Research Scientist on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine
For many years, Kathryn Tristan lived a life riddled with worry and anxiety. But she found a way to recover permanently by doing things differently and working from the inside out using holistic strategies for the mind, body, and spirit. She has committed herself to sharing her simple but powerful strategies to help others help themselves.
Kathryn Tristan is a research scientist on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine. She has written or co-authored more than 250 articles in leading scientific or lay publications (often penned under the last name of Liszewski). She has also spoken and made presentations at international conferences. Her many freelance articles have appeared in publications as diverse as PARADE and Scientific American Medicine. She is a member of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, and the American Association of Immunologists.
She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
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The WorryWart Quiz™
Score yourself on each question of this self-assessment quiz
- Score 3 for “Often”
- Score 2 for “Sometimes”
- Score 1 for “Rarely”
- Do you feel edgy and on guard?
- Do you often overreact?
- Do you assume the worst will happen?
- If you make a mistake, does it bother you a lot?
- Are you upset when things don’t go perfectly?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you start worrying as soon as you awaken?
- Do you feel that worrying shows you care?
- Do you think something bad might happen if you do not worry?
- Are you worried that you are worried?
Low-Level Worrier 10-14
Moderate Worrier 15-20
High Worrier 21-30
Ten Instant Stress Busters
- BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE. The amazing power of feeling more relaxed begins with taking three deep breaths and slowly exhaling. Stop stressed-out shallow breathing.
- MOVE, WIGGLE, STRETCH. To dissipate anxious feelings loosen up taut muscles and move around.
- FOCUS ON NOW. Forget about the unpredictable future. Look all around and see what else is happening in the world or focus on a small object and notice every detail.
- SAY A CALMING PHRASE. Develop a phrase that helps you such as “All is well,” or “I can handle this.” Keep repeating it.
- FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT, NOT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT. Stop terribilizing and assuming the worst may happen. Visualize things going the way you want and feeling happy about it.
- EMBARGO JUNK FOOD. What you eat affects your mood. Reduce sugary, caffeinated, or non-nutritious food. Try eating a banana, some turkey or drink chamomile tea. All contain natural relaxants.
- TAKE A HIKE. Connect with Mother Nature in some way.
- DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE AND ENJOYABLE. Whether it’s gardening, organizing, biking, etc., get busy.
- SMILE. Studies show whether you mean it or not, smiling releases mood-enhancing endorphins.
- CUT CLASS OR TAKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY. Sometimes you just need a break to rebalance. You deserve it.