Three Ways to Deal With Anxiety: Stop, Drop and Roll

We all get anxious sometimes. Anxiety is actually meant to protect us. for example when we cross the street and a car comes screaming past, we very quickly jump away. In the same way anxiety can makes us worry a bit before a big exam. This pushes us to really buckle down and study, increasing our chances of getting a better grade. However when anxiety gets to be extreme, it can hurt us instead of help us. Cause us to freeze instead of jump away and to avoid instead of study.

Three things that you can do when fiery emotions get too high is to Stop, Drop and Roll. Stop and notice what is happening inside and out side of yourself. “I notice that I’m getting agitated, My leg is shaking, I have a lot of worry thoughts”.  Next you can Drop in and use some chill skills. Breathe…. not forced or pushed, just gently in through your nose to the count of 4 or 5 and out through your mouth gently until all the way empty to the count of 7 or 8. Repeat this slowly several times. Next, you can Drop in on your thoughts “I’m so stupid, why bother studying. I will never pass this test”. Replace self judgments with compassion as you would if you were encouraging a dear friend. ” If you prepare tonight you will do better on the exam tomorrow, you got this!”.  Next Roll with it, doing what needs to be done, even if we don’t feel like it. We also try to be more flexible in our problem solving, coming with several logical solutions and choosing the best one.

So the next time that you feel anxious remember to Stop, Drop and Roll. This can help you to be less anxious and ultimately more effective in your daily life.

Dawn Catucci, MS Ed,P.D. LMHC Mental Health Counseling for  Emotional Well-Being PLLC, Diplomate Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Certified Cognitive Therapist

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