Tips To Reducing Your Stress
We are all creatures of habit and develop patterns of behavior we rely on, even if these patterns are dysfunctional. Breaking old habits is not easy. In the case of chronic stress however, changing the patterns that got you there in the first place may save your life.
Realistically evaluate the current situation: When we are stressed out and feeling anxious we tend to overstate the severity of our circumstances. It is not to say that we shouldnt have a strategy for a worse case scenario, however things are not always worse case. It is imperative to see things clearly and not cause yourself more stress unnecessarily. For example, it is one thing to stay current with the news of the day. It would be counter productive however, to become obsessed with it.
Practice relaxing: Take a few minutes to close your eyes, take a deep breath and tell yourself to relax. You can program your mind to calm down with just a little practice. You can also take a warm bath, stretch several times a day or just take a 5 minute nap. Do this every day and you will notice an improvement in your stress level. This is a form of meditation.
Sleep: If you are not sleeping well or are sleep deprived you will likely perform poorly at work, feel irritable and be short tempered. Sleep deprivation is often a major contributor to chronic stress.
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Do A Daily Or Routine Meditation
While this takes some practice to do successfully, mindful meditation, when done regularly, can eventually help you train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise.
If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting with yoga, or walking meditation. There are many free guided meditations on apps like InsightTimer that can help you get started.
Can Anxiety And Depression Be Treated Together
Yes. No one has to suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, and certainly not both. People with anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms and start treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect you have both anxiety and depression, Connolly recommends getting a thorough evaluation from a psychiatrist as a first step. “It’s really crucial for people with both to have a good assessment to rule out bipolar disorder,” she says.
Important: If you or someone you know needs help coping with anxiety or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK . The Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.
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How To Know If You Have Anxiety
While there are more serious panic disorders, phobias and anxiety conditions including post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder , more generalized anxiety can often be classified by some of the following symptoms:
- Uncontrollable worry that causes distress
- Realizing that even seemingly inconsequential things like completing chores causes stress
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty sleeping
Tips And Strategies To Manage Anxiety And Stress
At some point, anxiety and stress affect everyone. They can manifest differently in different people, and the level of anxiety one experiences can vary, but there is one thing for certain: there are ways to manage anxiety, even if it feels out of control.
Of course, if anxiety is affecting your everyday life and getting in the way of your daily productivity for an extended period, please seek assistance. Find Help
Information about causes and treatment goes a long way in helping to understand anxiety and stress, but there are also some physical and mental things you can do when feeling anxious or stressed. Some coping strategies from ADAAs experts include:
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Write Down Your Thoughts
Writing down whats making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.
These relaxation tricks are particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety sporadically. They may also work well with someone who has generalized anxiety disorder when theyre in a bind!
However, if you suspect you have GAD, quick coping methods shouldnt be the only kind of treatment you employ. Youll want to find long-term strategies to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even prevent them from happening.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Self
Support from other people is vital to overcoming GAD. Social interaction with someone who cares about you is the most effective way to calm your nervous system and diffuse anxiety, so its important to find someone you can connect with face to face on a regular basisyour significant other, a family member, or a friend, perhaps. This person should be someone you can talk to for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted by the phone or other people.
Build a strong support system. Human beings are social creatures. Were not meant to live in isolation. But a strong support system doesnt necessarily mean a vast network of friends. Dont underestimate the benefit of a few people you can trust and count on to be there for you.
Talk it out when your worries start spiraling. If you start to feel overwhelmed with anxiety, meet with a trusted family member or friend. Just talking face to face about your worries can make them seem less threatening.
Know who to avoid when youre feeling anxious. Your anxious take on life may be something you learned when you were growing up. If your mother is a chronic worrier, she is not the best person to call when youre feeling anxiousno matter how close you are. When considering who to turn to, ask yourself whether you tend to feel better or worse after talking to that person about a problem.
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Tip : Practice Relaxation Techniques For Gad
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. Its the bodys physical fight or flight reaction to a perceived threat. Your heart pounds, you breathe faster, your muscles tense up, and you feel light-headed. When youre relaxed, the complete opposite happens. Your heart rate slows down, you breathe slower and more deeply, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure stabilizes. Since its impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time, strengthening your bodys relaxation response is a powerful anxiety-relieving tactic.
Effective relaxation techniques for relieving anxiety include:
Deep breathing. When youre anxious, you breathe faster. This hyperventilation causes symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and tingly hands and feet. These physical symptoms are frightening, leading to further anxiety and panic. But by breathing deeply from the diaphragm, you can reverse these symptoms and calm yourself down.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help you release muscle tension and take a time out from your worries. The technique involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body. As your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
It May Boost Cognitive Function
The same 2014 study also looked at the effects of lemon balm in improving cognitive function.
Participants were asked to do cognitive tasks involving memory, mathematics, and concentration. The results of these computerized tasks suggest that participants who ingested lemon balm performed better than those who didnt.
