Types Of Anxiety And Coping Strategies
Sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes you cant avoid stressful situations and have no other choice but to face them. So, my proposal for you is to intelligently design your own coping strategies.
Keep in mind that before you address a serious anxiety problem, its important to identify how anxiety presents itself. You can accomplish this by seeing a professional.
The symptoms of anxiety vary in frequency, forms and triggers. For example, if symptoms appear in the form of a sudden crisis, acutely and intensely, it could be a panic disorder.
In severe cases, a medical professional may approach the problem with medication such as benzodiazepines. But, there are also many other psychological treatments to help you handle stressful situations that generate anxiety.
An example is psycho-education, which can be used to detect symptoms such as anticipatory anxiety. We could also mention the practice of relaxation or cognitive-behavioral techniques to help assess the real risk of a threat.
Tip : Learn To Calm Down Quickly
While socially interacting with another person face-to-face is the quickest way to calm your nervous system, its not always realistic to have a friend close by to lean on. In these situations, you can quickly self-soothe and relieve anxiety symptoms by making use of one or more of your physical senses:
Sight Look at anything that relaxes you or makes you smile: a beautiful view, family photos, cat pictures on the Internet.
Sound Listen to soothing music, sing a favorite tune, or play a musical instrument. Or enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature : ocean waves, wind through the trees, birds singing.
Smell Light scented candles. Smell the flowers in a garden. Breathe in the clean, fresh air. Spritz on your favorite perfume.
Taste Slowly eat a favorite treat, savoring each bite. Sip a hot cup of coffee or herbal tea. Chew on a stick of gum. Enjoy a mint or your favorite hard candy.
Touch Give yourself a hand or neck massage. Cuddle with a pet. Wrap yourself in a soft blanket. Sit outside in the cool breeze.
Movement Go for a walk, jump up and down, or gently stretch. Dancing, drumming, and running can be especially effective.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.
Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
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What Anxiety Attacks Feel Like
Because of the very physical nature of anxiety attacks, they often are mistaken for some type of serious illness, and in some cases they may create a feeling of health anxiety. For many, the experience of an anxiety attack resembles that of more serious diseases, such as:
- Brain Tumors
- Heart Failure
Those who only experience an anxiety attack once may overcome it and their fears of a health problem may dissipate. For others, the experience of an anxiety attack may be so pronounced that it creates serious health fears that lead to hospitalization or several visits to the doctor.
It should be noted that only a doctor can rule out more serious conditions, so there is no harm in seeing the doctor for both a medical opinion of the causes of your experiences and to ease your mind. But note that when you suffer from anxiety attacks it can be very difficult for a doctor to convince you that you that you are healthy. Treating anxiety attacks is often the only way to find relief.
The Difference Between Normal Worry And Gad
Worries, doubts, and fears are a normal part of life. Its natural to be anxious about an upcoming test or to worry about your finances after being hit by unexpected bills. The difference between normal worrying and generalized anxiety disorder is that the worrying involved in GAD is:
|Normal Worry vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder|
|Your worrying doesnt get in the way of your daily activities and responsibilities.||Your worrying significantly disrupts your job, activities, or social life.|
|Youre able to control your worrying.||Your worrying is uncontrollable.|
|Your worries, while unpleasant, dont cause significant distress.||Your worries are extremely upsetting and stressful.|
|Your worries are limited to a specific, small number of realistic concerns.||You worry about all sorts of things, and tend to expect the worst.|
|Your bouts of worrying last for only a short time period.||Youve been worrying almost every day for at least six months.|
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Gad Symptoms In Children
In children, excessive worrying centers on future events, past behaviors, social acceptance, family matters, personal abilities, and school performance. Unlike adults with GAD, children and teens often dont realize that their anxiety is disproportionate to the situation, so adults need to recognize their symptoms. Along with many of the symptoms that appear in adults, some red flags for GAD in children are:
- What if fears about situations far in the future
- Perfectionism, excessive self-criticism, and fear of making mistakes
- Feeling that theyre to blame for any disaster, and their worry will keep tragedy from occurring
- The conviction that misfortune is contagious and will happen to them
- Need for frequent reassurance and approval
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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 Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder
Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:
- Family relationships.
