Anxiety is notorious for feeding off of our uneasiness and fears. It tends
to catastrophize the past and/or future events, leaving us with an out-of-control
experience that is disconnected from the present moment. The key to combating
debilitating anxiety is to use methods and means that help connect us
in the here-and-now versus future/past thinking.
Treating anxiety should not be confused with
curing anxiety. Anxiety has is a biological component to our survival as a species.
It is impossible to rid our bodies and minds of it; however, it can be
managed in a way that is safe, healthy and experienced without debilitation.
There are psychological and behavioral ways to reduce anxiety that anyone
can access at any time. And the best part – there are no side effects
to using any of these methods! Here are three tips to help:
Reduce or eliminate time spent on social media and the internet. I know what you are thinking, “How would I read these tips if I
weren’t on the internet?” Fair point. However, when someone
is in anxious state of mind, prolonged exposure to the internet can actually
increase that anxiety. Avoid negative Facebook postings or news stories for a minimum
of 24 hours. Or if you truly need exposure to political news or the latest
Kardashian drama, check the headlines in the morning and shut it down
for the rest of the day.
Engage in human touch. A 2011 article on CNN.com reported that simply holding hands with someone
can produce a calming response. Whether it is holding hands with someone,
a massage, or just a plain ol’ hug, the act of a simple touch “can
lower blood pressure and heart rate…not to mention, make your happier
and less anxious.” If you need a “simple touch” when
no one is around, massaging your own hands and wrists can be an effective
way to reduce tension and anxiety.
Being a gratitude practice. Another way to reconnect with the present moment is to engage in a daily
Gratitude Practice. Writing out lists of what and who we are grateful
for NOW can help ground us in the present. Engaging in daily prayers or
meditation with a focus on gratitude can also help manage anxiety in the moment.
Should your anxiety persistent and become unmanageable, consider speaking
with a therapist at
Behavioral Health Services for additional ways to help manage it.
Brian J. Edwards, LMFT, CATC, is a clinical supervisor at
Behavioral Health Services (BHS) at Campbell County Memorial Hospital. BHS provides professional
mental health and substance abuse services to the community through prevention,
education, advocacy and treatment for all ages in the community. Appointments
are available Monday–Friday from 8 am–5 pm. Call 307.688.5000.
Learn more at