A-W-A-R-E Technique for Anxiety
Attach A-W-A-R-E to your hand – a handy, private and portable way to stay calm. Squeeze each finger and thumb as you go round the letters. You may calm down surprisingly quickly.
Accept the feeling.
Rather than fight the feeling of anxiety, decide to notice it. It is not the real you.
Watch the level.
Observe it without judging it to be good or bad. Take a step back from it, rate it from 1-10, noticing when it goes up and when it goes down. Remember, you are not the anxious feelings. They will pass.
Activate the breath.
Breathe in a relaxed way, and remember to make your out-breaths longer. You will start to feel calmer after a few breaths.
Repeat the above steps.
Continue accepting the feelings, watching them and breathing to relax until they go down to a comfortable level. If you feel you are about to do something to hurt yourself or others, walk away.
Expect the best.
What you fear most may never happen. What’s the best that could happen?
Using the above steps, you will find that you can cope better than you expected. And it will get easier each time you try it.
Adapted from Beck, Emery and Greenburg, 1985
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