Do you ever feel your anxiety increase during the holidays? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, for many it brings higher levels of anxiety.

Why is this you might ask? Anxiety is all about control. When we feel out of control, anxiety begins to increase. Where will I spend the holidays? What should I wear to the party? Will people like me? Where will I be sleeping? Will our family get along this year? Will people like the gifts I get them? What if I can’t leave when I want to? Do any of these thoughts or type of thoughts sound familiar?

It is normal to worry much of the time when living with anxiety. We worry because we do not have control over the outcome of such events. Most of the time our perceived outcome of an event is very much out of proportion with what will actually happen. So how do I stop my constant worry from always reaching worst-case scenario?

Well, the first step is to acknowledge what is happening. You might be wondering if this is how everyone thinks? The answer to that is no. People without anxiety don’t get caught up in the never-ending loop of worry. The reason for this is because their brains process these thoughts naturally. While those who live with anxiety have to do this process “manually”. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your brain. It is just different, and you will just have to learn how to move these thoughts through a process.

First is to acknowledge it. Second, ask yourself “what do I have control over right now?” The answer to this question is you only have control over you. Instead of trying to control the outcome of an event, the goal is to be able to control the anxiety so you are able to handle the event. Finally, learn what coping skills work for you. For example, deep breathing is something you can do wherever you are. Take a breathe in through your nose for the count of four, hold for a count of four, and breathe out through your mouth for a count of four. Do this for a minimum of ten times. Find a positive affirmation that works for you, such as “I can handle this”, to repeat to yourself while you breathe.

You may be saying to yourself, “this sounds really nice, but it’s just not that easy.” You are right, it’s not easy, it takes work. There is no cure for anxiety, but you can learn how to manage your anxiety and live a happy and fulfilling life through anxiety treatment at Counseling Services of Parker. You can learn how to control your anxiety instead of allowing your anxiety control you.

I can help you understand where your anxiety comes from, learn what your triggers are, and how to manage your anxiety. To set up a time please fill out the form on my website or call me @ 720-507-1907.