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  • Help for Anxiety: Traveling the Bridges of Tampa Bay

    So many bridges in Tampa Bay–so much anxiety! They make the Nervy Nellies break into a sweat. Drivers feel dizziness, a racing heart, edginess–panic. 

    Anticipating the bridge is not pleasant when you drive it to and from work. You tell yourself that today will be different, that it’s silly to feel anxious about a bridge that thousands of people drive daily.

    But anxiety is a real state of being that is also a real hassle. Shaming yourself over it is a waste of time. Instead, manage the anxiety.

    Help for anxiety looks like:

    *Embracing coping skills 

    *Reaching out for therapeutic support, and

    *Making peace with this emotion that is both a friend and a foe.

    To start coping while driving, create a sensory station for your vehicle. Pack mints (taste), a sachet (scent), a stress ball (touch), a playlist (sound), and a rearview mirror decoration (sight). Keep all within reach.

    When the anxiety shows up, pop the mint and notice the way it tastes, its texture, and its scent that reaches your nose. Then, use each item, focusing on each and its sensory qualities. (Of course, be a sharp driver–be safe!)

    The exercise grounds you; your body reminds your overzealous fight/flight/freeze response that you’re absolutely OK.