Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Prognosis For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The typical course of treatment for GAD is a combination of medications and therapy, followed by ongoing self-care and treatment as needed. GAD can be debilitating and cause a lot of dysfunction, so treating it initially in residential care is a good way to allow a patient to focus on getting better in a safe and dedicated environment.
A patient with GAD is likely to be treated mostly with therapy but also with medications. GAD responds well to SSRIs, a category of antidepressants that target the brain chemical called serotonin. These drugs can take several weeks to work, so patients may also be given anti-anxiety medications for more immediate relief from symptoms.
Therapy styles may vary for treating GAD, but the most common approach is to use behavioral therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a type of therapy that guides patients to become more aware of mood and symptoms and to take active steps to change negative thoughts and behaviors. In addition to therapy and medication, residential programs are supplemented with alternative therapies, group support, family involvement, nutrition, and exercise.
Patients with GAD are encouraged to maintain treatment with therapy as needed, with continuing use of medication, and with lifestyle changes and self-care. The latter may include changing things that cause a lot of stress, like work, and using stress management techniques and positive coping skills learned in therapy.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
The research on this is still limited. So far, it appears anxiety symptoms can manifest for several months after recovery, possibly longer.
- In a 2021 study, up to 25% of participants reported increased anxiety at least 3 months after recovering from COVID-19.
- Another 2021 study of 1,200 patients noted that anxiety symptoms were still present 7 months post-recovery.
- A smaller 2021 study of 33 patients reported critical levels of anxiety and depression 1 year later.
Another 2021 study found that symptoms may worsen over time, which is why its recommended to begin working with a mental health professional as soon as possible.
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Diet And Nutrition Changes
Some people find that changing their diet helps reduce anxiety. Options to consider include:
- Reducing caffeine: Try reducing caffeine intake, especially late in the day or before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it can speed up activity in the brain and body, making a person feel restless and anxious. Several studies suggest a link between caffeine and anxiety, including a 2015 analysis of schoolchildren that linked high caffeine consumption to higher stress and anxiety.
- Drinking less alcohol: Though few studies have directly assessed the link between alcohol and anxiety, many find that people self-medicate with alcohol. Some drinkers report an improvement in anxiety symptoms when they stop drinking or reduce their alcohol consumption.
- Keeping a food log: Keep a food log to assess whether anxiety is worse after eating certain foods. A 2019 study found a correlation between a high intake of saturated fats and added sugars and higher overall anxiety in adults. The study suggests diet may affect mental health, but it did not establish a causal link.
Many foods may also contain nutrients that could help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Support groups help people with anxiety feel less alone. They may also offer practical wisdom that can help a person find the right provider, talk to their loved ones about their anxiety, or manage the process of seeking workplace accommodations.
How Can I Get Help If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder
You should make an appointment to talk with your GP if you are worried about your symptoms. Or they are causing problems in your day to day life.
Your doctor will look at different things when deciding on your treatment such as the following.
- Your diagnosis and symptoms.
- Any other conditions you have.
- Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
Talking therapiesThe NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has made psychological therapy more available on the NHS. IAPT services mainly provide support for low to moderate anxiety and depression.
The service can be run by the local NHS Trust or a non-NHS agency, like a charity who work with the local Trust.
IAPT should be available in your area. You can often self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.
To find your local the IAPT service you can search online here:
You can also ask your GP or PALS service for details of local IAPT services.
You can get more information about:
- GP: What to expect from your GP by clicking here.
- Medication. Choice and managing problems by clicking here.
- Talking therapies by clicking here.
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‘little Signs’ You’re Recovering From Anxiety
We talk a lot about what its like to be in the throes of anxiety the panic attacks, racing heart, spiraling thoughts, overwhelming fear and sometimes, irrationality. But seldom do we talk about what being in recovery for anxiety looks like, or what it even means. This can leave many people wondering what signs to look for when their own anxiety starts to lessen.
Just like anxiety, recovery is so personal to each person struggling. That is why we asked our Mighty mental health community living with anxiety to tell us some little signs that let them know they are recovering. Because talking about recovery is just as important as talking about the symptoms.
Heres what they had to say:
1. When my loved ones tell me the sparkle in my eyes are back, even if its for a day and on that day, I feel. I feel the things that have been missing, things I didnt even realize werent there anymore. Courtenay Ambrose
2. Coming out from social withdrawal. When anxiety hits hard, I sometimes close off and shut people out. I get edgy and easily overwhelmed during episodes. When I find myself actively seeking out and talking to people in my life again, it means I am doing better. Cleaning my important personal spaces and being productive are also signs of improvement. Taziana B.
