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1001 Tips for Military Families – #439

Anxiety and Desensitization – Tip #439

Anxiety disorders are everywhere in our world and particularly in our military lives.  There is a lot to be anxious about – change, deployments, re-integrations, new communities, school, work, and so on.  I have been working with several students on a program that seems too simple and easy to be effective and yet it is – I believe that this would be effective with every member of your family (regardless of age).  Desensitization activities are significantly impacting our students’ ability to function, move forward positively from an anxious moment and do things that at one time would have paralyzed them and completely derailed their day.  These activities can be done just about everywhere and the idea is not to do them all but find one or two that they are comfortable doing and do them when anxiety is beginning to peak.  Make sure you have a timer as 30-60 seconds is longer than you think!

Desentization Activities:

* Shake your head from side to side for 30seconds

* Lower your head between your legs, then lift it.  Repeat motion for 30 seconds

* Run in place wearing a heavy jacket for 60 seconds

* Run in place for 60 seconds

* Hold your breath for 30 seconds or as long as you can

* Tense major muscles – particularly your abdomen – for 60 seconds or as long as you can

* Spin while you sit in a swivel chair for 60 seconds or a tire swing

* Breathe rapidly for up to 60 seconds

* Breathe through a narrow straw for 120 seconds

* Stare at yourself in a mirror for 90 seconds

* Hang upside down on monkey bars for 30 seconds

* Rub your stomach and pat your head for 60 seconds

* Two inhales through your nose in a row for each exhale for 30seconds

For more information about our tips, books and resources go to: www.whileyouwereaway.org


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