Eau Claire counselors share tips for dealing with increased anxi - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire counselors share tips for dealing with increased anxiety


Eau Claire (WQOW) -- A new survey from the American Psychiatric Association claims 39 percent of Americans feel more anxious now than they did a year ago. 

Counselors at UW-Eau Claire told News 18 they, too, have seen more anxious patients over the last few years, and with political turmoil and mass tragedies, they can understand why. 

They said focusing less on what could happen and worst case scenarios is one way to keep your anxiety at bay. 

"Ninety-five percent of the things you worry about, don't happen. If you worry about it, if you spend weeks or days worrying about it, it's not going to prevent if from happening," said Riley McGrath, the director of counseling services at UWEC. "So, it's scary to think about those things, but that fear and anxiety is not going to change anything." 

Riley also wants people to know that experiencing some anxiety is normal because it keeps us out of dangerous situations. If you're overwhelmed by it, it can help to talk to someone. 

Some symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling sweaty or shaky
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Having a hard time relaxing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Unexplained headaches or body aches

RIley said other good techniques for dealing with anxiety include exercise and meditation. He said avoiding caffeine, alcohol and other drugs can also help. If you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, he suggests talking with your doctor or local mental health services. Some services in the Chippewa Valley are:

There are also national resources available to people dealing with anxiety, like the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health America. If you need help for a crisis right now, or are afraid you may hurt yourself, call toll-free: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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