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Dealing with Anxiety: Practical Strategies and Contemplative Therapeutic Approaches

Anxiety, a common emotional response to perceived threats or stressful situations, can become overwhelming and debilitating when it spirals out of control. This blog post will explore practical strategies for managing anxiety and delve into contemplative therapeutic approaches like Contemplative Psychology, Buddhist Psychotherapy, Somatic Therapy, and Gestalt Awareness Practices.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety, in moderation, is a natural part of human life. It helps us prepare for potential threats and respond to stressful situations effectively. However, when anxiety becomes a chronic condition, it can disrupt daily life, leading to physical discomfort, emotional distress, and social isolation.

Practical Strategies for Managing Anxiety

Implementing the following practical strategies can help manage daily anxiety:

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Cultivating awareness of the present moment can disrupt the cycle of habitual anxious thoughts and reactions.

  2. Physical Exercise: Regular physical activity can boost mood, act as a natural stress reliever, and improve sleep quality, all contributing to reduced anxiety.

  3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and limiting consumption of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can all help manage anxiety levels.

  4. Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques: Techniques like diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help calm the physiological stress response, reducing symptoms of anxiety.

Contemplative Therapeutic Approaches

If anxiety significantly impacts your life, seeking professional help is essential. A variety of therapeutic approaches, rooted in contemplative traditions, can effectively address anxiety:

  1. Contemplative Psychology: This approach integrates mindfulness and meditation practices from Eastern spiritual traditions with Western psychology. It promotes self-awareness, compassion, and mental clarity to alleviate suffering, including anxiety.

  2. Buddhist Psychotherapy: This approach uses principles of Buddhist philosophy, such as the understanding of impermanence and the nature of self, to treat psychological disorders. Mindfulness, compassion, and insight are central elements of Buddhist Psychotherapy that can help individuals understand and alleviate their anxiety.

  3. Somatic Therapy: Somatic Therapy is based on the understanding that mind and body are interconnected. It uses mind-body exercises and other physical techniques to help release the pent-up tension that contributes to anxiety disorders.

  4. Gestalt Awareness Practice: Rooted in Gestalt Therapy, this practice emphasizes present-moment awareness and personal responsibility. Through guided awareness and exploration of feelings, thoughts, and sensations, individuals can understand and manage their anxiety more effectively.

Emerging and Complementary Therapies

Complementing these primary therapeutic approaches, other practices show promise in managing anxiety:

  1. Yoga and Tai Chi: These mind-body practices combine physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

  2. Biofeedback and Neurofeedback: These techniques involve monitoring bodily functions like heart rate and brainwaves to help individuals learn to control their physiological response to anxiety.

  3. Animal-Assisted Therapy: Interacting with animals has been shown to lower stress levels, promoting feelings of calm and wellbeing.


Anxiety, while a common experience, can become debilitating when not properly managed. By utilizing practical strategies and seeking professional help when necessary, managing anxiety effectively is within reach. It's crucial to remember that everyone's experience with anxiety is unique, and what works best will vary from person to person. Therefore, exploring various strategies, seeking professional advice, and remaining patient throughout the process are integral to effectively managing anxiety. You are not alone in this journey, and with the right support and tools, a calmer, more peaceful life is attainable.


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