- School performance.
- Social functioning.
Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.
How To Reduce Anxiety
Feelings of anxiety â uneasiness, dread, fear, or an inexplicable sense of impending doom â can be deeply unpleasant. Whether anxiety presents itself as an upset stomach, heart palpitations, a nervous tension that colors everything, or even a panic attack, the discomfort and distress can be extremely challenging.
Weâre not talking about general, everyday anxiousness here, but clinical anxiety â the kind that can be all-consuming and, sometimes, debilitating. When classified as a disorder, anxiety is âpersistent and excessive worryâ where individuals can lose rational perspective and âexpect the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern,â according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Chronic or severe symptoms may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder , which affects close to 40 million adults in the US and, according to the World Health Organization , 1 in 13 globally. Thankfully, there are effective therapies and medications as doctors and healthcare professionals determine the best treatment options that are right for you.
With the right skills and lifestyle changes, we can better regulate our emotions and train our brain to view life with a more balanced, less fearful perspective. Hereâs how to relieve anxiety naturally, and with awareness.
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What Kind Of Anxiety Disorder Do You Have
As with every health issue, an accurate diagnosis is essential. A few common anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: A pattern of excessive worry about a variety of issues on most days for at least six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, a hammering heart, or dizziness.
- Social anxiety disorder: Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called on to perform in front of others, such as in public speaking.
- Phobias: A particular animal, insect, object, or situation causes substantial anxiety.
- Panic disorder: Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of heart-banging fear, breathlessness, and dread. Its the feeling youd have if you just missed being hit by a Mack truck but for people with panic disorder there is no Mack truck, says Dr. Beresin.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation And Relaxation
Mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises can help calm your mind and body, which may allow you to feel less worried. Plus, it only takes a few minutes each day to feel a difference. Use this time to be aware of whats going on in your mind and body. Start with five minutes a day and work your way up to mindful moments several times a day.
To help you get started, listen to a guided meditation, or recorded breathing exercises. Once you feel comfortable with the practice, you will find more focus and awareness throughout the day.
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Try Supplements Or Change Your Diet
Changing your diet or taking supplements is definitely a long-term strategy. Research shows certain supplements or nutrients can help anxiety reduction.
- kava kava
- dark chocolate
However, it can take up to three months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If youre taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor.
Controlling Anxiety Takes Time
Theres no quick fix for anxiety, and it may often feel like an uphill struggle. But by gaining awareness of what causes your symptoms, and getting help from your doctor, you can manage your symptoms.
You may find some of these hacks work for you straight away and others may have no effect at all, but the important thing is to keep trying.
Giving in to feelings of anxiety by retreating from the world only served to make my life more difficult in the long run. Continuing to search for solutions that work for me has been key to my recovery. Practice makes perfect, so dont stop trying to find ways that work for you.
Fiona Thomas is a lifestyle and mental health writer who lives with depression and anxiety. Visit her website or connect with her on .
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Consider What Your Anxiety Is Telling You
Feeling anxious isnt always a bad thing. In fact, anxious thoughts could be your bodys way of giving you valuable information. The next time you feel worry, fear, stress, or overwhelming thoughts of dread, stop, and take a deep breath. Instead of defaulting to this is my anxiety talking, reframe how you view the situation and ask yourself if your body is trying to tell you something. Do you need to slow down? Maybe youre getting sick, and your body is responding with stress. Or maybe, there is a real threat, and you need to take action.
What Is It Like To Have Gad
I was worried all the time and felt nervous. My family told me that there were no signs of problems, but I still felt upset. I dreaded going to work because I couldnt keep my mind focused. I was having trouble falling asleep at night and was irritated at my family all the time.
I saw my doctor and explained my constant worries. My doctor sent me to someone who knows about GAD. Now I am working with a counselor to cope better with my anxiety. I had to work hard, but I feel better. Im glad I made that first call to my doctor.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety-related problems in children share four common features. The anxiety:
- Is typically a fear or fixation that interferes with the ability to enjoy life, get through the day or complete tasks.
- Is puzzling to both the child and parents.
- Does not improve after logical explanations to address the worries.
- Is treatable.
Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.
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Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.