How to Cope With Anxiety in Borderline Personality Disorder
Anxiety busting techniques can help transform you and how you move through the world.
If you live with anxiety then this article is for you. I believe one of the most prevalent symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is anxiety. We are anxious about so much and part of learning how to deal with that anxiety is learning how to control what you can and let go of what you can’t. The good news about anxiety though is that it never killed anyone. Of course, when you are experiencing an anxiety attack, it feels like you are going to die immediately. The other good news about anxiety is that it is one of the easiest things to get a handle on.
The best anxiety busting technique I know is something called “box breathing.” I teach this to all my clients and have had very good success with it. In fact, this was the one technique which helped me get my anxiety under control way back when. Here is a link to the written instructions for box breathing.
A second technique which I also use regularly is called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. This works because it interrupts the anxiety feelings and put you back into the present moment, much like the way mindfulness works. Both of these techniques will keep you centered in the present and because the box breathing technique is based on breathing, it will help regulate your fear.
When you are experiencing anxiety, it is important to remember it is a fear-based feeling. Anxiety is basically a fight or flight reaction. It comes from your brain. Learning how to derail that reaction is how to get anxiety under control. So use this technique, go into a room which is fairly dark and cool where you won’t be disturbed. I use an app called “Rain Rain” as my background “noise.” It is free on the Google Play Store and iTunes, I think. It has a large group of white noise sounds. Put one of those on and start the exercise.
The key to using this technique is that you need to practice it so you can get good at it. You will need to practice it every single day for between five and 15 minutes at a time. Why? Because you want to get to the point where it is second nature to you so that, when you are feeling anxious, you can call upon it without thinking about it too much. At first, it will feel very strange and foreign, but stick with it. I promise you will get the hang of it. Many of my clients use this technique for lots of other things besides anxiety. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
If you practice this for a few weeks, you should be able to see a dramatic reduction in your anxiety attacks. At the very least, it will help you deal with them when they do happen. Remember: no one ever died from an anxiety attack and it will pass. The key is to minimize its negative effect on you and get through it.
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