Youth Alternatives: Dealing with anxiety

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - In our bi-weekly series with Youth Alternatives Dick Berry stopped by to talk about dealing with anxiety.

Given what’s happening in the world, we are worried and anxious about a lot of things. Of course it is also popular to “go to the worst case scenario,” thereby creating the most amount of possible anxiety. Parents and kids are all anxious. There are enough panic attacks to go around for everyone. Here are tips for dealing with anxiety. Try these tips and then use them to help your kids.

-Move toward your anxiety, rather than away from it.
When scared or anxious, moving away from the situation automatically reduces anxiety, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem. Unless it is an immediate safety issue, stand your ground and try to understand why you are so anxious.

-Gather as much information as you can get.
Many people can’t identify the source of their anxiety. That’s because anxiety’s flight is much like a butterfly’s: here, there, and back. It tends to be here and gone. Start with what you know. What was the last thing you can remember thinking before the anxiety took over? Don’t judge what you were thinking, just remember it. Example: Remember seeing a lady ahead of you at grocery store give the checker some cash and panic attack. Remember seeing a kid walking by himself a long way down the street and panic attack.

-Identify specific issues of concern
Cash Issue: why would that cause you anxiety? You just lost your job and you worry that you won’t have enough money to pay for groceries. Walk issue: he is worried he will be walking by himself if he doesn’t pass his drivers license test. Anxiety usually isn’t random. It is attached to something. Figuring out what that is reduces your anxiety.

-Make a plan for dealing successfully with those issues.
Make a plan using your strengths and the resources you have available. Implement your plan. Making and following a plan reduces your anxiety.