Are you more and more controlled by the "what if?" Do you identify yourself as an "anxious person?" Not sure how to get out of the grips of anxiety? Join us for Anxiety 101! Over the next four weeks, we will learn the basics of Anxiety while also identifying Cognitive Behavioral skills to use when anxiety is "tricking your mind and body."
Randy Floyd, LSCSW, Founder, Clinical Level Therapist
Randy is the founder of Midwest Anxiety. He is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker who is an optimist and passionate about helping people focus on what they can do rather than what they can't do. Randy believes that building a strong therapeutic relationship and tapping into a person's strengths are the most essential components of the therapeutic experience. Randy is passionate about changing the way we do mental health. He is focused on making mental health normal, a positive experience. He is also adamant about doing mental health differently. Randy believes the "old ways" suggest mental health is for the "broken" or "mentally ill." Randy believes that "Everyone Struggles." Sure. Some people struggle more than others, but everyone struggles with something. With this belief, Randy is focused on providing a wide range of programs and services to help people be mentally well ;) Go give Randy a fist bump on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
4 WEEK CLASS
Week 1: We will discuss the basics of anxiety. What is the role of anxiety? What are the two most important concepts to win the "anxiety game?"
Week 2: Your thoughts can either accelerate or decelerate anxiety. We will discuss "anxiety is neither helpful or hurtful, it is how you think about anxiety that is helpful or hurtful." You will learn a new mindset of managing anxious situations.
Week 3: Anxious feelings @&%#. Many times anxious people will do whatever it takes to avoid the anxious feelings of rapid heart rate, trouble breathing, sweating, and much more. We will talk about how to celebrate the anxious feelings rather than fear the feelings.
Week 4: Avoiding anxiety makes it easier for the short term. But long term, it just keeps coming back. We will discuss how seeking reassurance, accomodations, and avoidance is keeping the anxiety going.
week #1- anxiety likes to play "games" with your mind & Body
Self awareness is the #1 Super skill.
Know your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Zone into the threat, thoughts become negative.
- Difficult to focus on other things other than anxious situation.
- Experience various physiological sensations such as heart palpitations, sweating, headaches, etc.
- Fight, Flight, or Freeze.
- Generally need reassurance, accommodations, or avoidance.
Two things have to happen for you to become less anxious: Be uncomfortable and uncertain.
Podcast obtained from ADAA Podcasts.
Don't Let Anxiety Trick You!
- Make sure you are medically well. This will give you confidence that what you are experiencing is anxiety and not medical.
- Expect to get anxious. Celebrate getting anxious, because that is when the true work happens.
- Get out of the business of asking for reassurance and accommodations to avoid the anxiety.
- Be uncertain and uncomfortable. This will help you build tolerance and skills to anxiety.
- Re-create the symptoms that make you anxious.
- Don't listen to the "what ifs."
- Don't get overwhelmed by the consequences (people looking at you, etc) of being anxious.
week #2- you can think anything at anytime
Are situations positive, negative, or neutral?
Ways People Think That Are Unhelpful to Them
1. ALL OR NONE THINKING
Seeing no middle ground.
Unintentional exaggeration of the frequency of a situation or an inaccurate extrapolation.
3. MENTAL FILTER
Acknowledging only information that is consistent with already-believed thoughts.
4. DISCOUNTING THE POSITIVE
Believing that positive information (that is contrary to your current beliefs)somehow “doesn’t count” as evidence that the situation is better that it had seemed.
5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
Forming an opinion (on which you would act) without knowing the facts.
Exaggerating the importance of something.
7. EMOTIONAL REASONING (GUT THINKING)
Thinking in a certain manner that is heavily influenced by your current mood. Also, believing that your feelings are proof that your thoughts are accurate.
Assigning a name to someone or something and the name does not accurately reflect or describe the person or object.
9. PERSONALIZATION AND BLAME
Mistakenly assigning the cause of something to either yourself or someone else.
10. IRRITATIONAL SHOULD STATEMENTS
Rigid, unbending rules that often have no evidence to support them. Imply belief in magic.
11. CONFUSING NEEDS WITH WANTS
Thinking that you “need” something when in fact you only “want” it. Absolute “needs” to keep us alive are air, food, water, warmth. “How long can I go without this before I die?”
12. CONFUSING “CHOOSING TO” WITH “HAVING TO”
Not realizing that something is a choice rather than a necessity.
13. CAN’T STAND-IT IS
Believing that you cannot withstand or tolerate something when you can.
Thinking something is to terrible, horrible, and/or awful, rather than it being simply “bad”.
