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.
GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is different from the everyday symptoms of normal anxiety. These symptoms may include:
There are six types of anxiety disorders that include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.