In one of his podcasts, Richard Nicholls, a British Psychotherapist, talked about how we might cope with anxiety. Key to his message was that it is okay to be anxious, and it serves a purpose when things are different. Our worries ensure that we take action, whether to run away or to choose other steps to alleviate those anxieties.

His podcast introduced me to the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS), a scale 0 to 10 for measuring the subjective intensity of distress currently experienced by an individual. It is a self-assessment scale, whereby an individual rates their fears and anxiety from 0, where there is no anxiety at all, up to 10. At 10, you feel unbearably anxious and unable to function normally.

Given my varying anxiety levels over time, I have used SUDS to reflect on the range of fear I have felt. I have had periods where I have felt as high as an 8, a point where I started to freak out. This scale provides me with a logical way to deal with my anxiety. If I can measure it, I can manage it. 

Fortunately, my anxiety currently sits at 1, no acute distress and feeling good. It's a nice place to be.
0 and 10 are the easy ones. Are there descriptions for the other levels to make it easier to correctly self-identify?
2021-01-21 13:30:49
I'm glad SUDS has been effect tool for you 
 and that the rating has been low lately! 100% agree with your point on measurement being an important tool for managing. I worked with a therapist last fall and a big a-ha moment for me was the importance of qualifying / quantifying my emotions in more specific terms. This helped me appreciate just how challenging it would otherwise be to work with ill-defined, nebulous feelings. 
2021-01-21 19:06:13