Constant worrying, feeling overwhelmed, and being beaten down by stress are all common symptoms you might experience when dealing with anxiety.
Do you find yourself wondering if you’re like? Do you often worry that you might have said the wrong thing? Do you become bombarded by anxiety or panic attacks when you attempt certain tasks?
Suffering from anxiety causes much more strain on the human brain and physical body than many understand. It can lead to depression and create isolation. Knowing how to combat anxiety is the first step in feeling better.
Learning how to manage anxiety is a process, however. Luckily, there are several resources available to you to help you manage your anxiety and take back control of your own mind.
Continue reading below for several tips for dealing with anxiety. Your path to a life with reduced anxiety starts here!
Understand Your Anxiety
Before you can begin to combat your own anxiety, you must first understand it. Everyone’s anxiety differs and stems from different situations.
How does your anxiety negatively affect your life? What causes your anxiety to heighten?
There are several types of anxiety disorders, which are subdivisions of general anxiety. Your anxiety may or may not fall into one of these categories, but it’s still a good idea to read through them and determine if any of the behaviors listed are relatable to you.
Types of Anxiety
Although there are many different types of anxiety disorders, it’s good to have some understanding of a few different types. If you find yourself relating to one of these types listed below, then it’s best to speak with a professional for a proper diagnosis.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): repetitive thoughts, ideas, impulses, images, and rituals you must complete to help ease anxiety
- Social Anxiety Disorder: fear of crowds, embarrassment, and social settings
- Specific Phobias: fear of a certain situation or object, such as heights or spiders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Psychological symptoms caused by a traumatic event, such as nightmares, reoccurring thoughts of the event, feeling of being on edge, and flashbacks
Remember, these are only a few types of anxiety disorders, and you’re not limited to only one type. You may find yourself relating to more than one of these types listed above.
What’s important is you understand what causes your anxiety and that you’re not alone.
Visit With Your Doctor
Gathering some background knowledge about anxiety and the different types is a wonderful starting point, but visiting with your doctor is essential. Your primary care doctor will be able to give you a general diagnosis and a referral to a specialist.
The referral given to you will most likely be for a therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist. A psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor and will be able to prescribe you medication to help ease your anxiety.
Your primary care doctor can also prescribe you medication until you’re able to use your referral.
If your doctor suggests taking a prescription to help reduce your anxiety, then it’s important you follow all doctor orders. You should take the medication as prescribed and be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions about the directions or the medication itself.
Consider the Holistic Approach
Not everyone is offered anxiety prescriptions or wants to take prescription medication on a daily basis. In this situation, you can always consider the holistic approach. There are some things for anxiety that you can take but aren’t prescriptions.
THC and CBD products can both have a positive effect on your anxiety when taken correctly. This is another option to discuss with your doctor. If your current primary care doctor doesn’t offer advice on holistic treatments, then be sure to find one in your area who does.
Contact Your Referrals
After speaking with your primary care doctor, the next step is to contact your referrals. Your doctor will give you referrals based on the type of care they believe you could benefit from.
A therapist can teach you different ways to manage your anxiety, which you can then use on your own.
A psychiatrist is a doctor who can prescribe you medication for your anxiety and then work with you on building a treatment plan.
A psychologist has a focus on treating mental and emotional suffering using a behavioral intervention.
It would also benefit you to look into these different approaches to healing even more so by conducting research about each type. You may find that you believe one could be more beneficial to you than the others. If this is true, then this is something to speak with your doctor about.
Once you have your referral, and you’re comfortable with the type of healing approach, you should then schedule your first session. Although this might seem like an obvious step to take, it’s not difficult to leave the doctor’s office and never make that call to schedule your appointment.
Do this for yourself. This is your opportunity to seek the help you deserve. Make the call and schedule your first session to begin treatment.
Engage in More Physical Activity
Did you know that exercise can improve your body both physically and mentally? Proper exercise has a positive effect on a variety of mental disorders, not only anxiety. It can also help put you in a better mood.
Exercise on its own is wonderful for reducing mild anxiety. If your anxiety is more intense, then pairing exercise with other forms of treatment is a great option.
How does this work?
Exercise is a natural way to boost your levels of dopamine and serotonin, which increases your mood and happiness. Exercise can also help you feel more relaxed and reduce stress among many other benefits.
Ways to Exercise
Trying to find time in your day to exercise might not always be the easiest task. Making it to the gym or implementing an entire workout routine isn’t realistic for some. Fortunately, there are several ways to get exercise throughout the day without having to affect your daily routine too much.
