For most people, experiencing anxiety is a part of life. All of us get stressed out and feel anxious when dealing with a problem. Anxiety is a familiar emotion that causes rapid heart rate and other physical manifestations such as stomach trouble, muscle numbness, headache, dizziness, or even shortness of breath.
However, there are people who experience this emotion for prolonged periods of time. In fact, anxiety disorder is a common mental illness in the United States that affects 40 million adults aged 18 years old or older, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The association also states that anxiety disorder may develop from certain risk factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Anxiety disorder usually involves repeated episodes of intense and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations. This often leads to excessive terror or fear that peaks within minutes, also known as panic attacks.
People who suffer from anxiety disorder can seek treatment in mental health facilities that can thoroughly assess their condition and recommend medication and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate their persistent anxiety.
There are also other ways to personally fight anxiety, especially if it’s not yet a severe case and can still be treated without medication. When a person suffers from anxiety, it’s usually the mind that goes in overdrive. The key to battling anxiety is to slow down the mind and relax the body to fight that nagging feeling of being out of control.
Here are 10 useful tips to fighting anxiety:
- BREATHE. When you feel the onset of a panic attack, do a breathing exercise that will help you calm down. Focus your mind on your breathing, by counting 6 seconds of inhaling and 6 seconds of exhaling, until you get into the rhythm and your body begins to relax.
- SLEEP. Letting your body rest helps ease stress and makes your mind more capable of handling anxiety attacks. If you have trouble sleeping, try the 4-7-8 breathing method which has been known to make people fall asleep within 1 minute.
- CUT CAFFEINE. If you drink too much coffee or soda in a day, you might be aggravating your anxiety. You need to cut down on your caffeine intake because while it gives you a jolt of energy when you need it, this same energy level can induce your anxiety attack.
- EAT ON TIME. Get in the habit of eating on time and try not to skip meals. When you skip meals and allow yourself to feel hungry, your blood sugar drops and releases the stress hormone called cortisol, which can worsen your anxiety.
- SAY NO. When there is something that you don’t feel like doing and you know your body and mind will be reacting negatively to it, you have to learn to say no. You will find this liberating and in turn reduce your anxiety.
- EXIT. Learn to give yourself an exit strategy for possible situations that can be out of your control. If you feel too anxious going to a gathering you don’t want to spend too much time in, then you can prepare for an early exit for yourself. The more you are in control of the situation, the less anxious you’ll feel.
- SHOUT. Sometimes speaking out your feelings helps reduce anxiety, even if you’re just saying the words to yourself. But there are times when the pent up tension is so overwhelming that you can only fully release it when you shout it out at the top of your lungs. Find an isolated place where you can do this and feel the pressure dissipating after you’ve had a good scream.
- AVOID TRIGGERS. If possible, find out what triggers your anxiety or panic attacks. You can write them down so that you know what situations you can avoid, or at least prepare for, and put your worries in a better perspective to ease your anxiety.
- BE ACTIVE. You can de-stress yourself from what makes you anxious by diverting your attention to something else. Keep yourself busy and get moving by exercising or being involved in volunteer work. The fulfillment of doing something worthwhile is rewarding enough to keep your mind happy.
- LIVE IN THE MOMENT. When your mind goes in overdrive and cause anxiety, it’s usually because you’re overthinking what is yet to happen. Learn to focus on what is happening at the moment and don’t worry too much about a future that may not even happen. You can’t control the future, but you can live in the moment and appreciate life as it unfolds.
There are mental health treatment facilities that can help people suffering from anxiety. For your convenience, try to find clinics that offer telemedicine or remote healthcare using an efficient EHR system such as the Zoobook EHR. For more information on telemedicine or for a free demo of the Zoobook EHR, call 1-800-995-6997 or visit www.zoobooksystems.com.