What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Risk for GAD can run in families. Several parts of the brain and biological processes play a key role in fear and anxiety. By learning more about how the brain and body function in people with anxiety disorders, researchers may be able to develop better treatments. Researchers have also found that external causes, such as experiencing a traumatic event or being in a stressful environment, may put you at higher risk for developing GAD.
Hanging Out With Friends
Relationships matter even for us introverts, says Stone. Research also tells us that isolating is one of the worst things for anxiety and depression.
So, consider making time for friends, family, and other social engagements.
Put yourself in social situations at least weekly as a part of your self-discipline to help you build community over time, says Stone.
You Can Manage Your Anxiety Disorder
Second thing: you can manage your anxiety effectively so that you arent bothered by it as often. Imagine your anxiety as a person living upstairs in your brain with a loud bullhorn. He is constantly shouting in your ear with a never-ending prattle of your most anxious thoughts and worries. Ignoring your anxiety doesnt make it go away the relentless thoughts just continue.
So what do you do? You have several options to manage your anxiety. Some treatment options include mindfulness exercises, therapy , medication , or an adolescent mental health treatment center that specializes in anxiety disorders.
After treating your anxiety, imagine the person in your head gradually shrinking down to a tiny little speck on the horizon. Now, they arent yelling anymore. Theyve been reduced to a whisper, which does come in handy every once in a while In this way, your anxiety is being effectively managed.
Talking To A Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with a health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Find tips to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit at Taking Control of Your Mental Health: Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider. For additional resources, including questions to ask a provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
Forgive Yourself And Wait To Worry
Are you particularly critical of yourself and the blunders you make? Well, imagine if you had a friend who constantly pointed out everything that was wrong with you and your life. Youd probably want to get rid of them right away.
But people with anxiety often do this to themselves so frequently that they dont even realise it anymore. Theyre just not kind to themselves.
So perhaps its time to change and start forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we make. If you feel like youve embarrassed yourself in a situation, dont criticise yourself simply realise that you have this impulse to blame yourself, then drop the negative thought and redirect your attention back to the task at hand or whatever you were doing.
Another effective strategy is to wait to worry. If something went wrong and you feel compelled to worry , dont do this immediately. Instead, postpone your worry set aside 10 minutes each day during which you can worry about anything.
If you do this, youll find that you wont perceive the situation which triggered the initial anxiety to be as bothersome or worrisome when you come back to it later. And our thoughts actually decay very quickly if we dont feed them with energy.
Also Check: How To Control Severe Anxiety Attacks
Set Small Achievable Goals
Anxiety sufferers tend to set unrealistically high expectations for themselves. To counteract this tendency, set goals that you can easily accomplish. This builds your confidence and your sense of accomplishment.
When you are learning skills to handle stress and reduce your anxiety, small steps work best. For example, if your goal is to integrate deep breathing into your life, start by practicing for one-minute intervals three or four times a day instead of for an hour all at once.
Setting small, achievable goals will help will take you farther than you can imagine over time. It will help you reach your final destination: a happier, low-anxiety life.
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check
Even if you don’t have diabetes, skipping meals or loading up on junk food can lead to blood sugar drops that make you irritable, jittery, and anxious. Try to eat three balanced meals and two snacks each day. Choose foods that are high in fiber, fruits and vegetables, nuts, small servings of lean meat, and low-fat milk or cheese. If you have diabetes, take your medications as prescribed.
Also Check: Who Can Prescribe Anxiety Medication
How Long Can Anxiety Last
Anxiety attacks typically last no more than 30 minutes, with the symptoms reaching their most intense at about halfway through the attack. Anxiety can build up for hours or even days before the actual attack so it is important to take note of factors that contribute to anxiety to effectively prevent or treat them.
Strategies To Reduce Situational Nervousness
If you find yourself nervous in a specific situation, you’ll find it’s a bit harder to calm your nerves quickly. By specific situation, we’re talking about things like:
- A blind date.
- A public speaking engagement.
- A big test in class.
