Various self help techniques may be used in overcoming anxiety. Each person has to decide for themself which are the most appropriate in their own particular circumstances. What some people find works for them may not work for others - there are no hard and fast rules.
It's important to do what feels good
Although the mechanisms behind anxiety - the survival instinct and the arousal system - are basically the same for everyone, the ways in which we each interpret our own anxiety responses in different circumstances is personal to each of us.
Therefore I suggest that you read through the various self help techniques described here and consider which you feel drawn to and which you may be less enthusiastic about.
There's no point trying to make yourself follow a system which you don't believe will be helpful since in your own mind you will have already decided it won't work.
On the other hand, all the techniques described here have been found helpful by some at the very least.
Each of these techniques will work but only those which you feel drawn to will work for you, so start with them.
Practice makes perfect
The methods described on the pages in this section are each a form of skilled behaviour. As with any other skill, they require practice before anyone can hope to perform them efficiently.
For that reason it is suggested that you practise just the technique alone when you are not feeling anxious. This will enable you to learn how to do it easily and effortlessly when you are not under pressure.
Only when you have mastered a technique when feeling calm or neutral can you hope to be able to use it effectively when the chips are down.
Too many people make the mistake of being introduced to a new technique and then trying to apply it during a bad anxiety attack. This often fails to work so they then assume the technique doesn't work.
That is not the case.
You must practise a technique first and become used to using it before you can expect it to work in more severe circumstances. After all, it must be strong enough to overrule your survival instinct!
You must first learn the technique and be able to use it without having to think too much about it.
The techniques fall into three categories.
Self help techniques to use when anxious
These are skills to use to stop anxieties from increasing in a particular situation.
For example, you might use one of these, or a combination of them, to head off a panic attack. if you have a phobia you might use one or more of these when confronted by what you fear.
Once learnt, these skills can be helpful when you are actually experiencing raised negative arousal (anxiety) about something.
2. Techniques for generally feeling calmer
The second category are those techniques which, if practised regularly, can reduce your general arousal level and make you less susceptible to anxiety in general.
3. General Feelgood Techniques
Finally there are some things which are enjoyable to do. Anything pleasurable that we do regularly will reduce our general anxiety levels and make us feel more positive.
Return to overview of overcoming anxiety the Feelgood Way