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Anxiety Tools

So often in stories characters struggle with anxiety on their own, without the support of therapists, doctors, or psychiatrists. This makes me think that a lot of people in the real world are struggling on their own, without the kind of support that has made such a difference in my own life. Here I am sharing some of my personal tools for dealing with anxiety in the hope that people will understand the sorts of things that are possible with good quality medical help. This is why everyone deserves access to mental health care. And if you are struggling on your own and you have access to mental health care, I hope that you give it a try and keep searching until you find someone who can give the support that you deserve.

For me these tools are also kinda like a diary. I’m writing these tools down to help myself remember them in moments of struggle. In addition, I’m writing them down to help those people who are supporting me during tough moments, so that they have tools that help them feel less powerless and overwhelmed.

Also, for those storytellers out there, I hope that these tools remind you of the importance of showing characters getting medical help for their mental health struggles. Having support doesn’t make the struggles go away, but it does make it easier and it gives people more tools to work with. I’m also really hoping that folks will learn that there is more to medical support than medication and talking about your feelings; there are a number of specific things that people can do to help themselves feel better.

An orange tabby with their face down in their two front paws, which are pulled in tight.

 

 

Tool Sets

These are the tool sets that I am currently writing.

Orienting: The goal of this set of tools is to help the nervous system connect to the present moment. My understanding is that when people are upset, their mind is usually focusing on the past or the future. Helping the nervous system connect to the present helps it calm down. I find that these tools are helpful during stressful moments, but can also can be used at other times to increase calm and relaxation. For example, I often use these to help myself get more sleepy when I’m going to bed.

Calming Down After a Stressful Event: After something stressful occurs, like needing to troubleshoot a computer problem, it feels is like the fear gets trapped inside my body and my mind gets stuck in a fearful place. Even though the stressful event is over, my brain and body aren’t calming down. These are the tools I use to help myself shift to a better place, both physically and mentally.

 

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