3. I have energy again! And it takes me by surprise, like a spring in my step and a confident stride. A smile across my face is real and relaxed. I feel brave. Catherine C.
Can you relate?
Different Types Of Ocd
Some people struggle in their heads, without any change in their visible behavior. For instance, a person who is afflicted with thoughts of killing loved ones or accidentally burning down the neighborhood may continually think about it in an effort to reassure himself, or to somehow “undo” the thoughts, but otherwise doesn’t do anything differently. This is what therapists usually refer to as an “obsessive only” type.
Others take specific actions they hope will get rid of the thoughts. A person who fears stabbing loved ones may put all the knives away, or avoid the kitchen, in an effort to get rid of the thoughts. A person who fears accidental fires will repeatedly check the stove to make sure it’s off, even if he hasn’t used it that day. These actions are what therapists refer to as “rituals”.
In both cases, the person is desperately trying to stop thinking the unpleasant thought. The behavioral rituals, such as repeated checking of an appliance, are aimed at the same purpose as the invisible arguing with your thoughts. Either way, however, the thoughts typically become more persistent as a result. The efforts to get rid of the thoughts just make them more persistent. If you’re going to overcome OCD, you need to change this pattern.
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How Is Anxiety Treated
Anxiety is treated by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals.
Treatment options for anxiety include:
Consult A Qualified Therapist
Even if you have a mild case, and plan to overcome OCD on your own rather than with a professional therapist, I suggest you consult one before you start your recovery program. This should be helpful to confirm your diagnosis, to give you a chance to ask questions, and to identify a suitable professional should you want to work with one later.
What kind of professional should you see? It would be best to consult a psychologist or other professional therapist who is trained in the cognitive-behavioral methods of “exposure and response prevention”. These methods help you to experience the anxious thoughts without resorting to rituals, and give them time to subside naturally.
There are medications which can be helpful in the recovery process. A decision to use medications depends largely on your personal preferences, the severity of your symptoms, and the availability of non-medication help in your area.
A psychiatrist will almost always offer you medication as the treatment method. If you know in advance that’s what you want, then start with a psychiatrist. However, if you want to try non-medication methods first, start with the type of therapist described above.
Probably the best place to find a therapist who can help you overcome OCD is the International OCD Foundation.
You may also find it useful to search the “therapist finder” sections of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Educate Yourself About Ocd
There’s no substitute for being an informed patient. Your understanding of OCD, and of the treatment method, will be a key to your progress. If you’re going to overcome OCD, you need to become an informed consumer.
Be selective in your use of the Internet. There are many sites where people simply complain and post despairing messages about their symptoms. There are also many scams which sell false hope at high prices.
Here are three excellent web sites I recommend for further reading. All three sites have helpful material about OCD. They also offer recommendations of books and other resources.
Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones .
Dont skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.
Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
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What You Can Do About Your Anxiety Right Now
When you feel anxious, it may help to acknowledge the fact that youre anxious and consider the situation.
During times of stress and alarm, it can help to know your feelings of anxiety may pass once the stressful event is over.
Here are a few things you can do to help lower your anxiety in the moment:
- Reach out to someone you trust. Sometimes, talking things through can help you gain calm and relieve anxious thoughts.
- Say no if youve got too much on your plate and more is expected.
- Go for a walk. Try to be mindful of your surroundings and take long, deep breaths.
- Meditate, do some yoga exercises, practice deep breathing, or do other activities that have helped you to feel calm or centered before.
- Do something that helps you relax physically, such as soaking in a warm bath, playing soothing music, or enjoying aromatherapy.
There are also some things you can do to help reduce anxiety in the long term.
Why Do I Have These Thoughts
We still don’t know very much for sure about why some people get OCD and others don’t. However, it does seem clear that some form of biological or genetic predisposition is involved.
It’s useful to know this, because people with OCD often feel guilty about it. You don’t get OCD by doing something wrong. OCD is your problem, but don’t get confused into thinking it’s somehow your fault.
The presence of upsetting or abhorrent thoughts is not what distinguishes OCD sufferers from others. Studies indicate that the obsessive thoughts of OCD are actually common in the general population of people without OCD or any anxiety disorder. What sets people apart is not the presence or absence of these thoughts. The hallmark of OCD is getting into a struggle with the thoughts. The struggle is what makes them more persistent and chronic. To overcome OCD, you need to let go of this struggle.
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