Anxiety and Stress Management

How Can I Better Manage My Anxiety?

An amazing 19.1%, or 40 million, American adults battle with anxiety each year. In fact, an anxiety diagnosis is so common, anxiety disorders are now the most common mental health concern in the United States. As of March 2020 (when the pandemic began), 9.7 million Americans were prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. As you can see, anxiety is a common mental health concern to struggle with!   If you have anxiety, what are your options? There are several different approaches you can take to anxiety treatment. First, anxiety that is manageable may be handled with holistic methods at home. Second, anxiety that has elevated beyond your known coping strategies may be brought to a licensed psychotherapist. Third, anxiety that is unmanageable even through holistic and therapeutic methods may benefit from medication management. Anxiety does not necessarily follow these “levels”, either; if you and a psychiatrist discuss medication management before trying anything else, that’s...

Making Friends While Anxious

Let’s face it: making friends is hard for most people. 45% of American adults reported they continually struggle to make friends. Young adults, from ages 18 to 34, were the highest category for reporting making friends was difficult for them. Though there are less studies, making friends can be difficult for children and teenagers, too, with pressures like fitting in to peer groups and the influence of social media just being two barriers to friend-making.   Making friends with no mental health concerns is hard. Making friends with anxiety is even harder. Aside from the traditional struggles everyone faces, those with anxiety may experience: Intense worrying about social situations Isolation from avoidance of social situations Missing responsibilities, such as work or school, from avoidance Physical symptoms such as racing heart, lack of concentration, nausea, and more   Anxiety can make it even harder than normal to make friends due to intense distress over the...

Tips for Parents Dealing with Back to School Blues

Whether you’re sending your little one away for the first time or your adult child is heading to college for their last year, parents everywhere may experience a range of emotions when their child goes to school. It’s completely normal to feel a little sad; after all, school means your baby is growing up! You may feel the opposite - complete relief! - as you finally get a break after dealing with, er, we mean, having the pleasure of being with your child all summer. Fear, happiness, rest, joy, tearful - you’re likely to experience them all. Some parents, however, may feel more anxiety than anything else. In fact, one study estimates that mothers are far more stressed out about kids than going back to school - 63% of moms had the hardest time with back to school time, compared to only 23% of kids! Some of the top causes for...

Journal Prompts: Releasing Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever tried journaling? Chances are, you’ve likely tried to journal in some way - be it tracking your mood, keeping a daily log, or writing about your dreams - at some point in time. However, did you know consistent journaling has several mental health benefits?   Studies have shown that just 15 minutes a day, three days a week has decreased signs of anxiety and depression in as little as three months. Not only does journaling reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, it can also increase awareness - another great skill we talked about in last week’s blog.   If you want to start journaling but have no clue where to begin, try out these 10 journals prompts to release anxiety and stress.   Name a time you didn’t feel anxious. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? Take a silent moment to check in with your body. Where are...

Have Anxiety? Start Meditating!

When you hear “meditation,” what do you think of? Do you picture a wise, old sage, cross-legged with eyes closed? Or do you picture yoga retreats with incense burning? Maybe you have your own frustrations with meditation and are picturing nodding off, battling with concentration, and trying to resist a scratch that you didn’t notice until you started meditating. In all your imagination about meditation, do you picture the benefits, especially for those with anxiety?   Meditation is one of several mind-body exercises that work to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Aside from anxiety, meditation can help with chronic pain, sleep disorders, depression, and headaches. Meditation can help soothe anxiety by increasing our emotional regulation skills, helping you to stay in the present moment, and decreasing physical symptoms like increased heart rate.   If it’s difficult for you to meditate due to your anxiety, try the following tips to establish a consistent, fruitful practice.   Allow Anxious...

Mental Health and the Mind-Body Connection

What do you picture when you hear the word “health''? Chances are, you think of a balanced diet and regular exercise. You may think of other healthy habits, or you may even have an image in your mind of what a “healthy” person looks like. When you think of health, however, do you think of mental health?   Mental health is largely left out of the conversation about a healthy lifestyle. Even when it’s brought in, there is a tendency to simplify mental health to mindfulness, meditation, and mantras. While these things can certainly contribute to a positive outlook, mental health is  much, much more: it’s our coping mechanisms, ability to recover from dysregulation, thought processes, and even our physical health.   Physical and mental health are deeply connected. Have you ever felt out of breath, like your heart is racing, fatigued, and nauseous, but you weren’t otherwise sick? This happens to be one of the tell-tale physical...

Rates of Anxiety in the LGBTQIA+ Community

As June rolls around, we feel more inclined than ever to honor our LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month.  Pride originated to honor the Stonewall riots, to celebrate our original Queer trailblazers, and to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights.  Just one of the numerous barriers to our LGBTQIA+ community is the rate of mental health disorders as well as access to culturally-competent care.   In the Queer community alone, almost 5.8 million folx report being diagnosed with a mental health disorder.  Between 30 percent and 60 percent of LGBT people report struggling with anxiety or depression.  These rates are higher than those of hetereosexual and cisegender folx. Yet, there is still a startling lack of gender and sexuality affirming healthcare across the United States.   If you’re wondering where the disparity between non-LGBT and LGBT rates of mental health issues come in, consider these three factors impacting anxiety in the LGBTQIA+ community:   Lack of Support At Home: In one study by the Trevor Project, it was found that LGBTQ+...

Straight Up Guide To Quickly Reducing Stress and Anxiety

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.   Tip #1: Think of at least 1 thing you are grateful for in life currently. Spend one minute bringing this thing, person, or experience to mind and allow yourself to embrace the sense of gratitude and other pleasant emotions that arise. You can repeat this exercise with other positive experiences like peace, joy, and love by remembering the last time you experienced those feelings, and recalling the details of the experience to “re-live” the moment for a few minutes.     Tip #2: Give your breath some focused attention. Try directing your attention to the rising and falling of your chest and belly as you breathe. No need to...