What Makes You Anxious
Because anxiety is a type of fear, the things weve described about fear above are also true for anxiety.
The word anxiety tends to be used to describe worry, or when fear is nagging and persists over time. It is used when the fear is about something in the future rather than what is happening right now.
Anxiety is a word often used by health professionals when theyre describing persistent fear. The ways that you feel when youre frightened and anxious are very similar, as the basic emotion is the same.
Treatment For Anxiety & Panic Attacks
Managing life with anxiety and panic attacks can feel insurmountable at times. Fortunately, managing anxiety is possible through a combination of professional help and self-care. Treatment options for anxiety include:
- Medication: Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and buspirone can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Psychotherapy: Therapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and occupational therapy can help individuals better identify anxious thoughts and change behavior patterns to cope with anxiety more effectively.
- Systematic desensitization:Desensitization involves gradually exposing a person to an anxiety trigger point, so they eventually become comfortable with it. A licensed mental health professional trained on how to safely desensitize anxiety should be sought for this approach.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment that works by sticking thin needles into specific pressure points on the body, thought to restore inner balance.
- Meditation: Successful meditation can allow individuals to better understand the source of their anxiety and how to manage it.
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises help individuals avoid hyperventilation and feel more calm, reducing anxiety attacks.
- Yoga:Practicing yoga can promote mindfulness by centering the mind and body through movement and stationary poses.
Related Topic:Moderate anxiety treatment
Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety
There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
- Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by:
- Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
- Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
- Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
- Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.
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What Do Fear And Anxiety Feel Like
When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your mind and body work very quickly. These are some of the things that might happen:
- Your heart beats very fast maybe it feels irregular
- You breathe very fast
- You have hot and cold sweats
- You get a dry mouth
- You get very tense muscles
These things occur because your body, sensing fear, is preparing you for an emergency, so it makes your blood flow to the muscles, increases blood sugar, and gives you the mental ability to focus on the thing that your body perceives as a threat.
With anxiety, in the longer term, you may have some of the above symptoms as well as a more nagging sense of fear, and you may get irritable, have trouble sleeping, develop headaches, or have trouble getting on with work and planning for the future you might have problems having sex, and might lose self-confidence.
Tips From Real People With Anxiety
Early in her career, Los Angeles-based author, actor and TV personality Terra Wellington would get panic attacks just before going on air. It was like an out-of-body experience, says Terra. I would also not breathe enough to get the oxygen I needed, so I would feel light-headed. Over the years, she came up with a few simple anxiety and stress reduction skills that she still uses. Along with practicing mindful breathing to calm her, she uses a grounding technique. I purposely wiggle my toes and tell my feet to feel the floor, even with shoes on if I can feel the floor under me, Im more grounded, she says.
Rob Cole, a licensed mental health counselor and the clinical director of Mental Health Services at Banyan Treatment Center suggests these grounding and other anxiety-reducing techniques.
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Reframe How You Think Of Anxiety
Reframing can be a valuable tool. It takes feelings or emotions you have and turns them into something useful. For anxiety, learn exactly why you feel anxious and accept that it’s totally normal. New York University neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki explains that uncertainty provokes anxiety that sweaty, stomach-dropping feeling you get when you are on high alert which is a natural stress response system of the body.
Accept That Our New Normal May Be Abnormal
As much as we wish it away, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay for a while, and we have to find ways to manage our risks and take care of our mental health for the long haul.
“For some of us, we are still searching for this magical moment when everything is going to come back to normal,” Malani says. “And, you know, unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.”
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Why Do I Feel Like This When Im Not In Any Real Danger
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living.
Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. But we cant run away from or physically attack these problems!
The physical feelings of fear can be scary in themselves especially if you are experiencing them and you dont know why, or if they seem out of proportion to the situation. Instead of alerting you to a danger and preparing you to respond to it, your fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be imaginary or minor.
Limit Caffeine And Alcohol
Too much caffeine restricts blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure and contribute to anxiety. Coping with anxiety also doesnt mean masking it with alcohol.
Alcohol can interfere with the neurotransmitters that manage anxiety and prevent you from getting a good nights sleep. Drinking to cope creates a sort of feedback loop, which makes the anxiety worse and can lead to alcohol dependence, reports Vice.
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Home May Also Have Become Associated With Safety During Lockdown So Resuming Life In Public Can Seem Daunting
As lockdown eases today in New South Wales, and will do so in Victoria later this month, many people will begin readjusting to normal life.
Exiting lockdown after several months can lead to a range of feelings, from excitement and relief to stress and worry.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to feel anxious about returning to past freedoms and ways of life, its natural for such a major change to be stressful.
