Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Keeping Anxiety at Bay with Body + Soul

In my family, worrying has always been a way of life. I come from a long line of hand-wringing, what-iffing, end-of-the-world predicting perfectionists.

Since childhood I have dealt with anxiety on various levels, most of them higher than the brief, fleeting worries that are a part of everyone's psyche. At its worst, I found myself struggling with daily panic attacks, which weren't helped by friendly advice to take a warm bath, drink chamomile tea or get more sleep. It took a long trip through the world of cognitive behavioral therapy and psychopharmacology to get me to the point where panic and extreme worry didn't dictate my every move.

Four years after the peak of my panic disorder, I'm thrilled to see the recent focus on the Body + Soul Challenge blog's "Stress-Less" section on managing worry and anxiety before they have a chance to wreak havoc. These blog entries go far beyond the advice that might fix a brief spell of worry, focusing on time-honored techniques that are de riguer in yoga classes and therapists offices everywhere.

For the negative press Martha Stewart has gotten about being a "control freak", I love that the May 1, 2008 Stress-Less entry focuses on the problems being a control freak. It's part of a feature article designed to help readers pinpoint what kind of worrier they are and how to best manage the mental tendencies that lead to each kind of worry.

What kind of worrier am I? All of them, but with a concentration on The Fortune Teller.

While the advice offered for each kind of worrier isn't a replacement for medical care in the cases of a severe anxiety or panic disorder, the tips are good refreshers for those of us who've been through therapy and might need a refresher. They're also astute enough that maybe, for the casual worrier, they might lead to better habits that can prevent more extreme anxiety problems in the future.

1 comment:

Mind Body Shop said...

An occupational therapist works with a patient from the waist up, a physical therapist works with a patient from the waist down, and a recreational therapist works with a patient from the inside out.