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February 27, 2018 6 Comments

Reduce Anxiety by Staying in the Present

Welcome to the first of a three-part series on reducing anxiety. I hope it helps you! As you read, remember:anxiety isn’t our friend.

Here’s another thing about anxiety: it likes towrite stories in our heads that have the worst outcomes. Sound familiar?

Part of the battle of anxiety is recognizing its voice and telling it the truth. This sounds obvious, but it can be hard to apply in the moment. For the next three weeks I’ll be sharing practical ways to help you notice the stories that anxiety writes in your head:


1) Stay in the present

2) Stay away from catastrophic thinking

3) Reduce all or nothing thinking


Stay In The Present

Recently I was checking on my mom’s house. She lives in assisted living and her house is on the market.  Walking inside, I noticed it was very cold. The furnace had stopped working. My heart started beating quickly and a feeling of dread covered my body. I immediately started writing a story in my head.


“I am so stupid. How did I let this happen? What if the judge finds out?

He will think I am incompetent. I won’t be able to care for my mom anymore.”


Can you believe how quickly my thoughts jumped from “the furnace stopped working” to “I won’t be able to care for my mom anymore?”  I immediately began forecasting a disastrous future.

This just proves how quickly anxiety can write a story.

About a minute later, I noticed my thoughts and I started responding to my fears. I took a deep breath and reminded myself tostay in the present.


What is thereality of the situationRIGHT NOW?

Sometimes furnaces stop working.

The malfunction of a furnace doesn’t make ME incompetent.

There are a few things to try before I might need to call someone.

The judge is not going to be notified about this, and even if he were, judges are reasonable people.


Thinking more clearly, I went downstairs to the basement and inspected the furnace. It had written instructions on how to restart it. I followed the directions and it restarted! Relief. Deep breath.


Another factor to be aware of iswhere you get anxious. It’s funny how, in certain places, we are more likely to experience more anxiety. My childhood home can sometimes be a trigger for me. But as I continue to grow in paying attention to my thoughts, I am able to notice the stories I am writing in my head more quickly than I use to.


Don’t judge yourself for the stories that anxiety writes.


If your head is full of stories, know that you are not the only one! Once you are able to notice what is happening, just acknowledge it. Tell yourself something like, “anxiety showed up again as a creative story-teller. That doesn’t make me bad, weird, stupid, crazy, or abnormal. It’s just a part of being human.”


Begin to ask yourself:

 

  • What stories am I writing in my head?
  • What places trigger me?
  • What is true right now?

 


I hope this practical advice helps you this week! Stay in touch for step #2 and how to stay away from catastrophic thinking.

 


6 Responses

Barbara
Barbara

March 01, 2018

Thank you for the articles on anxiety…..the weighted blanket does give me a sense of relaxation I have never before sensed……I never before to have a “tool kit” for my anxiety

Barbara
Barbara

March 01, 2018

Thank you for the articles on anxiety…..the weighted blanket does give me a sense of relaxation I have never before sensed……I never before to have a “tool kit” for my anxiety

Dori
Dori

February 27, 2018

Very wise words..thank you for a very practical way to deal with anxiety.

mary
mary

February 27, 2018

Thank you so very much for your article. Very timely. As we get some years on us the anxiety deepens. Now I have more awareness for others in advancing age also. This time frame of happenings on our planet is sometimes hard for most of us But understanding the limits of our control of outside influences is major factor. We can’t always change what is outside of us. All we can try to change is our own thinking which we need reminders. All of us. Excellent Caring information. Again thank you

Colleen
Colleen

February 27, 2018

Staying in the present I just read this and few words but helped very much thank you

Paul Lee
Paul Lee

February 27, 2018

I sure would like to always live in the present~~~forget the past and take each day as it comes! Scarlett O’Hara said “tomorrow is another day!” Fiddle Dee Dee

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What Blanket Weight Should I Buy?

A general rule when purchasing a weighted blanket is taking your weight and multiplying it by .10, or taking 10% of your body weight. Using that number, follow the chart below to guide you in finding the perfect blanket!

100 - 130 lbs
Quilted Cotton 10 lb
Flannel 10 lb
CoolMax® 15 lb
140 - 170 lbs
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Flannel 15 lb
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Flannel 20 lb
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Fall in between two different weight limits for two blankets? We suggest going with the smaller of the two blanket weights.

Still not sure which size to buy? Most of our customers buy one of the 15-pound blankets.