DSM5 – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity  – Anxiousness: Intense feelings of nervousness, tenseness, or panic, often in reaction to interpersonal stresses.

Last week we looked at the literature on the topic and tried to get a grasp of what this means for us Borderliners. We concluded that we have to take measures to moderate and regulate our response systems, find ways to calm our minds and keep our thoughts from activating our sympathetic system, and to take measures to regain control of our system once it has been activated.

Here are my five suggestions for Borderliners

  1. The best way to manage your anxiety levels is by adopting a meditation practice that helps you stay grounded and recharged on a daily basis. I usually take fifteen minutes each day  to envision soft positive energy flowing from the universe into my feet, expanding, moving to my knees and expanding, and then progressing slowly up through my whole body.
  2. You can do an inventory of your anxiety and stress levels. This usually involves those things associated with the Sympathetic Nervous System. You can learn to read your body signs which include shallow breathing and tenseness in the shoulders and the back of the neck.
  3. You can then employ some kind of biofeedback.I like to use the magic thermometer, something to visualize that will focus my attention on an imaginary object while I concentrate on my breathing. As I breathe in, I visualize the thermometer gradually rising, and as I breathe out, I watch it fall. The key is to extend the breath to six to eight seconds in, a four second pause, and then eight seconds out.
  4. Another strategy is to notice the tension in the neck and shoulder muscles and then physically drop the shoulders while grounding them with each breath until you achieve a relaxed state in these muscle areas.
  5. There is usually a build up of stress and physical symptoms of anxiety during the day. Allow some time when you get home to unwind. A few minutes in the garden, or a nice hot shower, or just sitting quietly listening to relaxing music. 

(For more information on this topic go to – In Search of the Lost Self- How to Survive and Thrive with Borderline Personality Disorder, by Lawrence J. W. Cooper, now available on Amazon)