How Can I Treat Anxiety
Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy , which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.
There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.If youre looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.
You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, theres a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.
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 To Overcome Ocd: The Keys To Recovery
Whatever you do, here are three key guidelines. Your efforts to overcome OCD should follow these guidelines.
Your recovery work should emphasize taking an accepting stance toward the thoughts. You don’t have to accept the apparent meaning of the thoughts, just the fact that you have them. The only real meaning behind obsessive thoughts is that you’re nervous, and you already knew that.
Your recovery work should emphasize postponing the rituals and resistance. The obsessive thoughts always include the idea that you had better do something about the thoughts, or they’ll continue to bother you indefinitely. But this is probably not so. As you get involved in your ordinary activities without going out of your way to bring the thoughts to an end, they will bother you less and less.
Your recovery work should include the practice of regular, scheduled exposure to the obsessive thoughts. This can take the form of written scripts that you read, audio recordings that you listen to, and other forms of routinely working with material that can trigger your obsessive thoughts.
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Seeing A Psychologist About Anxiety Disorders
Though many types of anxiety disorders exist, research suggests that most are driven by similar underlying processes. People with anxiety disorders tend to become easily overwhelmed by their emotions, and they tend to have particularly negative reactions to those unpleasant feelings and situations.
Often, people try to cope with those negative reactions by avoiding situations or experiences that make them anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance can backfire and actually feed the anxiety.
Psychologists are trained in diagnosing anxiety disorders and teaching patients healthier, more effective ways to cope. A form of psychotherapy known as cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly effective at treating anxiety disorders. Through CBT, psychologists help patients learn to identify and manage the factors that contribute to their anxiety.
Through the cognitive component of therapy, patients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to their anxiety symptoms. By learning to change those thought patterns, they can reduce the likelihood and intensity of anxiety symptoms.
With the behavioral component, patients learn techniques to reduce undesired behaviors associated with anxiety disorders. Specifically, patients are encouraged to approach activities and situations that provoke anxiety to learn that their feared outcomes are unlikely.
How Do I Access Treatment
To get treatment on the NHS, the first step is normally to visit your GP. They will do an assessment, which might include asking you to fill in a questionnaire about how often you feel worried, anxious and nervous.
They should then explain your treatment options to you, and you can decide together what might suit you best.
See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for more information on how to prepare for an appointment and have your say in treatment.
Unfortunately NHS waiting lists for talking treatments can be very long. If you’re finding it hard to access talking therapies you could consider:
- Charities and specialist organisations. See useful contacts for a list of organisations that may offer therapy or be able to put you in touch with local services. Mind’s Infoline could also help you find services near you.
- Private therapy. Finding a private therapist is another option some people choose to explore, but it’s not suitable for everyone because it can be expensive. See our page on private therapy for more information.
What if my anxiety stops me from seeking help?
It can be especially hard to get treatment if making or attending an appointment with your doctor involves doing something that causes lots of anxiety for you. For example, you might not feel able to talk on the phone or leave the house.
Here are some things you could try:
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What Are The Signs Of Bad Anxiety
Anxiety disorder symptoms differ from one person to the other. However, common warning signs include restlessness, agitation, fatigue, increased irritability, and sleeping problems. In some cases, patients tremble, sweat, breath rapidly, or have trouble concentrating on routine activities.
There are five main types of anxiety-related disorders. These are social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In recent times, living in a stressful world makes it hard for patients to discern whether they have any of these anxiety conditions or just a bad day at work.
Without proper management, anxiety symptoms may escalate over time and become complicated to treat. Like any other ailment, early treatments guarantee a long-lasting solution. Note that you should consult a reliable therapist before the situation gets out of control. Also, if you experience recurring suicidal thoughts, talk to an expert.
Other grave signs include excess fear of the unknown, low productivity at work or school and overdependence on drugs/alcohol to cope. Luckily, you can train your mind at home on how to minimize anxiety.
First, you can write down your fears and worries on paper. Then, take time to explore the causes of your problems. With this information at hand, you can maneuver around some anxiety triggers and lead a better life.
Techniques For Coping With Anxiety
If you’re looking for ways to deal with your anxiety, there are a number of techniques and treatment options available that can definitely help you manage your symptoms so that they have much less impact on your day to day life.
