Restorations Therapy Blog

Harvard’s Theory of Anxiety Management

by on Saturday, November 16th, 2019

When people are experiencing anxiety, the go-to thing that many people may have said to you is to calm down. They may think they are helping you, but they could actually be making it worse for you. Harvard Business School professor Allison Wood Brooks has alternative solutions to helping your anxiety to avoid having to go through the difficult shift of high anxiety to calm.

Why We Cannot Switch From Anxiety to Calm So Quickly

Our body goes through changes when we are feeling anxiety. Our heart rate changes, our breathing rate, and hormones are released to keep us alert and awake. In order to be at our best, we need to be highly aroused and awake. If we act too calm, we would have the wrong energy for tackling anxiety situations like being in front of a lot of people. Also, when we try to resist anxiety, this makes us feel anxious about our anxiety which makes our anxiety symptoms worse. We do not need to pay so much focus on our symptoms but to let them naturally pass.

The Best Way to Calm Down

Brooks believes that instead of trying so hard to calm down, try to get excited instead. It is a much easier transition because people think that anxiety and excitement are “arousal emotions.” Those are the times when you feel the most activated. Anxiety is when we feel the most resilience. We are wide awake until we imagine the worst-case scenarios of everything going wrong. We think that we will be laughed at and be embarrassed by ourselves. Excitement is different in which we focus on a positive future instead of not looking forward to it. 

This is why it is easier to change from anxious to excited. We are not putting ourselves in a different state, but just changing the story around. In Brook’s research, she discovered that people who tried this method out not only performed better in singing and math but also had a more positive outlook on future events. Instead of seeing these tasks as threats, they were opportunities instead. This is the best piece of advice to take for our anxiety in that we need to brave the future instead of being terrified as it is going to happen no matter what. Having a more positive outlook on stressful events and opening up to someone about your fears will make it easier.

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

About Kyle Beard

Chris Simon founded Restorations Therapy Center to help those struggling with sexual addiction to discover health and wholeness for themselves as well as for their marriage and family. The havoc addiction brings is not compartmentalized to one area of life, but influences marriage, family, work, friendship and more. Chris experienced the turmoil of addiction in his own life. Through his own recovery journey, he strives to help others in the throes of addiction to experience the freedom and joy he lives today. Chris received in Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health, working solely with individuals struggling with sexual addiction his entire career. He trained under Dr. Tom Olschner, a psychologist working with sexual addictions for over thirty years, gaining a breadth of experience and knowledge from a renown therapist. A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is the only certification in existence for sexual addiction recovery, which Chris has pursued with fervor. You can contact Chris via email at or telephone at (720) 446-6585

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