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Creating a Toolbox for Anxiety (Continued #3)

by: Marie Hartzel, LPC, LCADC, ACS

The New Year is here and typically when people re-evaluate their lives and choices. Some typical ones are to make improvements. A great opportunity to also add to one’s toolbox. Here are some that are helpful for anxiety and for overall well-being.

Daily exercise

Subjecting your body to regular exercise relieves mental stress as it lowers your body’s stress hormones. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers to your brain which may improve your mood. Whether it’s yoga, boxing, or running, try to engage in a daily exercise routine that you really enjoy.

Positive Self-Talk

Another method to manage stress and anxiety involves positive verbal messaging. Start by using a two syllable word or two word phrase that will generate calm. Here are some examples of positive self-talk:

“I’m okay.”

“It’s okay.”

“I’m calm.”

“Be calm.”

“Be awesome.”

“Just be.”




Make sure that you use a word or phrase that you are comfortable with. Once you select your phrase or word, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds while reciting the first word or syllable. Hold your breath 7 seconds and release your breath for 8 seconds when saying the second word or syllable.

Keep checking in regularly and more will be posted that you can add to that toolbox. Just remember that these tools need to be practiced in order to be effective. Don’t get discouraged, keep trying and adding different tools.

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