Michigan Family Institute Newsletter
March 2013
What We Do     Specialty Services     Staff     Contact     mifamilytherapy.com     248-593-4784
In This Issue
IMPROVING ANXIETY IS SIMPLER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
COPING WITH CHANGE
 

BOOKS 
 

(Guilford Press 1996)
Jerome A. Price
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(Impact Publications 2011)
Margerum J, Price J, and Windell J 
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(Impact Publications 2007) 
Gaulier B, Margerum J, Price J, Windell J 

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(Zeig-Tucker Publications 2003) Price J, Margerum  J 

SPEAKERS' BUREAU 


As a courtesy to the many trusted professionals who refer to us, we offer presentations for staff development and for parents in schools or treatment programs at no charge.
Subjects are many and varied and can be coordinated with your program's needs.

Just call or email us




Let us know which of the following groups would be helpful to you and your clients.

  • TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR DIVORCE
  • TUNE UP YOUR MARRIAGE: It's not that bad but could be better. 
  • THE RIGHT TO BE THE GROWNUP: Helping Parents Be Parents to Their Difficult Teens  
  • ANGER MANAGEMENT
  • HELPING TEENS NAVIGATE DIVORCES
  • THE TRUTH ABOUT DEPRESSION

Please call or email us with your preferences or with other subjects you'd like us to speak on or do groups for. We're interested in what will best meet the needs of you and your clients.

info@mifamilytherapy.com




IMPROVING ANXIETY IS SIMPLER THAT YOU MIGHT THINK

Jerome A. Price, MA, LMFT, LMSW

 

     Everyone experiences anxiety. You might experience anxiety as fear, worry, tension or general irritability. The first step to improving anxiety is to become aware of what it feels like so that you can take steps to reduce it.

      Why reduce it rather than eliminate it? We were designed to have anxiety and fear. Anxiety tells us that something is happening that we need to respond to. Without it we wouldn't feel urgency to get something done, pay a bill or operate within the laws. We wouldn't even drive defensively. Therefore, we don't want to eliminate it. We just want to tone it down enough so that we can hear it but not be made miserable by it.  

     The easiest way to recognize anxiety is to explore where you feel it. Is it the fearful and panicky thoughts that some of us experience? Might the sensation be more in your body? Do your nerves jangle like there's electricity running through them? Do you get a fluttering in your stomach or a funny feeling behind your eyes? The sensations of anxiety can be unique for every individual.  

     Once you identify when anxiety is happening and how it feels the next step it to notice it. I know many of us automatically notice it, but we also react to it. Once you can notice that it's happening you can also notice what you're thinking about it.  Most people are kind of freaked out by it and that raises the anxiety even higher.

     What are the actual words you say to yourself when you're anxious. Are you thinking thoughts that comfort you or thoughts that make you feel worse? The simplest antidote to anxiety is to, over time, practice choosing thoughts that are comforting and reassuring such as, "This feels bad but it's going to pass," rather than, "What's wrong with me that I can't control this anxiety?"

     When anxiety is more severe it may not respond to such a simple straightforward approach. Controlling anxiety might require a combination of actions such as the above approach as well as aerobic exercise, yoga, tai chi, meditation or neurobiofeedback.  

     The best solutions usually change the anxiety over time as you address it in more than one way. You might not feel less anxious this moment, but don't give up. Reducing anxiety requires some dedication to changing your views of the world, your ways of solving problems and the activities you choose in your spare time. 

  

  COPING WITH CHANGE 

                                              

    Judith Margerum Ph.D.

                            

         Change is a part of daily life whether we like it or not. Everyone is aware that negative events (death, loss of job, divorce) are stressful.   Good changes (marriage, getting a new job, having a baby) are stressful as well. Even if you do not have major changes such as these there are daily changes at work, with your children, traffic or health. Some people can "go with the flow" but others get stressed by changes in routine, habit or expectations. Many of us are creatures of habit because it simplifies our lives. When you find that the cornflakes which you eat every day are gone it can throw off the entire day, especially if there are many other changes going on in your life!

       Learning to cope with change will improve your health, happiness and competence at work and relationships. First identify the changes in your life (big and small) and make a list. Divide the list into changes that bother you and those that truly do not bother you. Everyone is different so don't say it doesn't bother you because you think it shouldn't.

       Second, note whether you have control over these changes. Do you have control over a traffic accident? Getting out of the house late? Your job description changing? If you have any amount of control you might develop a plan of action or you might decide you don't care enough to do anything about it or you might choose not to take action.

     If you have no control over it you might decide to move on to changing your cognitions. You can be angry and frustrated or you can find an alternative and more positive way to think about the change in your job. The words you say to yourself and others color how you cope. Change can be seen as "An opportunity for growth" or that "Life is unfair.". You can be "trapped" in a job or be "lucky to have a good paying job" while you have time to look for other opportunities. Try reframing a few scenarios and see how differently you feel just by changing your cognition.

   Even changing our cognitions may not be enough to overcome a high level of change and stress in life. The greater the changes in life the more important it is to maintain healthy eating, sleep, relaxation and exercise habits to reduce the physical impact of stress. Make sure that you have a hobby or activity that totally absorbs you. Don't hesitate to get support from family, friends or a professional. An outside perspective or support could be the nudge you need.

 


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MICHIGAN FAMILY INSTITUTE, PC
30233 Southfield Road Suite 109
Southfield, Michigan  48076
248-593-4784