As with all things mental health, anxiety is highly individualized, with many symptoms and aspects of the condition existing on a spectrum. The treatment and management of anxiety must be highly individualized as well.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this. And who better to rely on for anxiety tips and tricks than therapists who have anxiety themselves?
“Despite being a therapist that specializes in anxiety, I have certainly experienced my own anxiety from time to time and am no superhuman,” Ashley L. Annestedt, a cognitive behavioral therapist and social worker who works with clients across the country, told HuffPost.
We asked a variety of psychological and emotional health professionals what steps they take when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Because even the mental health experts need a little help sometimes.
1. They accept the fact that they’re anxious.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to quell your anxiety is to acknowledge and embrace that it’s happening in the first place, said Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist and author of “Struggle Well Live Well: 60 Ways to Navigate Life’s Good, Bad, and In-Between.”
“Once I came to terms with the fact that I had an active mind — one that sometimes disrupted my sleep and time with my family — I’ve done a much better job of managing it,” Gilliland said.
2. They give themselves a mini pep talk.
Gilliland said he also uses two phrases when he feels anxiety coming on: “Not now,” which helps him push away stressors and brings him back to the present moment, and “Yes, you can,” which he got from a yoga class.
“When I thought I was going to die or tear something, the instructor said, ‘Yes, you can,’” Gilliland said. “When I start worrying that I can’t manage a case or not sure if I can do something, it’s my favorite statement that keeps me going.”