Although these participants did experience an increase in levels of alertness and performance, its still possible for fatigue to set in over time. Combining lemon balm with food also affects its absorption rate, which may have had an impact on its efficacy. Additional research is needed.
How to use: Take 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm three times a day.
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Tools To Help You Cope With Anxiety
One of the most important things to remember about anxiety coping is that coping actually happens inside of you. There are many strategies to help you cope, but what will eventually help you cure your anxiety forever is your own mental strength. Everyone has it, but it often requires taking care of your body and re-training your mind for how you should react to anxiety and stress.
Still, the following will help promote better coping, and give you an opportunity to control some of the issues that lead to anxiety symptoms:
These things may not cure anxiety on their own, but they will help you learn to control the way anxiety affects you, and you’ll often find that they assist your ability to mentally cope – in some cases enough to cure it completely.
How Do You Cope
To cope with plain-vanilla anxiety, âget real,â as they say. âSeparate out the real risks and dangers that a situation presents and those your imagination is making worse,â advises Ross. Itâs a twist on the old adage: âTake control of the things you can, and accept those you canât change.â
âAsk yourself: Where can you take control of a situation? Where can you make changes? Then do what needs to be done,â she says. âWhat things do you simply have to accept? Thatâs very important.â
Very often, itâs possible to get past an anxiety cycle with the help of friends or family â someone who can help you sort out your problems. But when anxiety becomes overwhelming, itâs time for a therapist, or perhaps medication.
Here are two strategies that therapists use to help us conquer anxiety:
Challenge negative thoughts.
Ask yourself: Is this a productive thought? Is it helping me get closer to my goal? If itâs just a negative thought youâre rehashing, then you must be able to say to that thought: âStop.ââThatâs difficult to do, but itâs very important,â Ross says.
Rather than becoming paralyzed with anxiety, hereâs another message you can send yourself: âI may have to take a job I donât like as much, may have to travel further than I want, but Iâll do what I have to do now. At least I will have the security of income in the short term. Then I can look for something better later.â
Learn to relax.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
Natural Remedies For Anxiety
If you visualize activities like exercise and meditation when you think of natural anxiety remedies, youre on the right track. While certain medications can be prescribed by a psychiatrist for severe anxiety disorders, there are options you can try at home which may offer reprieve:
- Take a walk, exercise or otherwise stay active since it can shift your brains focus off anxiety. Moving your body decreases muscle tension, which can contribute to anxious feelings. Plus, raising your heart rate can change your brain chemistry, increasing the availability of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid .
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which could potentially increase anxiety and depression.
- Prioritize sleep to recover and prepare for challenges ahead. Deep sleep, or non-rapid eye movement slow-wave sleep, can help to calm and reset a restless mind, as heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation to ground yourself and alleviate anxious symptoms.
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It May Help Lessen Toothache Pain
Lemon balms pain-relieving properties may make it an ideal choice for relieving toothache pain. In addition to drawing on its relaxing properties, this home remedy is thought to target inflammation in the body. More research is needed to confirm these findings.
How to use: Use a cotton swab to apply lemon balm oil to the affected area as needed. Be sure to select an oil that has already been diluted by a carrier oil, such as jojoba. If you purchase pure lemon balm oil, you should dilute it. Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin until they are diluted in a carrier oil.
Lemon balm has the potential to cause the following side effects:
- skin irritation
- allergic reaction
You may be able to minimize side effects, such as stomach upset, by ingesting lemon balm alongside food. You can also reduce your risk for side effects by consuming fewer than 2 grams of lemon balm per day.
Lemon balm should only be used for a short period of time. A general rule of thumb is to take one week off after every three weeks of use. You shouldnt take lemon balm for longer than four months at a time without a break.
You should talk to your doctor before use if youre taking:
- glaucoma medications
Do I Need Treatment For Anxiety
Thereâs a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.
Signs that itâs time to talk to a mental health professional include:
- Constant or nearly constant anxiety
- Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
- Anxiety about things that donât actually threaten you
Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.
âYou donât want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,â Kissen says.
Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Rosmarin notes that itâs important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesnât need to go on indefinitely to be effective.
âA course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,â he says. âThereâs also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.â
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Tips For Coping With An Anxiety Disorder
Topics in this Post
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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Learning To Be Assertive
Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.
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Who Is Likely To Have Chronic Stress
People who are more susceptible to having this condition may have the following characteristics:
- They often act as if everything is an emergency
- They need everything to be perfect
- They are often micro managers
- They need to control everything
- They often consider others incompetent
- They may get angry easily
- They rarely enjoy the moment and are often thinking about something else
- They often have a dark or negative view of things
- They can be unreasonable or bullheaded
- They think they are always right
- They cant take criticism, even though it may be constructive
- They see things as black or white with little or no grey areas
- They may get angry or depressed easily
This type of person tends to elevate their hormonal levels, ultimately causing themselves more unnecessary stress for longer periods of time.
Typically a person with this condition has gotten accustomed to feeling and behaving this way. It is often because of the involvement of family or friends that a person suffering with chronic stress decides to get help or make changes.