Anything that would invoke some nervousness or fear, but may not be traditionally associated with an anxiety disorder. It can be hard to calm your body fast enough because the anxiety itself can serve a function. It’s telling you that you’re doing something that you find frightening in some way, and your body is reacting to make sure you’re aware of what you’re doing.
But obviously it can be problematic as well, especially because the anxiety can feel uncontrollable and may not be suitable for your situation. You don’t want to be overly nervous on a first date, or nervous public speaking, etc., so fast ways to reduce anxiety are important.
Consider the following:
Nervousness in some situations can also be preventable. For example, if you find you’re often nervous when speaking to a stranger in a bar or club, a solution to control that nervousness in the future is to head to a bar or club and purposely embarrass yourself as much as possible. This type of behavior prepares you for the experience of embarrassment and helps you learn that the consequences are likely not as severe as you expect.
Read Also: Can Coffee Give You Anxiety
How To Help Someone With Anxiety
All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
To diagnose anxiety disorders, your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You may also have a physical exam and lab tests to make sure that a different health problem is not the cause of your symptoms.
If you don’t have another health problem, you will get a psychological evaluation. Your provider may do it, or you may be referred to a mental health professional to get one.
Also Check: How To Find Out If You Have Anxiety
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Friends and acquaintances play an important role in the way we think and feel. If there are positive people around us, our thoughts generally follow and it works similarly for negative people as well.
Think about when you last hung out with your negative friends. Did they talk about anything positive? Probably not. What about those with a more positive outlook? Maybe its time to spend more time with them instead of hanging with those who fuel your anxiety. Surround yourself with people who can act as positive friends, supports and confidantes.
You never know who has experienced exactly what youre going though and you may find someone who will be a positive influence or that person may just have a positive spirit that will rub off on you.
Why Does Anxiety Get Worse
There are two reasons why anxiety may get worse a couple of weeks after quitting.
- Number 1
You have probably developed some degree of addiction related brain changes from all your online pornography use and when you suddenly remove it from your life your brains stress center goes into over dive.
This is because an addictions hijack the survival sections of the brain, you know the parts that deal with food, water, sex and reproduction so the brain really interprets the addiction activity as something that is vital to our survival.
- Number 2
When your brain no longer gets those, what it consider to be, important mating sessions a few times a week it sounds the alarm.
WARNING ==> We are not spreading our genes any longer, our reproduction is in danger!!!
So, when considering those two things, its easy to see how quitting porn often leads to increased anxiety and even panic attacks.
In the video below I talk more about the increased stress response that happens in the brain after quitting an addiction. Take a look at it and youll see what I mean
If you find the video informative, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. You can do so
Also Check: Can You Use An Inhaler For Anxiety
Try 6 Meditations To Help Reduce Anxiety
Looking for more meditations to help you feel calm? The Headspace app offers subscribers several courses and single meditations on topics related to anxiety, including:
Managing Anxiety 10-day course. Cultivate a new perspective on fear and anxiety.
Unemployment Anxiety single meditation. Recognize and release stress about job loss and the future.
Letting Go of Stress 10-day course. Enjoy a healthier mind by developing your awareness of stress and learning how to reframe negative emotions.
Stressed single meditation. Notice what you’re holding onto and how to drop the preoccupying storyline.
Why can’t I sleep? single meditation. This exercise will help you practice calming the mind and body during the day, so you feel more ready for sleep when bedtime comes.
Difficult Conversations single meditation. The prospect of a difficult conversation can drive feelings of anxiety and fear, but by lesseing habits of reactivity and developing a calmer, more patient mindset, you can both listen and express yourself more clearly.
What Are The Treatments For Anxiety Disorders
The main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy , medicines, or both:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is often used to treat anxiety disorders. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking and behaving. It can help you change how you react to the things that cause you to feel fear and anxiety. It may include exposure therapy. This focuses on having you confront your fears so that you will be able to do the things that you had been avoiding.
