When it comes to anxiety, we tend to over estimate risk, and under estimate our ability to cope. But anxiety doesn't have to win. Please take a moment, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back, because the fact that you are reading this right now indicates that you don't want your anxiety to overwhelm you. You want to take charge of your anxiety. So take out a pen and paper and let's get started.
Looking at the Risk / Resource Model, we can reduce our anxiety if we are better prepared to address our worries. Creating a plan to deal with the perceived worry or threat is a great example of how to bring forth the tools and skills you already have to cope with uncertainty. Tracking your anxiety triggers and responses is key here, remember anxiety doesn’t like evidence.
On scale if 1-10, how is your anxiety now?
You’ll want to get clear on what exactly you’re worried about. Are your worries rational or irrational? If rational, create a realistic plan to conquer your worries. If irrational, think about a time you’ve been through an uncertain time. How did you cope? What did you do? What could you do differently? Is there another way to look at your situation? Is the way you're currently viewing your situation benefiting you in any way? Would it benefit you to look at it differently?
Now that you’ve got some prompts, think about what you could do if your worst case scenario happens? What would you do then? What is the best case scenario? What would you do then? What is most likely to happen next? What would be the benefit if you changed the way you viewed the problem?
Now that you’ve worked though the model a little bit, ask yourself again... On scale of 1-10, how is your anxiety now?
Even a small reduction is evidence that supports the reduction of an anxious response! Check in with yourself often, especially when you start to feel the physiological signs that anxiety is trying to take over. For more on recognizing these signs, read my blog What does anxiety look like? Recognizing the signs and taking control.