How “Leaning In” to Anxiety Can Help
Updated: Nov 1, 2021
During the last several months, we have been asked to adapt in ways that we could have never imagined doing before the coronavirus. We have found it within ourselves to push forward and make the best out of these current circumstances. As we continue to grapple with the ongoing changes and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, you may be finding that you and your children are still experiencing high levels of anxiety for a myriad of reasons. Managing anxiety can be challenging even on the best of days, and during these current times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
When trying to manage your anxiety, you may be inclined to brush these feelings aside and avoid them all together, thinking to yourself that it would just be better to distract yourself with something else. While this might be a very natural inclination, it may be better to “lean in” to the anxiety instead. Sounds counterintuitive right? Let’s look at a few ways that this concept can help you and your children manage anxiety:
Knowledge is Power
Leaning into anxiety requires people to face anxiety head on. You likely know what situations bring you anxiety, however, are you aware of how your body reacts? What physical symptoms do you experience? What are the thoughts you have that lead to your anxiety? Children also can be taught skills to learn how to “listen” to their body when they are feeling anxious. One activity you can do is to have your children draw themselves and circle the parts of the body where they feel anxious. Knowing these signs and symptoms can help people identify their anxiety earlier before it has the chance to escalate.
Determining What You Can Control
When people feel overwhelmed with anxiety, they often feel like they are not in control of a situation. That’s how anxiety can spiral so quickly. People start by having an anxious thought about something unknown or a situation they don’t have control over, which then can quickly turn into several other thoughts, related or unrelated, and before they know it their anxiety is through the roof. While many things are not in our control during this time of the pandemic, focusing on things we do have control over, even if they are small, can help significantly reduce feelings of anxiety. By “leaning in” to the anxiety, we are able to take a situation from feeling overwhelming to feeling more manageable. Helping children generate a list of things they have control over, as well as what parents have control over, can help children to feel better when they are feeling anxious.
At Think Happy Live Healthy, anxiety is one of the most common referral concerns we receive for both children and adult clients. Anxiety is a treatable condition and we have specialists who can help.
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