindfulness exercise can help snap your perception back to a calmer state.
- Don’t use drugs or alcohol to calm down. Avoid other unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as emotional shopping or eating.
“Generally, as humans, we don’t fix things until they are broken,” McClung said, adding that seeking help from a professional might be a good idea. “Talking to a therapist gives you a safe place to unpack your problems and develop positive strategies for dealing with them.”
If you’re feeling overly stressed or anxious, make an appointment with one of our therapists today by calling 859.313.3515.