- Medicines to treat anxiety disorders include anti-anxiety medicines and certain antidepressants. Some types of medicines may work better for specific types of anxiety disorders. You should work closely with your health care provider to identify which medicine is best for you. You may need to try more than one medicine before you can find the right one.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
Read Also: How Do You Help Someone With Anxiety
Replace Fearful Thoughts With More Helpful Ones
Now, this may sound tricky, but I promise its not, and its extremely helpful when you want your anxiety to go away. You can learn how to replace fearful thoughts with my Worry Journal and Thought Workbook the two workbooks I use whenever I am feeling anxious. I have designed them based on my personal experience in CBT therapy sessions, and CBT books Ive read .
Causes Of Anxiety Fear And Panic
There are many different causes of anxiety, fear or panic and it’s different for everyone.
When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
This can be helpful in some situations, but it might also cause physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating. In some people, it might cause a panic attack.
Regular anxiety, fear or panic can also be the main symptom of several health conditions. Do not self-diagnose speak to a GP if you’re worried about how you’re feeling.
Also Check: Can Anxiety Cause Tourette’s
What Will Happen If I Stop My Medication
It is not recommended that you stop taking your medication suddenly. Your doctor should tell you how to gradually reduce the dose so that your body has time to adjust. If you do decide to stop your medication, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, headache, nausea, and trouble concentrating.
When To Call A Professional
See your doctor if you are troubled by severe worry or anxiety, especially if:
- Your anxious feelings have lasted for several months.
- You feel that you can no longer control your anxious feelings, and this causes you to spend unreasonable amounts of time managing your symptoms.
- Your constant anxiety is interfering with your personal relationships or with your ability to function normally at home, at school or at work.
- You are having difficulty concentrating or remembering.
- You are having trouble sleeping.
- You have unexplained physical symptoms that may be anxiety-related.
Recommended Reading: Which Eating Disorder Is The Most Common
You May Like: How To Self Soothe Anxiety
Best Medication For Anxiety And Depression
Different medications are prescribed for different anxiety disorders. In general, the best medication for anxiety will be a type of benzodiazepine or SSRI.
Its important that you work with your doctor to find the right medication for you because there are many different types, and some might react differently in your body than others.
Some people report side effects, like drowsiness or impaired coordination, which can be dangerous if driving. Others might not respond well to certain drugs because of genetic factors or other medical conditions.
There isnt one single miracle drug that cures all mental health disorders, but it is possible to find a treatment that works for you. Figuring out the root cause of your anxiety can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
If you do opt for medication as part of your treatment plan, make sure to talk things through with your doctor before starting a new prescription so you can weigh the pros and cons of taking drugs in addition to therapy and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Get The Right Kind Of Sleep
Getting sleep is important but getting restful sleep is life-changing. People with anxiety disorders often report insomnia issues and difficulties in falling asleep. In addition, the less sleep one gets, the more anxiety-prone one becomes.
Creating a healthy routine around bedtime is important. It starts by not eating a heavy meal hours before bed. Bowel distress is a common reason for sleeplessness. An hour before bed is the best time to stop using any screen. Laptops, televisions, tablets, and phones should be turned off or in sleep mode. This is the perfect time for a hot bath with some lavender oil in it. The hot water will help tense muscles relax. Lavender contributes to relaxation and helps one to drift off to sleep. People can get the lavender powder to sprinkle on bedsheets too.
Recommended Reading: Is Panic Disorder An Anxiety Disorder
Don’t Miss: Can You Have An Anxiety Attack For No Reason
Find Purpose In Life By Helping Others
Its also worth considering how much of your day is spent with someone else in mind? If its very little or none at all, then youre at a high risk of poor mental health. Regardless of how much we work or the amount of money we make, we cant be truly happy until we know that someone else needs us and depends on our productivity or love.
This doesnt mean that we need peoples praise, but doing something with someone else in mind takes the spotlight off of us and places it onto others and how we can make a difference to them.
For people who think theres nothing to live for, nothing more to expect from life the question is getting these people to realise that life is still expecting something from them.
Knowing that someone else needs you makes it easier to endure the toughest times. Youll know the why for your existence and will be able to bear almost any how.
So how can you make yourself important in someone elses life? It could be as simple as taking care of a child or elderly parent, volunteering, or finishing work that might benefit future generations. Even if these people never realise what youve done for them, it doesnt matter because youwill know. And this will make you realise the uniqueness and importance of your life.