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ALERT System

The ALERT System

Section 2: Tools for Recovery

from Low Self-Esteem
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By: James J. Messina, Ph.D.

The ALERT System - For anxiety, panic attacks, and stress
When you are confronted with a fear, challenge, pressure, or crisis which causes anxiety, panic, or stress, utilize the SEA's ALERT system:


    A - Assess 
   L - Lessen
E - Ease
 R - Relax
          T - Take Action

 

A - Assess
First, you need to assess and identify the fear, challenge, pressure, or crisis that is creating your anxiety, panic, or stress and then identify the "sick,'' irrational and unrealistic thoughts and feelings which are at the root of the anxiety, panic, or stress for you.

L - Lessen

Second, you need to lessen the impact of the "sick'' thinking and emotional response by countering it with new, more rational and reality based beliefs and feelings. Tools for Personal Growth contain directions how to overcome irrational beliefs and fears.  The new rational belief and emotional response in the ALERT is based on the sum total of all of the new thinking and feeling you experience in the SEA's recovery program based on the SEA's twelve steps and the material contained in the Tools For Coping Series.

E - Ease

Third, you need to ease your anxiety, panic, or stress by "self-talk'' based on your new, rational and reality based beliefs and feelings. This self-talk and self-affirmation can include visualizing yourself handling the current fear, challenge, pressure, or crisis in a successfully healthy way. The "self-talk'' needs to be reassuring that "you are a good person'' who can handle things in a healthy way. This needs to be in the form of I can, I am and I will statements.

R - Relax

Fourth, now that you have countered the fear, challenge, pressure, or crisis with healthier, more rational and realistic thinking, emotions, and self-talk you need to relax. Let go of the tension, tightness, and knots in your body. Attend to the state of calmness, warmth, and relaxation which comes from the releasing of the stress in your body. After you are relaxed, then you are ready to proceed.

T -Take Action

Fifth, now you are ready to take action to confront the fear, challenge, pressure, or crisis with healthier, more rational and realistic thinking and emotions. To relieve the anxiety, panic, or stress, you take the necessary steps to change your behaviors, responses, and actions. You now act in a calm, self-confident, relaxed, less anxious, less panicked, and more rational manner. You take action to change the situation so that a problem resolution is possible.