How to Deal with Anxiety
Learning how to deal with anxiety can seem to be a challenging task. Many people suffering from anxiety are completely unaware of the actions that they can take to reduce their symptoms. . However according to the ADAA and Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D. anxiety is a very treatable condition, especially in the 21st century.
Thankfully many things can be done by individuals with anxiety to provide temporary or long term relief of their condition as well as to improve their symptoms. These anxiety management techniques include:
- Deep Breathing – According to the American Institute of Stress deep breathing triggers a relaxation response and calms the individual. It does so by increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain and thus stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system which provides a sense of calmness.
- Getting the right amount of sleep – Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can be linked to a lower mood and increased chances of anxiety. According to one such study carried out, 70% of persons with anxiety disorders are also sleep deprived (Craig Vollert et al., 2011). According to Dr. Meredith Coles of Binghamton University, ‘It has already been shown that focusing on sleep has led to reduced symptoms of mental illnesses. Therefore it can be said that sleep is essential to coping with anxiety and reducing its impacts and symptoms.
- Exercise – Exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and its symptoms. According to Elizabeth Anderson and Geetha Shivakumar in an article published to the National Center for Biotechnology Information there is a strong link between physical exercise and the reduction of anxiety. Furthermore, according to the ADAA just five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
- Diet – Diet is critical in learning to deal with anxiety; certain foods can possibly make your anxiety worse while others can actually improve your symptoms. According to Harvard Health Publishing foods rich in vitamin B can reduce anxiety as well as healthy vegetables, probiotic rich foods, fatty fish, foods rich in zinc and more. When you eat is also important, it is important not to skip meals as this can worsen underlying anxiety. Additionally according to a study carried out caffeine has been shown to worsen anxiety.
- Seek Help – Medical Health Professionals can prescribe medications which can help your symptoms to improve and provide relief from anxiety. Therapists can utilize Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectal behavioral therapy which can help you to form healthy thought patterns as well as learn skills which can help you to cope with anxiety. Even confiding in a loved one can help you to some extent.
- Don’t let anxiety prevent you from living – Many experts recommend that you don’t allow anxiety to control you and how you live your life. Don’t let anxiety prevent you from doing certain things or procrastinate.
In addition to the above persons who suffer with anxiety may also seek relief by dealing with other conditions that may affect them such as stress or depression. Because these are often linked to anxiety, learning to manage stress and depression can be a very effective way of also learning how to deal with anxiety. Persons with anxiety of any severity are advised to practice some forms of anxiety management techniques to help them deal with their anxiety and its symptoms.
Craig Vollert , Munder Zagaar , Iris Hovatta , Manish Tanejaa, Anthony Vua, An Daoa, Amber Levinea, Karim Alkadhi , Samina Salima, 2011, Exercise prevents sleep deprivation-associated anxiety-like behavior in rats: Potential role of oxidative stress mechanisms.