So why might it be anxiety-inducing, and how can you cope?
Humans are creatures of habit, and the lockdowns have persisted long enough for people to become comfortable with and accustomed to their lockdown daily routines even those parts they dont like. Reinventing a new daily routine takes effort, as it requires overriding our current habits and inertia.
Furthermore, some people may experience certain aspects of lockdown as beneficial, such as not commuting to work, spending more time with immediate family or roommates, and greater flexibility in work hours. People may miss these positive aspects after lockdown ends.
Home may also have become associated with safety and control during lockdown, so resuming life in public can seem daunting.
Whats more, while lockdown may come to an end, theres uncertainty regarding the pandemics future impact on our lives, creating a new backdrop of anxiety.
For all these reasons, many people may have mixed emotions including anxiety and fear about leaving lockdown.
4 ideas to help you cope
How To Handle Anxiety Effectively
In celebration of the release of my book, The Anxiety Toolkit, Ive put together a cheat sheet of 50 strategies you can use for beating anxiety and feeling calmer. The book expands on many of the following techniques, and includes tons more tools, strategies and ways to help anxiety. But this cheat sheet will give you a very solid start if youre searching for ways to reduce your anxiety and de-stress effectively today.
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Take Up Yoga Or Tai Chi
Yoga does more than increase your flexibility. It incorporates exercise, deep breathing, and meditation. Yoga is an all-in-one antianxiety activity, as shown in a review of body-centered interventions published in Frontiers in Psychology. Tai chi, a mix of meditation and martial arts, works much the same way.
Think Things Through With The Child
Sometimes it helps to talk through what would happen if a childs fear came truehow would she handle it? A child whos anxious about separating from her parents might worry about what would happen if they didnt come to pick her up. So we talk about that. If your mom doesnt come at the end of soccer practice, what would you do? Well I would tell the coach my moms not here. And what do you think the coach would do? Well he would call my mom. Or he would wait with me. A child whos afraid that a stranger might be sent to pick her up can have a code word from her parents that anyone they sent would know. For some kids, having a plan can reduce the uncertainty in a healthy, effective way.
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Respect Her Feelings But Dont Empower Them
Its important to understand that validation doesnt always mean agreement. So if a child is terrified about going to the doctor because shes due for a shot, you dont want to belittle her fears, but you also dont want to amplify them.You want to listen and be empathetic, help her understand what shes anxious about, and encourage her to feel that she can face her fears. The message you want to send is, I know youre scared, and thats okay, and Im here, and Im going to help you get through this.
Food Prep For Support
Honestly, who has the time or energy to cook a balanced meal after working all day? And if you have anxiety, it might feel even more daunting to make space for cooking. Enter: meal prepping.
Alleviate some of the coming weeks stress by carving out a couple hours during the weekend to make a big pot of food. And if you depend on takeout to get you through the week, meal prepping can be a real money-saver.
There are also certain foods that may help your body manage anxiety.
- Eatyogurt and berries for breakfast. The probiotics in yogurt and the anti-oxidants in berries, are both thought to have anti-anxiety effects.
- Wake up with green tea. This caffeinated bev may have help curb stress.
- Snack on almonds. Almonds anti-oxidant rich and a super good , a nutrient our bodies need to function properly.
- Incorporate omega-3- rich foods. Toss in ingredients like shrimp and kidney beans into your dinner. Taking omega-3 supplements is associated with a reduction in anxiety levels.
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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.
Dealing With Anxiety The How
Here are some ways to manage anxiety by strengthening the structure and function of your brain in ways that protect it against anxiety. Remember though, the brain is like any other muscle in your body it will get stronger with practice. I wish I could tell you that it would get stronger with pizza and tacos but that would be a dirty big lie and very unhelpful. Delicious maybe, but unhelpful. What isnt a lie is that the following strategies have been proven by tons of very high-brow research to be very powerful in helping to reduce anxiety.
Mindfulness. But first to show you why.
A mountain of studies have shown that mindfulness can be a little bit magic in strengthening the brain against anxiety. In a massive analysis of a number of different mindfulness/anxiety studies, mindfulness was found to be associated with robust and substantial reductions in symptoms of anxiety.
Mindfulness changes the brain the way exercise changes our body but without the sweating and panting. Two of the ways mindfulness changes the brain are:
Okay then. What else can mindfulness do?
Plenty. Mindfulness can improve concentration, academic performance, the ability to focus, and it can help with stress and depression. It also increases gray matter, which is the part of the brain that contains the neurons. Neurons are brain cells, so we want plenty of them and plenty of gray matter for them to hang out in.
So mindfulness hey? What is it exactly?
Is there an app for that?
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