Tips For Coping With An Anxiety Disorder
Having occasional feelings of anxiety is a normal part of life, but people with anxiety disorders experience frequent and excessive anxiety, fear, terror and panic in everyday situations. These feelings are unhealthy if they affect your quality of life and prevent you from functioning normally.
Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Feeling nervous
- A sense of impending panic, danger or doom
- Increased heart rate
- Obsessively thinking about the panic trigger
These feelings of anxiety and panic can interfere with daily activities and be difficult to control. They are out of proportion to the actual danger and can cause you to avoid places or situations.
You should see your health care provider if your anxiety is affecting your life and relationships. Your provider can help rule out any underlying physical health issue before seeing a mental health professional.
While most people with anxiety disorders need psychotherapy or medications to get anxiety under control, lifestyle changes and coping strategies also can make a difference.
Here are 11 tips for coping with an anxiety disorder:
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Time To Assimilate These Concepts
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If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Im confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. Its kind of like implanting a thought into your brain an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas.
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Progressively Start Taking Control
Your second step is to begin gaining some form of control over your emotions and the situation you are dealing with. To do this, look first to your strengths and then to the potential resources you have at your disposal. Ask yourself:
What are my strongest qualities?
How could they assist me here?
What resources do I have at my disposal?
How could these resources be of value?
While experiencing anxiety, you will often be in a state of vulnerability where you will feel powerless to take charge of your circumstances. For this very reason, its absolutely paramount that you tap into your strengths and have a think about the positive qualities that could help you get through this personal challenge successfully. If you find this difficult to do, then reflect back on your past and think about the qualities and strengths that have served you before to help you overcome emotional setbacks. This is where you will find your strength.
Your resources are another source of strength. They could include tools, knowledge, beliefs, support systems and other things that you could use to help find a better way moving forward. However, dont worry if you dont have the necessary resources because the next step will show you how to become more resourceful.
Anxiety Chest Pain Vs Heart Attack Chest Pain
Chest pain is a concerning symptom, and its usually best to seek emergency medical attention if youre experiencing it. Even if the chest pain cause is anxiety, its better to know than to risk missing valuable time if youre having a heart attack.
People describe chest pain in a number of ways when theyre having a heart attack. Some examples include:
- chest pain that radiates to other parts of your body, such as down your arms or up to your jaw
- chest pain that worsens with exertion
- nausea along with chest pain
- pressure in the chest, as if someone has put something heavy on your chest
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- squeezing sensation in the chest
An estimated 30 percent of patients who are having a heart attack dont have chest pain, according to 2020 research . Some people report symptoms like back pain and fatigue as part of their heart attack symptoms.
While doctors know there is a connection between anxiety and chest pain, you still shouldnt ignore your symptoms and seek medical attention.
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Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.
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.
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What Causes Anxiety Disorders
If you have an anxiety disorder, your body mistakenly triggers your alarm system when there is no danger. This may be because of a chemical imbalance in your body. It also may be related to a memory, to a side effect of a medicine, or to an illness.
Tips to Cope with Anxiety
Control your worry. Pick a time and place to do your worrying. Make it the same time and place every day. Spend 30 minutes thinking about your worries and what you can do about them. Then let go of the worry, and go on with your day.
Learn ways to relax. These may include muscle relaxation, yoga, or deep breathing.
Exercise regularly. People who have anxiety often stop exercising. But exercise can give you a sense of well-being and help with anxiety.
Get plenty of sleep.
Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. They seem to help you relax, but in the long run, they make anxiety worse and cause more problems.
Avoid caffeine. It may make you feel more anxious because it stimulates your nervous system. Also avoid over-the-counter diet pills, and cough and cold medicines with a decongestant.
How Can I Help Myself
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are likely to be become frightened or anxious. This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things like yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundations wellbeing podcasts.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
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Name What Youre Feeling
When youre experiencing an anxious episode, you may not realize whats going on until youre really in the thick of it.
Recognizing anxiety for what it is may help you calm down quicker.
