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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Anxiety

March 2010

Anxiety is a major issue. Over 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety. One in four people world-wide will suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives. So, if you are suffering from anxiety, you are not alone!

But the good news is that are things that you can do to help yourself feel better, more confident, more relaxed! I always suggest to people that I work with to go to their family doctor and get a full physical. There may be an underlying physical condition. Once that is ruled out, it is time for us to get to work.

It is important to breathe. Slow down and take deep breaths. Really slow, deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this several times a day and every time that you begin to feel anxiety. This can slow you down and make you feel centered. Breathing like this will often bring the anxiety to a manageable level. Exercise is also a huge component in managing your anxiety. As long as your doctor has no restrictions with your exercising, start by taking a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood. You need no special clothes. You do not need to run or climb mountains. Simply take a walk at least 5 times a week. Notice how you feel before, after and during the walk. Notice the difference.

Connect with friends. Knowing we are not along can make a huge difference in how we are feeling. Talk with your friends on a regular basis. Go out to lunch. Laugh. A lot. Laughter really does make you healthier.

Keep track of your thoughts that trigger your anxious periods. Challenge yourself to see if these thoughts are rational or not. If they are not, then replace those thoughts with more rational ones. Practice this. It helps.

See a therapist. We can work together to help you manage your stress and anxiety. You may want to consider medication. Meds are not for everyone, but depending on the severity, they may be a good choice for you. Talk to a psychiatrist about it.

The take away message here is that if you are anxious, there are things that you can do that will make a difference. You are not required to suffer forever. Take action today. You can take charge of your life again.

And enjoy the journey!

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