We have designed the following steps for you, to prepare you to tackle your anxiety and related problem/s in an organized sequence while allowing for maximum flexibility. While some individuals prefer to use the A Session-to-Session MAP Template, the tools outlined in this section, as well as in the Universal Tools, and, Optional Tools sections, may appeal to adults who want to customize their own plan or MAP. Furthermore, you may find that the tools embedded within each step below are best used for individuals with mild-moderate signs of anxiety. If you believe you may have more severe symptoms, or have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or related problem, we recommend treatment with a mental health professional who may be better equipped to assist you.
Step 1: Helping you become an expert on anxiety and related problems
This is a very important first step, as it helps individuals understand what is happening to them when they experience anxiety and other related problems. Learning that the worries and physical feelings you are experiencing have a name -anxiety- and that millions of other people also have anxiety, can be a great relief. Become an expert on anxiety and/or related problems by providing yourself with facts and important information. Please view the following links:
Step 2: Learning about your specific anxiety
Reading and learning about your specific anxiety or related problem can be a relief all by itself. Sometimes understanding there is a name for what one has, and that one is not alone, works wonders. We invite you to review the information outlined on our main page, where anxiety disorders and related problems are described in more detail. If you believe you have more than one problem, consider reading all of the relevant pages first and then decide which one/ones most apply. Alternatively, if you are not sure your symptoms fit into any one category, consider going to ementalhealth.ca At ementalhealth.ca you can use their self-assessment measures to help clarify what type of anxiety or related problem you might have. This knowledge can help you feel more in control of what is happening.
Remember: Knowledge is Power!
Step 3: Creating hope that you can be successful in fighting back against your anxiety and related problems
Please understand that from time to time all adults experience some anxiety about a range of typical situations and life experiences. For example, Will I have enough money to retire? Will s/he laugh if I ask him/her to go out for dinner? What if I feel anxious during the presentation? Having a little worry, some of the time helps us prepare for important things and to be safe. However, you may be struggling to manage the uncertainty of every day find yourself worrying a lot of the time. Unfortunately, life is uncertain and it is impossible to be sure of everything: how the date will turn out, the next big world event, and whether you might get an illness later in life. It can help to think about your fear of uncertainty and the “what ifs…,” like a thermostat that is set too high, pumping out hot air in the middle of summer, or too low pumping out cold air in winter. While we need both hot and cold air, we want the thermostat work correctly. Fortunately, by learning tools to help cope with anxiety and related problems, you can gradually start to face your fears, and reset the thermostat to a comfortable setting.
Remember that anxiety is fairly common, and that you are not the only one who feels this way. While the stigma of mental illness persists, increasing positive media coverage as well as celebrities sharing their own personal stories, is actively reducing this stigma. Do a little research and see if you can find out about a celebrity that might be struggling just like you. Or if possible, ask family members for stories about family or friends who have a mental health condition like you. Learn how these individuals have coped/ are coping successfully, rather than focusing on the negative impact anxiety can have.
Carry on to Universal Tools