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Tips for Managing Anxiety

Connections, Volume 4, No. 1, Winter 2018 (PDF)

Michael Pollard, LCSW, a member of the clinical staff at St. Luke Consultation Center in St. Louis, Missouri, says an important way to battle panic or rising anxiety is to find practical ways to relax.
He offers the following tips:

  • Slow yourself down. Focus on bringing yourself back to the present moment.
  • Repeat a calming word or phrase – perhaps the name of a loved one or a short prayer.
  • Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing:
    • Put your hand on your stomach and breathe in slowly through your nose – feel your stomach extend against your hand.
    • Exhale through your mouth – feel your stomach muscles draw inward.
    • As you breathe in and out, notice the temperature of the air – feel its coolness as you inhale, its warmth as you exhale.
  • “Ride the wave” of the panic – don’t fight it. Breathe deeply, slow yourself down, be aware it is happening, and know that it will end.
  • Try to objectify the panic and see it as something that is happening to you, not something happening within you.