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Don’t Fight Stress and Anxiety

Hope4Families June 16, 2022

It’s important to avoid fighting against your Stress and Anxiety, for example, by tensing up against stress and anxiety symptoms or trying to ‘force’ them to go away. This only creates more muscle tension, which is one of the contributing causes of stress and anxiety in the first place. In her book, Hope and Help for Your Nerves and Peace from Fervous Suffering, Claire Weekes describes a four-step process that many people have found very helpful:

  • Face stress and anxiety symptoms rather than running from them. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t handle this,” you might say, “this will pass… I’ve handled it before and I’ll manage at this time, too.”

  • Accept what your body is going through. Again, don’t fight Stress and Anxiety. Work on adopting an attitude of acceptance. Ideally, learn to observe your body’s state of physiological arousal, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, instead of reacting to it.

  • Float with the ‘wave’ of Stress and Anxiety, instead of forcing your way through it. You might imagine that you are literally riding a wave, moving with the upsurge and gradual fading out of Stress and Anxiety. Realize that it takes only a few minutes for most of the adrenaline produced by Stress and Anxiety to be reabsorbed, so that the worst will be over quickly.

  • Allow time to pass. Realize that the reactions you’re going through are time-limited. Say to yourself, “this will pass,” and engage in some distracting activities such as conversation, moving around, diaphragmatic breathing, or repeating some coping statements until the reaction subsides.