Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Mental Health Therapist, Nidhi Tewari, shares her 4 steps for performing your own mental health check:
-Connecting with the Inner Experience: We frequently miss the signs that we are experiencing anxiety before it escalates to a place that’s difficult to manage. If we pay close attention to our inner experience, then we will observe cues, including shifts in our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations long before an anxiety attack reaches its peak.
-Identifying the Trigger: We may feel anxious about the transition of doing activities in person, but what specifically makes us anxious about the situation? Is it the risk of exposure to the virus? Is it the fear that our boundaries will be crossed? Do we worry about being in large crowds where everyone isn’t vaccinated? Narrowing down the specific trigger to the anxiety helps us to better understand and cope with the feelings of anxiety.
-Practicing Healthy Coping: When we’re in a state of anxiety, our breathing quickens and our heart rate increases. The brain perceives a threat, and we often prepare to mobilize to minimize the threat’s impact. In an interview, Nidhi can share 5 practical tools to help calm yourself down in moments of anxiety.
-Gradual Exposure: Unfortunately, anxiety gets reinforced and becomes stronger the more that we avoid the situations evoking the anxiety. We can start to gradually expose ourselves to situations that trigger anxiety as a way to make them less overwhelming and to show the brain that the threat isn’t as dangerous as previously thought.
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