Well I promised I would post about my new therapist I saw for anxiety at school so that's what this post is going to be about.
I was really kind of nervous going to see her because she's a therapist on campus through student health services and for some reason that made me nervous. Besides my initial nerves though, it really went well! She is so nice and I really like her so far. She gave me some really good strategies for dealing with my anxiety and sleeping problems such as focusing on deep breathing and focusing on monitoring anxiety provoking thoughts.
I've already tried using some of the strategies she suggested and so far they really help! On Friday I had two tests back to back and I did a lot of practice with the deep breathing she taught me before the tests and while I was talking the tests and it really helped me to feel more relaxed and less anxious overall.
Another neat thing she is having me do is to try to help with my sleeping problem is that before bed I write down three things that happened during the day that I am grateful for. When you do this kind of memory recall it apparently activates the frontal lobe and while the frontal lobe is activated, the part of your brain that creates panic and anxiety (the amygdala) can't be activated simultaneously. I've only tried this a few times, but it's actually been making a difference with helping me sleep so far!
So if you have trouble sleeping due to anxiety or tics or whatever, try this tactic of writing down three things that happened during the day that you are grateful for. It might feel weird at first, but trust me it will help!
Then when you're in bed, try putting your hands on your stomach and pretending there is a balloon in your stomach. When you breathe in and breathe out, you have to feel the balloon in your stomach inflating and deflating slowly and try not to move your chest up and down at all. Count to 4 when you breath in, pause for 2, count to 4 when you breathe out, then pause for two again to make sure your breathing is slow and regular and it will really help!