Name that this is anxiety not reality and that it will pass, says Kim Hertz, a psychotherapist at New York Therapy Practice. When you are in a heightened state of anxiety, you want to disrupt that cycle, and for some people, thought-stopping techniques are effective and as simple as saying stop to the internalized messaging that heightens anxiety.
In other words, consider recognizing that what youre feeling is anxiety and talking yourself through it.
Embrace absolute truths, says Steven Sultanoff, clinical psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University. I will get through this one way or another.
Naming your sensations and feelings may help you step away from them. This is anxiety, it is not you and it wont last forever.
Six Simple Habits That Defeat Anxiety
Deanne Repich, Director: National Institute of Anxiety and Stress
If youre like most anxiety sufferers, you probably spend much of your day wrestling with physical symptoms, feeling afraid, or even hiding your anxious feelings from others. When stressors arise your racing heart, trembling, dizziness, obsessive thoughts and other symptoms take over.
Anxiety can keep you feeling trapped and once you feel this way, its difficult to know how or if you can ever feel better.
If you suffer from anxiety, take heart. Studies show that simple anxiety-reducing habits can go a long way toward improving how you feel.
Here are six simple habits you can use to defeat anxiety and take back control of your life.
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Yoga And Breathing Exercises
What it is: Gentle, slow body movements, and breathing with attention and concentration.
Why it works: When anxiety increases, changes occur in the body, including shallow breathing, says Molly Harris, a board-certified occupational and yoga therapist who works with kids. This can cause anxiety to increase, prolonging feelings of stress.
In yoga, kids learn a belly breath, which expands the diaphragm and fills the lungs. This activates a restful state via the parasympathetic nervous system. Heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers, and children feel a greater sense of calm.
Where to start: Practicing yoga together is a great introduction, and the younger your child is when you start, the better. Pick fun, easy poses like bridge pose or the aptly named childs pose. Concentrate on holding poses and breathing deeply.
Natural Remedies For Anxiety
Natural remedies for anxiety are those that donât involve conventional medications . They include things such as herbs, aromatherapy, and performing certain actions that promote relaxation. Some people with anxiety use natural remedies alongside conventional treatments to find relief.
Examples of natural remedies for anxiety include:
Exercise isnât just good for your physical health itâs also beneficial for your mental health. While the connection isnât well understood, studies do show that exercise can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
Getting active helps to take your mind off of the issues bothering you. It also triggers your body to release endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones.
Several different herbs and herbal supplements may help alleviate anxiety symptoms, helping you to relax and feel calmer. Some of the more well-known varieties include:
Studies show that chamomile can help with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. While many of the studies on herbal supplements for anxiety are limited, the results are promising.
You can find many of these supplements in capsule form. Many people also drink herbal teas to help them relax.
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to improve health and overall well-being. Many scents can help to boost your mood, help you relax, and reduce anxiety.
Scents to use for anxiety include:
Deep Breathing Exercises
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Ways To Help Lower Anxiety Naturally
Research shows that after a full night of sleep â 7-9 hours is ideal â weâre likely to feel less anxious and more confident. Physical activity during the day will help us sleep better, too. And remember: if winding down for the night inclues reading before bed, don’t make these mistakes.
Science is discovering more about the âgut-brain connection.â Researchers often refer to the belly as the second brain, since about 95% of serotonin receptors are found in the lining of the gut. Science shows that foods containing certain vitamins and minerals may help reduce anxiety, so when weâre thinking about natural ways to help anxiety, consider filling up on these:
It might also be a good idea to limit caffeine and alcohol â both of which can aggravate symptoms of anxiety.
Research shows that B vitamins have many health and quality of life benefits, and supplementing with B vitamins is gaining scientific traction. This 2018 study found that people who ate food high in B vitamins showed significant improvements in their anxiety and stress scores than those who did not. Taking a high-quality B-complex supplement is generally very safe, since B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body excretes what it doesnât use. But always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements since they can interact with medications or have side effects.