Anxiety During Lockdown And Other Triggering Times
During a time of crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, it’s particularly important to manage your anxiety. While it’s reasonable to be more concerned than usual about safety, you also need to ensure that your anxious thoughts don’t themselves becoming damaging.
The term “coronanxiety” has been coined for this particular situation, where anxiety has become more widespread, but anxious feelings can also extend beyond the dangers at hand.
In addition to all the techniques mentioned above, here are three more worth trying during difficult times:
Avoid Drugs Alcohol And Stimulants
Stimulants are chemicals that excite your nervous system, making it work faster and harder. Using stimulants can worsen your anxiety symptoms, so cutting these out can help you to manage your anxiety. Some of the most common stimulants are:
- caffeine, which is found in coffee and tea
- nicotine, which is found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, chews and vape pens
- drugs such as cocaine.
Its ideal to avoid alcohol and drugs in general when youre experiencing anxiety. If youre using substances to feel better or to relax, you might become dependent on them and they could make you feel worse in the long run.
Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety
While many people frequently use stress and anxiety interchangeably, the two terms actually have different meanings. While the above tips can help with both, understanding what each term means is important so you can identify whether other resources and options may be helpful to you. Stress and anxiety are both negative emotional experiences that can cause chaos in your life. Stress is your bodys reaction to changes and challenging situations, and it occurs when you believe you dont have the ability to cope with the demands placed on you. Everyone can get stressed. Stress can trigger anxiety, which everyone can experience as well. But some people will have more than just anxious moments. Those who have anxiety disorders have excessive and persistent worries and fears, even in situations that are not going poorly and are not threatening. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, with approximately 18 percent of the adult population living with one or more types of anxiety disorders. If you think you may be struggling with anxiety, consider taking a mental health screen. It can be the first step to learning more about and improving your mental health.
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When To Seek Help
If youre having thoughts about harming yourself or others, you should seek immediate medical help. Stress and anxiety are treatable conditions and there are many resources, strategies, and treatments that can help. If youre unable to control your worries, and stress is impacting your daily life, talk to your primary care provider about ways to manage stress and anxiety.
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
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How To Manage Anxiety Naturally
If youve always believed that you cant manage anxiety on your own, you will be pleased to know that you absolutely can. Some people manage anxiety with CBD or diet, others use therapy, and some use these tried-and-true methods to overcome long-term feelings of stress and anxiety at home.
Identify What Stresses You Out
Knowing that you are in charge of your life is a crucial part of stress management. The first step to taking control is to identify whats causing you stress. Stress can be caused by more than just obvious things such as new demands at work or dealing with a health issue. Many of the sources of stress lie within our own thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, so its important to look inward as well. Experts suggest writing down every stressful situation in a journal so you can identify patterns as to whats causing your stress, how you felt, and how youve been able to make yourself feel better.
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Practise Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Also called a body scan, this technique helps you to focus on yourself and release tension youre holding in your body.
Breathe in and tense the muscles in your face, squeezing your eyes shut. Clench your jaw and keep your face tensed for five seconds. Gradually relax your muscles over the time it takes to count to ten, then take a deep breath. You can say relax as you relax. Next, move on to your neck and shoulders, and gradually move down your body. Be careful with any injuries or pain that you have. Get more info on how to practise progressive muscle relaxation here.
When Should I See My Doctor
If you or someone close to you is experiencing an emergency, or is at risk of immediate harm, call triple zero . To talk to someone now, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you have tried relaxation techniques and reaching out to someone you trust, but still feel overwhelmed, you can check in with your doctor or speak with a mental health professional.
Stress is not itself a diagnosis but rather a clue that something else is going on. Chronic stress could be a sign of depression, anxiety or a symptom of another mental health condition. GPs and psychologists are trained to know how to recognise when stress is a sign that you need extra support, so dont hesitate to reach out for advice.
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How To Manage Stress Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. People with social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety disorder, or other similar disorders spend most of their time in a highly agitated state.
In recent years, mental health issues have been on the rise. This is because of the amount of competition that a person faces in their life.
People are more worried about their job, money, and other responsibilities today than they were before. These daily stresses have given rise to several health issues among people.
Not everyone is capable of managing and handling stress efficiently, and often, depression sets in.
Manage Your Time More Effectively
One of the biggest causes of stress is poor time management. Not only does it directly cause stress, it can also make it harder for you to assess situations with different perspectives and to stay healthy and well-rested, thus creating more stress. Manage stress in life and stress at work better by prioritizing what you need to do, saying no to additional obligations if you already have a full plate, and delegating when appropriate. You can also be more effective by breaking down large projects into smaller steps. This will make them more manageable and can help you stay encouraged by mentally noting what youve accomplished rather than what you didnt get to on your to-do list. You dont have to be a superhero.
