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Anxiety Self Help Strategy

January 11/06 Part One Insight into your anxiety is probably one of the most important keys to getting relief. There may be many reasons we suffer from anxiety so we will have to look at all aspects of our lives. Many things can be the cause of this condition such as stress, chronic pain, depression, medical issues, alcohol/drug abuse and traumatic events in our lives. Maybe you fit into one of these categories or maybe a combination of them. It is important to reflect on our current lifestyle and past life experiences to find the answers. So what happens when we find these answers. Well we can use a problem solving approach to deal with each of the issues. How is it done? The first phase is the assessment phase which involves what was just described earlier in this article. We need to look back at our current lifestyle and past experiences. It is very helpful to write down these thoughts for easy reference when moving to the next phase. Once we have completed the assessment phase what do we do with all of this information? The next step in exploring our causes of anxiety is to identify problem areas from this information. You should be able to see the problem areas quite easily. Some areas may be work related, medical, stress load, family, past traumatic experiences etc as discussed earlier. Make a list of these problem areas keeping them as simple as possible. Try to use only a couple of words to identify each problem if possible. So if you complete this exercise properly your list should look something like this: 1)chronic stress 2) Employment problems 3) current alcohol use 4) death of loved one 3 years ago. Of course this is an example and you will make your list out of the problems you have discovered in your assessment phase. This is a good start and may be time consuming to complete so the rest of this article will be posted in upcoming Anxiety Tip of the Day column. Part Two In the last article we were at the point where we completed out assessment and identified problem areas. The nest step we need to take is to prioritize what problems we need to look at first. In our example we can see 4 problem areas. At this point you will have to make your own decision on what problem should be given first priority. For this example we are going to prioritize in this order: 1)current alcohol use 2)chronic stress 3)death of loved one 3 years ago 4) Employment problems. Now we can clearly see some of the causes of our anxiety and can formulate a plan to address these issues. Our first problem we identified is the current alcohol use. For this example we will say that this person is currently consuming 3-6 drinks per day and more on the weekends. Their use has been gradually increasing and it is probable that they have an addiction. Now we have to look at ways to deal with this problem area. There are many options one can look at such as a) Detox b) 12 step program c) Self Help Group d) Medications e) Professional Counseling Service. The key is to tackle one problem at a time. Often dealing with one problem area will help us solve another related problem at the same time. In our example taking care of the addiction will impact the other identified problems and give us a good head start on the total picture. As time goes on we can re organize and re evaluate so that we can achieve optimum wellness. By completing this exercise it will impact us in a positive way and aid us in decreasing our anxiety.

About the author:
Psychiatric Nurse web publisher for the Site an Anxiety Self Help Resource.


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