Self-Help for Anxiety

how-does-anxiety-feelIntrusive, persistent or obsessive thoughts, worrying, insomnia, catching one’s self lost in negative, unproductive or hypothetical conversations about how to handle an upcoming situation or “should haves” for those incidents long since past, fear and panic attacks, flashbacks to traumatic events in life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a growing need for perfection, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and so on. If any of this sounds familiar, you may have anxiety or even an anxiety disorder – largely under diagnosed in patients with multiple sclerosis.

There is good news!  Self-help websites are filled with ideas for relieving anxiety. Personally, I use the following techniques to keep calm in the storms of life, to ward off insomnia and to control unwanted thoughts.

1 – Deep breathing – breathe in through the nose for five seconds, breathe out through the mouth for seven seconds, pause for one second, repeat five times

2 – Mindfulness – be in the present using the five senses – feel the air on my face, socks on my feet, blanket in my hand, smell the bread baking, move my toes, see the color of the grass, hear the guitar solo in a song – anything that refocuses me to the present

3 – Writing – expressing one’s self in writing allows us to be private and gives us the ability to delete or destroy the document when we have processed issues causing anxiety

4 – Refocusing – changing my activity or becoming busy with something or someone

5 – Talk It Out – sharing the source of my anxiety, sometimes we just need someone to lend an ear because not all of our problems have ready solutions

Happiness is a choice. I chose to be happy. Happiness requires dedication and work during times of trial and reminders from myself and those around me when I get lost in the struggles we face day-to-day. Using anxiety relieving techniques helps me to achieve my goal of living a happy life.

For further information read, “12 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder” by Health –,,20646990,00.html.

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About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.