Everyone has anxiety at some level and that is a normal thing in life. In fact, some anxiety is beneficial to us. It might make us be more situationally aware in unfamiliar places or to study harder for a test. Those are normal things that we all go through. For some, however, there is more to their anxiety than what is considered average or typical. If you have more than just your typical worries, here are a few simple steps to help you cope with anxiety.

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is different from the everyday symptoms of normal anxiety. These symptoms may include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Thinking about every possible bad conclusion to a problem
  • Obsessing or constant worry about a particular issue in a way that is out of proportion to the problem
  • Feeling your mind go blank or having a hard time concentrating
  • Not being able to let something go
  • Being indecisive or having difficulty with uncertainty
  • Being constantly on-edge, not being able to relax, fear about the decision you make and how it may be the wrong one

There are six types of anxiety disorders that include:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) This is excessive fear or worry and doesn’t mean there is a particular thing causing it.
  2. Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) This is when there is an irrational fear of being separated from someone or something.
  3. Agoraphobia. It is a complex phobia that is so much more than just being scared to leave your surroundings. It is a fear of being caught in a situation where escape is improbable or impossible.
  4. Social Anxiety Disorder. This is a disorder where those who have it will feel uncomfortable in everyday social situations.
  5. Panic Disorder. Those with panic disorder feel extreme fright that can appear all of a sudden or at-random. They may be prone to panic attacks, in which they can experience sweat, heart palpitations, or difficult breathing.
  6. Phobia Disorder. Phobia disorder is an intense fear of a certain thing, object, or situation. When a person with a phobia faces their fear, it can cause extreme difficulty and causes the person to find out ways to avoid the stressor.

All of these anxiety disorders can cause us to be uncomfortable, to have extreme fear, and other disadvantages that cause upset and a variety of symptoms. There are some simple steps to help you cope with anxiety so that you may get past the episode faster and with less adverse reactions.

Simple Steps To Help You Cope With Anxiety

Identify Your Triggers

According to Health Line:

If you haven’t recognized your triggers yet, here are a few common: your first day at a new job, meeting your partner’s family, or giving a presentation in front of a lot of people. Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks.

Identifying your triggers can take some time and self-reflection. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxiety from taking over.

Write Down Thoughts and Affirmations

Journaling is an excellent way to cope with anxiety. If you see it on paper, out of your head, it can make the fear less intimidating and help you recognize the triggers you have. Best of all, it is relaxing and can be fun. Journaling also allows you insight into your thoughts and those during anxiety attacks. This may help you with identifying the triggers as mentioned above. And affirmations are important to help you realize and achieve your dreams.

Breathe and Calm

Breathing exercises are great for calming your heart rate and relaxing your mind. There are apps that guide you in doing this or you can simply take some deep breaths, hold them in, and release. A good rule of thumb is to breathe in for four counts and repeat when exhaling for four counts. Doing this for about five minutes can really make a difference in how you feel.

Meditation

Just like breathing, meditation helps calm the mind and works well with those suffering from anxiety. As mentioned on Headspace, a group that focuses on meditation:

Understanding anxiety is the first step in managing it. In knowing its erratic nature, we can obtain a better sense of triggering situations and how our anxiety operates — and that’s where meditation comes in.

Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate emotions. But research shows that a consistent meditation practice reprograms neural pathways in the brain and, therefore, improves our ability to regulate emotions.

Exercise

Whether it’s walking or yoga, exercise is a great way to stop feeling anxious and get healthier at the same time. While you’re exercising you can focus your mind on your body, not your anxiety. As well as letting your mind focus on other things, exercise does something else for those with anxiety. It releases endorphins that make us feel good. These are natural chemicals in our brain that are related to many aspects of our well-being including mood, memory, appetite, sleep, and more.

Aromatherapy

No, it’s not just for spas. Aromatherapy can be calming and relaxing, which is why they use it in spas in the first place. You can easily use it in your home and get the benefits.

Spend Time With Pets

There are plenty of studies that show that having pets in your life helps with depression, anxiety, grief, and a host of other issues. Pet owners have lower cholesterol, better heart rates, fewer doctor visits, and more. In fact, those who have pets have elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin, which is what helps calm and relax us.

Listen to Music

When you’re feeling anxious, soothing music may be just the thing to help you relax and get your mind on the music, instead of the anxiety. It doesn’t have to be a particular style of music either. While the pounding beat of heavy metal might not be as helpful as a soothing classical tune by Bach or Mozart, if it makes you happy then it may decrease your anxiety and help you relax – no matter what the style.

Get Back to Nature

Nature is proven to reduce stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol, as well as reducing blood pressure. The benefits of exercise are well known and documented and just being outside helps calm the entire body. This is why we have the Adventure Therapy available to our residents. If possible, get outside and go for a walk or go to the beach and listen to the waves crashing while soaking in the sun and smelling the salt air. A walk in the woods is also beneficial to those with anxiety.

What Kind of Professional Help Is Available?

As mentioned, talk to your doctor so that they can make a legitimate diagnosis and let you know if you do have an anxiety disorder. The treatment for various types of anxiety disorders are medicine and psychotherapy.

One form of psychotherapy that has shown successful results for treating anxiety disorders includes cognitive behavioral therapy. This treatment aids in helping victims develop a new way of thinking that can help them feel less anxious and properly address their aversions and fears.

There are many types of professional therapy that help with anxiety. Psychotherapy and medication assisted therapy are just a couple. There’s also group, one-on-one, and family counseling as well as offering some of the mentioned holistic therapy.

Everyone has anxiety, but some of us need help to have a better quality of life and be able to enjoy the world without fear. These are a few of the simple steps you can take to cope with anxiety but if you need professional help, we are here for you.

If you find it difficult to overcome your anxiety, our admissions team is always here to help answer any questions you may have. If you or a loved one needs help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 877-942-2240.

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