- Take the longer walking or biking route when possible
- Choose the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further away from your destination
- Spend free time engaging in physical activity with family
These are just a few ways to get in some exercise without even realizing it!
Get the Proper Amount of Sleep
Sleep has an impact on your mental health as well. Think about how much sleep you’re getting each night. Don’t calculate tossing and turning into the equation.
How many hours of actual restful sleep do you receive each night? Are you getting the full eight hours?
Your anxiety could be the reason why you’re not sleeping peacefully at night. In return, you then lack sleep, which then leads to heighten anxiety and other mental disorders.
Ways to Improve Sleep
How can you ensure you’re getting enough sleep at night? There are a few ways to improve your sleep quality. It’s best to try to make all the right changes for the best results.
- Create a sleep schedule/routine and stick to it (wake up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time each night)
- Put all electronics away at least 30 minutes before bed
- Don’t associate your bedroom with work-related tasks
- Create a relaxing atmosphere
- Eliminate foods and drinks with sugar and caffeine a few hours before bed
Keep in mind that some people may suffer from sleep disorders. If you believe you may have a sleep disorder, then be sure to speak about this with your doctor. Once you begin treatment for your sleep disorder, you may then see an improvement in mood and anxiety during the day.
Make Changes to Your Diet
Making subtle changes to your diet could help ease anxiety as well. Coffee and alcohol can have a negative impact on your anxiety, but there are many other items to consider removing from your diet as well.
- Products with high levels of caffeine (soda, energy drinks, tea, chocolate, diet pills)
- Products with high levels of sugar (beer, fruit juice, candy, BBQ sauce)
These are a few changes to keep in mind. Creating a healthy diet for yourself will not only benefit your physical health but your mental health as well. If needed, you can speak with a nutritionist for more advice.
Try Meditation Strategies
Meditation is a wonderful way to improve mental health. As you meditate, you train your mind to focus only on the present moment. All other thoughts and worries are pushed to the side.
Through meditation, you’ll learn how to be more self-aware and reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. There are more ways to meditate than simply sitting with your legs crossed.
Forms of Meditation
Knowing the different forms of meditation can help you find one that works well for you. Don’t be discouraged if one form isn’t what you thought it’d be. You have many different forms to test out!
- Visualization: focusing on a mental image
- Deep Breathing: focusing on your breaths and how the air feels as it passes through your nostrils and into your lungs and then back out
- Noting: noting what’s distracting the mind and letting it go
Remember, these are just a few forms of meditation to test out. Be sure to research all the different ways to meditate and begin practicing the ones you believe would work best.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to release all your worries onto paper. When you wake up in the morning or go to bed at night, what’s on your mind?
What worries do you start your day off with? What keeps you up at night?
Ways to Use Your Journal
A gratitude journal allows you to not only clear your mind of these worries but make note of all the good things in your life.
- Write down your shopping lists, to-do lists, and other important tasks
- Write down anything bothering you and what you can do to feel better
- Write down several things you’re grateful for each day
Having a journal lets you put these things down on paper, bettering your organization and helping ease your anxiety.
Accept Things You Can’t Control
Sometimes, the things that cause the most anxiety are things we cannot control. It’s important to know the difference between the things we can control and the things we can’t.
What You Can Control
There might be some things in your life that cause you anxiety that you can change to help ease your mind. Exercise and a healthy diet are two examples mentioned before.
- How you act on your feelings
- How you respond to others
- The type of content you read or watch
- When you ask for help
- When you say, “no”
- The crowd you place yourself around
The items listed above are only a few of the things in life you have control of. These are the things you want to make changes to if you’re currently unhappy about.
What You Cannot Control
Worrying about things you can’t control will only increase your anxiety and offer no solutions. When you’re aware of the things you can’t control, you can then let go of them and move forward.
- Someone else’s actions
- The weather
- Change in life
- The past
- Other people’s thoughts and feelings
If you have anxiety about any of the items listed above, then you must remember that you can’t change what you can’t control. These are things you must be at peace with and free your mind from.
Knowing How to Combat Anxiety Starts Right Here
Dealing with anxiety on a regular basis is exhausting. Not knowing what’s causing your anxiety or where it stems from can make the situation more stressful.
Use the advice listed in this guide above to help you understand your own anxiety and begin combating it. Once you know how to combat anxiety, you can start feeling more like yourself again.
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