How Can I Make Anxiety Work for Me? | Psych in 60

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How Can I Make Anxiety Work for Me?

When facing a challenge, our body often activates our stress response. You’ve probably experienced this response when speaking in public or asking for someone’s number. Maybe you felt nauseous, dizzy, or flushed.

The stress response amps up the body to tackle challenges, but this can feel uncomfortable. Our instinct is to run away or shut down. But, instinct doesn’t always help us reach our goals.

Instead, you can make anxiety work FOR you. One way to do this is to reframe anxiety as excitement. Excitement physically feels a lot like anxiety but can help us perform with energy and charisma.

Or, you can try to match your level of physical activity to your level of emotional activity by doing jumping-jacks or push-ups. This creates some relief by establishing congruence between our emotions and our movement.

No matter what, you can always take a breath and exhale slowly, which engages our relaxation response.

Watch other videos in this Psych in 60 series to learn more about anxiety and leave your questions in the comments below!

Click here for more content by Elise Howell, LPCA!

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Elise Howell, LPCA
Elise's passion is to collaborate with teen girls and their families in navigating the unpredictable years of adolescence, and supporting women in cultivating healthy relationships with their whole selves. She engages with clients' strengths to help clients process their stories, build skills to move them towards their goals, and reconnect with what’s most important to them in life. When she is not watching classic romantic comedies, Elise enjoys kayaking, hiking, and beach days with her husband. She loves all things Harry Potter and musical theater.

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