Some of the strategies you’re using to reduce your anxiety might actually perpetuate and heighten it instead.
Kathryn Tristan, author of the forthcoming book Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living (available December 4, 2012), reveals three common tactics that can backfire.
Q: What are some anti-anxiety strategies that actually don’t work?
A: Often people use three common coping strategies that do more harm than good. In a nutshell, these are pills, booze, or avoidance.
Scientific studies suggest that 1 out of 2 people in the U.S. will suffer at some time in their life from anxiety, depression, or addiction. That means you, me, someone in our family, a friend, etc., is currently or will be dealing with one of more of these life-altering issues.
It all begins with how we worry and handle our challenges and stresses. Worry is at the nucleus, the core, and the heart of these very serious and debilitating problems. We don’t handle worry productively or even realize how we can help ourselves.
Pills: Medications can be a wonderful asset. Drug companies spend billions in research to develop medications that can provide therapeutic help. The problem is relying on them and not solving the problems and stresses that seeded the need for them. Medications may or may not work. They also may be addicting or have side effects.
Booze: Having a glass of wine with a meal, or a beer with a pizza can be very enjoyable. But if you are guzzling four martinis every evening to feel better, you are creating more problems than you are solving.
Avoidance: Avoiding or ignoring problems can be a coping strategy that allows one time in order to derive some clarity. But often when we begin to avoid things that we fear, the circle of fear enlarges and can quickly shrink our comfort zone. Without solving the problem in some way, storms remain on the radar ready to downpour on a moment’s notice.
As always, balance is the key.
Learn more about Tristan and her upcoming book at her website.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Sep 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Tartakovsky, M. (2012). 3 Anti-Anxiety Strategies That Actually Don’t Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/09/04/3-anti-anxiety-strategies-that-actually-dont-work/