Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Stopping anxiety in its tracks

Posted at 7:37 AM, May 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-30 07:37:39-04

NAPLES, Fla. — If you're someone who deals with anxiety, it can be overwhelming. Fox 4 talked to the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health in Naples about ways to stop anxiety in its tracks.

"{Anxiety} can feel like it's a medical situation. Sometimes our stomach might ache to the point where we think ‘Do I have food poisoning?' Sometimes there's major headaches, migraines. There could be kind of like a cold sweat, there could be a feeling of 'I'm dizzy, or I might faint,'" Jessica Liria, the Centers' Community Outreach Specialist, said.

When you add in the racing negative thoughts, anxiety can really snowball. Liria said it's our body's way of letting us know when we feel threatened or something's wrong.

"We have to allow our brain to overcome what our body's trying to tell us so that we can really believe that we're not in danger, were able to get through this," she said.

But she said there are ways to stop anxiety in its tracks. Liria said If you're feeling anxious, try to bring yourself back to the present.

“Anxiety is very deep rooted in that fear. And so sometimes it's fear of what's to come. It's very future-oriented and future-thinking. Bring yourself back to that present moment. Bring yourself back to what's happening now. 'Where do I need to go?' 'What do I need to do in this moment?' Now, not next week, not next month, because if I'm thinking too far ahead, then of course, I'm overwhelming myself," Liria said.

She said make yourself a to-do list, and prioritize those task.

Liria also said to focus on what you can control.

“When we feel a lot of anxiety for those things that are so beyond us, so above us, world challenges, country challenges, things that just we want to care about, but should not consume our emotions, and consume our ability to focus on those things that are in our present day," Liria said.

She says another way to manage anxiety is meditation.

“It's taking that 5-10 minutes to just close our eyes, be at peace with ourselves in a very quiet area. Sometimes it's those deep breathing techniques, and those can be done anywhere at any time," she said.

Not only does meditating calm your mind, but also your body.

"When we feel stress or anxiety, our body feels that. We feel our muscles kind of tense up. And so take that moment to focus on every muscle group, relax those muscle groups, count to ten as you relax them, feel it from head to toe," she said.

Liria also said to try guided imagery.

"So thinking in your mind of a place that's really pleasant, and focusing on your senses in that place. So maybe it's the beach. Close your eyes, kind of think about the beach. What can you hear? What can you see? What can you smell? Bring you into a moment of peace, of calmness and relate back to that presence," she said.