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Why Are We So Anxious
Anxiety is a very common problem, and it’s on the rise. The World Health Organization put the number of people suffering from problematic anxiety worldwide in 2017 at more than 300 million. And in 2019, an American Psychiatric Association poll found that, for the second year in a row, nearly two thirds of respondents were “extremely or somewhat anxious about health and safety for themselves and their families.” Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to rising anxiety all over the world, particularly in older adults and students.
There are many other reasons why anxiety is on the rise. These include worries about the economy or environment, and anxieties about our appearance, social standing and professional success.
Many aspects of modern life could also be to blame. Research has found a correlation between use of social media and increased anxiety, for example. Another study drew a link between increased air pollution and raised anxiety.
Stay Connected And Talk To Someone
Human interaction is essential to all people, and having a conversation with someone you trust is a natural stress reliever. So reach out to your friends and family to catch up and get some bonding time, unless they happen to be the sources of your stress. You can also get this crucial person-to-person interaction by building new relationships. Volunteering, signing up for a new class, and joining a club are all great avenues to make new connections. You may also find it useful to talk with a physician or professional therapist. Healthcare professionals can help you find healthier ways to cope with your stress, help you find solutions, and add perspective. Under the Affordable Care Act, almost all health insurance plans must cover mental health services as an essential benefit. Compare plans on HealthSherpa to see which ones have the best mental health coverage.
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Know When To Disengage
If you know that a situation causes you undue stress, you might want to plan ahead to absent yourself from that situation so your children will not interpret it as unsafe. Lets say, for example, that school drop-offs fill you with anxiety. Eventually you want to be able to take your child to school, but if you are still in treatment, you can ask a co-parent or another trusted adult to handle the drop off. You dont want to model this very worried, concerned expression upon separating from your children, says Dr. Howard. You dont want them to think that theres anything dangerous about dropping them off at school.
In general, if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with anxiety in the presence of your child, try to take a break. Danielle Veith, a stay-at-home mom who blogs about her struggles with anxiety, will take some time to herself and engage in stress-relieving activities when she starts to feel acutely anxious. I have a list of to-do-right-this-second tips for dealing with a panic, which I carry with me: take a walk, drink tea, take a bath, or just get out the door into the air, she says. For me, its about trusting in the fact that the anxiety will pass and just getting through until it passes.
Physical Disease In The Brain
Emotional disorders in general and depression in particular can occur due to physical diseases in the brain . Structural damage to the brain can lower stress tolerance. Therefore, even a small impact can cause depression and other common mental disorders.
In this case, determining the cause is essential. Because if correctly identified, the disease can be treated thoroughly, avoiding affecting the patients quality of life, reducing the burden on the family and society.
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Identify Sources Of Stress
Stress, particularly long-term stress, is strongly linked to anxiety. To tackle it, a good place to start is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale . This tool allows you to analyze the sources of stress in your life.
Another approach is to start keeping a stress diary . Every day, write down the stresses that you experience, and record any anxious thoughts that you have. After a few days, read your diary and explore possible causes and triggers.
Once you’ve identified specific sources of stress and anxiety, you can take steps to avoid them or at least to manage your feelings toward them. Knowing the triggers should also help you to discuss them with others and seek support when required.
Keep Your Mind Peaceful
Just as its important to keep yourself healthy physically, its also important to do so mentally. Relaxation techniques and mind-body activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help you relax, focus, and develop new perspectives. Like exercise, mind-body activities have been shown to have immediate benefits. Another way to relieve stress fast is by finding your happy place by doing something you enjoy, whether its reading, spending time on a hobby, or relaxing in a bathtub.
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Understanding And Managing Anxious Thoughts
It’s normal to be anxious from time to time. Whether it’s something tangible such as waiting to go into a job interview, or an undefined fear about something unknown coming around the corner, anxious thoughts and feelings are a predictable and appropriate response.
But what if your anxiety becomes relentless or overwhelming, or doesn’t seem to have a cause? In cases like these, when anxiety no longer seems like a reasonable response, and your well-being is at risk, you need to take action.
In this article, we explore the different forms of anxiety, and how to combat them. We also look at how to stay on top of everyday anxieties, and how to cope during times when everyone feels more anxious than usual.
to view a transcript of this video.
Accept Anxiety To Deal With It
Sometimes, though, trying to find the upside of a stressful situation can be hard.
Some situations are what they are and there are no ways to fool yourself into thinking about them differently.
In that case its better just to accept the situation to cope with anxiety and stress, rather than fighting it.
Acceptance doesnt mean its right, that youre happy about it or that you ignore it.
It also doesnt mean that you give up.
Rather its acceptance that something cant be changed and it is wasted effort trying to work out how it can be changed, or how it could have been different.
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