Monday, April 20, 2009

Behavior Modification

Posted by Terry McNichols

In talking to my father about his current state of mind, I have returned to my counseling roots and started to talk about behavior modification. My father was having a difficult time with his memory of some of the things that occurred post surgery and I was remembering some of the behavior modification techniques that I have taught in the past. One such technique is to put a rubber band around your wrist and snap yourself whenever you have a thought you would rather not have. What follows is a list of ten ways to combat anxiety that I am reprinting from a prior list at an anxiety website on ten ways to cope with anxiety, that I found in the past.
1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are frightening, they are neither dangerous nor harmful.
2. Understand that what you're experiencing is merely an exaggeration of your normal reactions to stress.
3. Don't fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more willing you are to face them, the less intense they will become.
4. Don't add to your panic by thinking about what might happen. If you find yourself wondering, "What if?" tell yourself, "So what!"
5. Stay in the present. Notice what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get.
6. Label your fear level from zero to 10 and watch it go up and down. Notice that it doesn't stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
7. When you find yourself thinking about fear, focus on and perform some simple, manageable task.
8. Notice that when you stop thinking frightening thoughts, your anxiety fades.
9. When fear comes, accept it—don't fight it. Wait and give it time to pass.
10.Be proud of the progress you've made. Think about how good you will feel when the anxiety has passed and you are in total control and at peace.
(Photo by xandroid, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great list of ways to cope with anxiety. I am printing them to give copies to my daughter who is at a new job with lots of anxiety. Copy for me and my co-workers, also.