There are two main options a doctor can offer you for helping to reduce anxiety, both in the present moment and the long-term. It is definitely worth visting your GP to discuss your symptoms further and come up with a plan that suits you.
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How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related To Anxiety Disorders
Some people feel the effects of stress in their stomachs. People with IBS have uncomfortable problems with digestion, including stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. They also frequently have anxiety and depression, which can make symptoms worse.
The connection between IBS and anxiety comes from the nervous system partly controlling the colon. The nervous systems response to stress may affect the stomach. Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment for IBS may include stress management and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms.
The Ultimate Doubting Disease
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder bedevils millions of people with repetitive thoughts and rituals. It’s the ultimate doubter’s disease. Overcoming OCD will require you to work differently with uncertainty and doubts.
Like all anxiety disorders, OCD works by tricking you. You need to understand how this trick works if you’re going to overcome OCD.
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Panic Disorder And Agoraphobia
A person with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia fears that a panic attack will disable him in some way – kill him, make him crazy, make him faint, and so on. So he tries, often desperately, to protect himself from a panic attack, in various ways: by avoiding ordinary activities and locations where he thinks he might panic by carrying objects, like water bottles and cell phones, that he hopes will protect him by trying to distract himself from the subject of panic and numerous other strategies. These anti-anxiety efforts usually make the problem more persistent and severe, rather than less.
The fear of driving is often a part of panic disorder
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
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When To See A Doctor
Constant anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep at night can affect your daily quality of life. Your work or school performance may worsen, and you may find it hard to complete your normal daily tasks.
If anxiety and lack of sleep are affecting your life in this way, its important to reach out to a doctor or mental health specialist for help.
For some people, nighttime anxiety can lead to insomnia. Insomnia is defined as persistent trouble falling or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia can have negative health effects, including an increased risk of:
- health conditions, such as high blood pressure and a weakened immune system
- mental health conditions, such as depression
Whether your doctor makes a diagnosis of anxiety, insomnia, or both, reaching out is the first step in the treatment process.
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.
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Energy Therapies That Heal Trauma
Okay, this one is controversial, but Im going to include it here anyway because its really interesting.
Trauma is not just something that happens to people who go to war or get attacked in the street. Milder forms of trauma can happen to almost anybody in childhood. And many scientists have already studied the link between social anxiety and childhood trauma:
Studies investigating childhood trauma in social anxiety suggest that parental emotional abuse towards the child and emotional neglect may be important factors in the development of SAD.
For example, in a non-clinical sample, compared to women with low levels of social anxiety, women high in social anxiety reported significantly more paternal rejection, paternal and maternal neglect, and paternal authority-discipline.
These types of early childhood experiences of abuse or neglect can cause someone to feel ashamed, insecure or deeply flawed as a person. I talk a lot about this in my social anxiety system and in my toxic shame video here. Trauma comes from disturbing memories int he past that create a psychoenergetic block inside you that affects your life and relationships with people today.
So how to deal with it? Well theres 2 interesting approaches I can share:
EMDR is a type of therapy where you focus on the traumatic memory while moving your eyes side to side. This eye movement is supposed to allow you to reprocess the past trauma.
Suffering From Severe Anxiety
Anxiety is an incredibly stressful, but arguably manageable disorder. Many people still work, spend time with friends, and hold onto relationships while living with anxiety. But others are more affected by it, and some even struggle to complete the tasks of everyday life.
The best way to characterize a severe anxiety disorder is one that is disabling or significantly impairs someone from managing their activities or responsibilities. For example:
- Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia – Agoraphobia is a fear of being outdoors or in unfamiliar places. Panic disorder is generally characterized as with or without agoraphobia. Panic attacks can be disabling on their own, and so severe that hospitalization is required. However, the addition of agoraphobia worsens their symptoms and experiences, because it makes it difficult to go outside or enjoy any type of social life – and the anxiety a person does experience while outdoors is significant.
- Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Some individuals suffer from severe OCD, which consists of being so engrossed in repetitive thoughts and the need to perform acts/compulsions in order to ease the anxiety caused by the thoughts. The degree of compulsions can make people unable to actually live their lives because they are forced to spend so much time acting out their compulsions.
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