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Easing anxiety: How you can help reduce stress and better handle difficult situations

Warding off anxiety (Pt. 1)
Warding off anxiety (Pt. 1) 02:34

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- You can't really call it an epidemic, but anxiety is running at such high levels that therapists are booked solid currently -- but not all stress is caused by big things. Often it's the momentary stress that can up to a big effect.

KDKA's John Shumway is looking into what causes micro-transition anxiety -- a fancy term for stress and anxiety that we can anticipate and do something about.

These type of situations occur often, when transitioning from the calm of your day to something unsettling.

Whether it is surrounding something like a vacation ending and needing to go back to work, or anxiety spiking while encountering someone at work or in your family, certain thoughts can cause discomfort or worry. 

It's not like you go looking to increase your anxiety, but with so many thoughts bouncing around your head, it's easy for anxiety to ramp up quickly.

The anxiety can be psychologically hijacking, but also physical.

It can cause blood pressure spikes, can make your heart race, and can cause muscle tension around your neck, shoulders, chest, or abdomen. 

Warding off anxiety (Pt. 2) 02:40

Therapy is all about stepping back and assessing what's going on and how to handle it, and experts say everyone needs to learn how to do that in the moment. 

Even simple things like taking deep, cleansing breaths for as short as two minutes can help you calm down.

Sometimes anxiety can be brought on by difficult interactions with people at work or at home, but if you know it's coming, you can ask yourself how you can see your way through the situation.

Other times, anxiety can be brought on by having so much to do personally and professionally.

Experts say moments of anxiety are a build-up of past experiences that need filtered out.

Ultimately, experts say that these anxious moments are treatable.

A lot of this boils down to thinking ahead, realizing what's going to be an issue, and making a mental plan to avoid it. That can go a long way towards preventing the anxiety in the first place.

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