Tips on Reducing Anxiety

Troy Todd, PhD, BCN

The more control you have of your “inner world” (yourself, your body, your thoughts) the less anxiety you will have. People try to control their “external world” (people around them, outcomes, etc.) to feel in control but this is inherently flawed because they cannot ultimately control these things and are likely still out of control inside. They choose this route partially because the results are easily observable (e.g.: good grades, a friend doing what they want, etc.) and it is hard to discern results from controlling the inner world (e.g.: feeling more calm than a few minutes ago)

You cannot eliminate anxious situations from you life. Instead, focus on alternating between potentially anxious situations (e.g.: work) and calming activities (e.g.: hobbies). This will help balance out the experience for an overall less-anxious life. Many people try to do all the high-anxiety things at once and much later do the relaxing things (such as during the weekends or an annual vacation) this method provides too long of a cycle and is experienced as a life of high anxiety with ineffective efforts to reduce anxiety overall.