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Psychiatrists give tips on dealing with anxiety

It is not uncommon for those suffering from anxiety attacks to be especially vulnerable during winter and during the holiday season. In December, we see our days shortened to an annual low, combined with less than ideal weather that winter often brings north New Jersey, and of course the stresses of the holidays - are the in laws coming to stay over? What will that wacky uncle do or say this year? Did I buy all the presents I need for my family and friends? How can I possibly schedule in the various parties and events that everyone invites me to?

Things do not necessarily get better in January either. It's still dark and cold; yes the parties are fewer, but now the bills start rolling in and you need to pay for those nights out and all the presents you bought and that trip you went on. It can seem overwhelming. And incredibly stressful.

There may be ways to cope however. Here are some tips: If you find yourself stressing out over something at just the wrong time, establish what is called "worry scheduling." Don't let the stresses take over while you are sitting down trying to relax and watch a movie, postpone the stress to a more appropriate time when it can be properly addressed.

Another good idea is to rank each stress. Not all anxieties are created equal. If you begin stressing over something, determine whether it is really important and worth stressing over. If it can wait or be put on hold or on delay or addressed at another time, try to shift your focus on more important things. If it is a big task you need to take on, don't let the totality of the task overwhelm you; break it into smaller parts. This is a common philosophy for novelists, and the analogy is appropriate here. Don't worry about having to write a 100,000 word 400 page novel, break it down. Forty 10 page chapters, 3 paragraphs per page, 5 sentences per paragraph, 10 words per sentence. One sentence at a time appears far less daunting than the 400 great American novel the novelist intends to write.

If you are suffering from anxiety attacks and it prohibits you from working, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits for anxiety disorders, which are among the qualified mental conditions for Social Security disability benefits. Although the programs are not designed to fully cover expenses related to your mental condition, they may help resolve some of your anxiety by providing some form of financial relief.

Source: Huffington Post, "7 Psychiatrist-Backed Tips To Help You Manage Anxiety," By Allison Fox, Jan. 2, 2017

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