15. MAGICAL WORRY
Believing that somehow your worry keeps the feared event from occurring.
16. IRRATIONAL DEFINITIONS
Having a definition of something that usually is not based on fact and insisting that your definition is the only correct way to define it.
17. CONFUSING RELYING WITH DEPENDENCY
Thinking that you need someone’s assistance when in fact you only want it.
18. CONFUSING INABILITY WITH UNWILLINGNESS
Thinking that you cannot do something when in fact you do not do it because you are reluctant.
19. CONFUSING POSSIBILITY WITH PROBABILITY
Usually in the form of taking a remote possibility and making it a distinct probability.
Assigning your own motives or thoughts to someone else, thinking that they must think like you do.
21. BEING UPSET ABOUT AN “IDEA” RATHER THEN THE “FACTS”
Being upset about a circumstance despite the fact that it is the way you want it to be. You are upset because you think that you are supposed to be.
22. NONSENSE ARGUMENTS
Distracting yourself with an obvious statement of fact.
23. IRRITATIONAL HOPELESSNESS/HELPLESSNESS
Believing that your idea that there is no solution to your problem is accurate.
24. TOO MUCH/TOO LITTLE PROBLEM
Believing that the amount of something (an attribute, for example) is responsible for some undesired condition/situation.
25. AMBIVALENT BELIEFS
Usually moralistic. Believing an idea strongly enough to feel badly that you are not acting on it, but not strongly enough to act on it.
Start Thinking Differently
- Think the opposite thought, even if you don't believe it.
- Believe "I can handle whatever happens"
week #3- "PUSH THROUGH" THE FEELINGS
- Be self aware of your "feelings" both emotionally and physically. Use your thoughts to not "feel" anxious. BTW- You don't have to be anxious even if you are supposed to be anxious.
- When you start feeling anxious your body is reacting normally in an abnormal situation. Reacting to false alarm. Fight or Flight.
- Feelings are usually the "show stopper" for alot of people. People generally don't like "feeling this way." Short term consequences vs. long term benefits of avoiding, reassurance, accomodations.
- Embrace, celebrate, be comfortable with being uncomfortable- "Push Through" the feelings. The "Hill" metaphor.
- You are never going to "feel" like doing something that makes you anxious.
- Your body acts the same way if you are anxious and excited.
- How much do you want to do "the work." Passivity to Interoceptive exposures.
- Be proactive vs. reactive- Exercise, mindfulness, yoga, scripture, whatever is your jam......
- Know that life is a long game and that you will "feel" anxious at times.
week #4- Just do
- Lean into the anxiety. If you are not anxious, you are not getting better.
- Limit accomodations, reassurance, and avoidance.
- Gradually expose yourself to situations that have made you anxious.
I get dreadful "white coat syndrome" when I go to the doctor, and it elevates my blood pressure! I just get my self so worked up with the "what if it's too high", that it always ends up being too high. When I had my first kid, it was even elevated to the point that they sent me to the hospital to try and relax and bring it down, which finally it did.
My question is...do you have any advice for how to not be so anxious at the doctor's office? It seems so ridiculous to be 34 years old, and have this crazy anxious nervousness every time I see my doctor.
Need more than a class but not as much as individual therapy? The Monthly Club may just be your jam. With the Monthly Club, you'll get more of an individualized focus than our classes but not as much of a commitment as our individual therapy. As an extension of our classes, the Monthly Club takes what you learned in class and makes it personal to your situation. You'll get access to all our resources and the opportunity to have a one hour per month video call with one of our therapists. If you've taken one of our classes, but not sure you want to jump to individual therapy, try the Monthly Club.
Do you want to connect with other people who may have similar struggles? Wanting some extra resources between classes? Join the Everyone Struggles closed Facebook Group. This is the common place I encourage people to "hang out" between classes to get peer support and extra resources from me. Hope to see you in the Everyone Struggles group soon ;)
We are constantly hosting classes on many different topics. Check out our classes today!
Do you have more questions? We want to listen. Feel free to contact us any time!
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Limits and Restrictions:
The materials distributed are provided with the understanding that the author and presenters are not engaged in rendering professional services. This is a psychoeducational class and information in the presentations or group discussions by the presenters, facilitators, or participants should not be considered to be medical, psychological, legal, financial, or spiritual counsel. The presentations and written materials are not intended to provide medical, psychological, legal, financial, or spiritual services or counseling. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Any opinions, finding, recommendations or conclusions expressed by the author(s) or speaker(s) do not necessarily reflect the views of Midwest Anxiety, LLC.