As a primary emergency emotion signaling danger, anxiety is essential for our survival. However, inherited factors and life experiences can cause anxiety to dominate a person’s emotional landscape. For example, children raised in abusive dysfunctional families with chronic parental fights and alcohol/drug abuse may experience anxiety much of the time and have difficulty relaxing. Such people are prone to abusing drugs and alcohol later in life and to may fall prey to numerous other addictions. Learning to moderate anxiety is the key to overcoming many obstacles to peace of mind.

Are You Anxious? – What event are you reacting to?

Rate how much real danger you are in from 1 – 10? _______

Is your response proportionate to the danger?  yes or no

If exaggerated, use the following procedure:

Repeat the following in a stern inner voice:

            I will not faint.  I will not die.  I will not lose my mind.

            I can cope with these feelings and other symptoms.

            I need to trigger the Calming Response.

Calming Response:

Gently inhale through your nose and fill your lower lungs. (Push your tummy out.)  As you breathe out calmly say in your mind; “Relax, I can handle this.” Repeat this 10 times until your breathing is under control.  (Feeling a bit faint is not abnormal when you do this.)

Focus your complete attention on the next task you need to accomplish. Practice this daily before you are anxious or have a panic attack.

Printable Anxiety Tracking Form

The Calming Response may be combined with a statement of truth to reduce negative feelings by common irritants. For example, if you are often irritated by:

Poor drivers - state the obvious truth e.g. “some people drive poorly,” practice the Calming Response and then focus on YOUR driving.  Signal properly, keep a safe distance, and match the speed limit etc.  

Lazy co-workers – “some people have no pride in their work; too bad they’re missing a perfect source of self-esteem…” 

Poor manners – “some people are neglected by their parents…”

Tardy People – “some people just can’t organize themselves…”

Messy People – “I’m glad I’m more organized…”

Internet Resources

To determine if you have an anxiety disorder check here: Anxiety Disorders Association of America – self tests

Explore Relaxation Techniques

Anxiety Disorder Toolkit – a fantastic resource!

Recommended Books

It makes no   sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about  things you don't   control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.
Wayne Dyer
There seemed to be endless obstacles... it seemed that the root cause of them all was fear.
Joanna Field
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  LeoBuscaglia

Photo girl jumping off a ship