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I Got This!

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Guest Contributor

Latoya Johnson-Foster, MA, LPC, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor

After experiencing anxiety and depression in 2017, I was able to better understand my clients and their symptoms from a different perspective. Some common symptoms of anxiety that clients I work with report include negative thoughts, overthinking, constantly feeling on edge, Black superwoman syndrome, and constantly worrying.

Through my clinical work, I realized that many of my clients had no idea what triggered their anxiety. I began having clients track their mood changes and symptoms by writing down their thoughts or situations that happened right before they noticed a change in their mood or symptoms. I then explored the coping mechanisms my clients used to manage their symptoms and explored their support system. I quickly realized that many of my clients were dealing with their problems independently and lacked a strong social support system.

Another common theme that has emerged in my clinical work with clients, is “what if” questions followed by a negative statement. For example, some clients who desired to accomplish something often wondered, “What if I am not successful?” To counteract these obstacles, I work with clients to identify healthy coping mechanisms to use during the upcoming week and I check in during our next session to assess their progress. My clients who are committed to implementing the coping skills often begin to see improvements.

Common coping mechanisms I suggest to my clients are:

  • Journaling every day to keep track of their feelings and progress

  • Replacing negative thoughts with positive statements to increase positive thinking

  • Inputting a positive statement behind any “what if” questions

  • Meditating for 5-10 minutes in the morning

  • Using essential oils to help improve their mood

  • Reaching out to trusted family members and friends when they need help instead of assuming that people won’t help them

  • And most importantly not over committing, learning how to say “no,” and putting themselves first (focusing on their mental, physical, and emotional well-being)