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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Coping With Anxiety in Highly Stressful Times

Dec 30, 2022 10:01AM ● By Faust Ruggiero

The most important way to help people deal with anxiety is to help them understand that it is a physical condition. It is not who they are, it is what they have. Knowing this, they can begin to understand that, like any other human condition, there is a solution. This helps provide hope, and can help to initiate a functional treatment process.

There are circumstances in which lower levels of anxiety can also be useful. First, it can provide a signal that something is wrong, and that we need to take a step back before we act. Also, anxiety in a more positive form is actually used physically by the body to motivate us to act. It increases neurological functioning, and provides more energy, when necessary. It becomes harmful at higher levels, and when emotionally and intellectually, it attaches to negative energy.

Dealing with anxiety in the short-term, it is first always a good idea to talk to someone. Anxiety causes people to turn inward, and they lose some of the perspective that is necessary to move forward. Talking to someone, especially a professional counselor or psychologist, can establish that necessary perspective, and define the early steps that are necessary in the treatment process. 

Second, it’s also a good idea to arrange a wellness visit with one’s physician. This should not be solely for medicine, but to determine if there are any physical concerns that should be addressed before a treatment program begins.

Everyone’s anxiety is different. Long-term approaches should be implemented with the understanding that anxiety is a physical, emotional and intellectual condition. It works its way through the body, causes a rise in emotions and finally causes the intellect to desperately question how to stop this horrible process—all too often, without success.

With this in mind, a long-term program should include methods to physically decelerate, learning how to keep from reacting emotionally, which always makes the anxiety worse, and teaching the person how to use their intellect in a way that counteracts the effect of the anxiety and embraces new self-empowerment programs.

Faust Ruggiero, M.S. is author of The Fix Your Anxiety Handbook. He is a published research author, clinical trainer and therapist who has worked in settings that have included clinics for deaf children, prisons, nursing homes, substance abuse centers and as the President of the Community Psychological Center in Bangor, Pennsylvania. Connect at