Check out the library at any university or the coffee shops surrounding them right now and you’ll see college students cramming for exams. No doubt thick textbooks are open to pages showing complicated formulas and equations which explain and provide a framework for solving scientific problems. While most of us are probably not interested in these formulas (apologies to all our past science and math teachers), we would do well to consider some equations which explain and provide a framework for solving the everyday problems of dealing with anxiety.
Author and therapist Robin Shapiro suggests 3 equations to consider regarding anxiety.
ANXIETY ≠ DANGER
FEARS ≠ REALITY
SENSATIONS ≠ ILLNESS
Shapiro also has specific suggestions for dealing with anxious thoughts.
1.Notice the anxiety in your body.
3.Breathe into your belly.
4.Look around and notice that you are physically safe.
5.Use relaxation tools.
6.Re-examine the thoughts as thoughts.
Those who deal with anxiety do so not only in school but in all the phases and stages of life. If you would like help with anxiety or any other life issues that seem particularly big or challenging, counselors at The Refuge Center would love to help. Please call 615-591-5262 or visit refugecenter.org for more information about our services.
Source: Visual Aids for Psychotherapy: Tools You Can Use by Robin Shapiro, LICSW