Anxiety is the kind of condition that can creep up on you. Millions of people suffer from it – and some don’t even realize it. But the health impacts of anxiety can be significant, and it’s one of those conditions that you have to keep your eye open for. The big question for today is if you are feeling anxious and stressed and are struggling with anxiety, what can you do about it?
Struggling With Anxiety? Here Are a Few Ways To Find Relief Fast
First of all, let’s make one thing clear. Treatment for anxiety is a long-term process, and it’s not something you can solve with a snap of the fingers – or even a single visit to the doctor. It takes time to resolve and time to start feeling in a better frame of mind. However, there are a few things that you can do that can reduce your symptoms by a significant amount.
In today’s guide, we’re going to take you through some of the many things you can do right now that can help you feel better tomorrow. Don’t forget, though, that if you are going through an extended period of anxiety, it’s vital to seek out help from a doctor. Let’s take a look at some of your options in a moment, but first, what exactly is anxiety?
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is not actually a single condition. Instead, it’s a general term for a broad range of other conditions that impact the way we feel and can increase worry, fear, and nervousness. But it’s not just a psychological issue. Over time, those mental feelings of unease can actually manifest into physical problems. These can include lots of issues, from dizziness and heart palpitations to headaches and extreme muscle tension.
How do you know you have it?
Anxiety can sneak up on you, and its symptoms are also relatively common with other medical issues. But if you are feeling nervous all the time, worried or fearful of life in general, there’s a good chance a trip to the doctor will reveal you are in a state of anxiety. Doctors will usually ask some simple questions, give you an anxiety score, and, if necessary, prescribe you the appropriate treatment.
Treating anxiety – Medication
Not all cases of anxiety will need medication, but doctors can prescribe you medication to help you get some relaxation. Antidepressants could be offered, and you might also be given relaxants or sleeping tablets to calm your muscles and give you a chance to get some rest. However, bear in mind that these medications are only handed out if you have a significant anxiety score, and you will also be advised to seek out psychological help.
Long-term treatment – Therapy
Medication will help you relax and rest, but it won’t help you face up to the source of your anxiety. To do this, you will need to take a course of counseling, or perhaps even something like cognitive behavioral therapy. Talking to a friendly face is a great way to get things out in the open, and in the professional setting of a therapist’s office, you will be in good hands to deal with any impacts. Don’t forget, despite the physical manifestations of anxiety, it’s your mind that is causing you the problems so never be afraid of seeing a professional.
OK, so that’s the standard medical treatment of anxiety out of the way. Now, let’s take a look at everything you can do when you are going through periods of feeling anxious, and how you can reduce the impact of a particular anxiety attack.
This might surprise you but the vast majority of people out there don’t breathe properly. And there’s actually a link between poor breathing habits and severe anxiety symptoms – the worse your breathing, the more intense the attacks. So, your first job is to learn to control your breathing, slow down, and take deep, simple breaths. Breathing exercises can help with a variety of anxiety issues.
You don’t have to see a professional, of course. Many people are fearful of admitting their anxiety problems and will keep everything bottled up on the inside, but the reality is that it will all explode and come out at some point. According to anxietynetwork.com, your best bet is to start recognizing your anxiety symptoms and talking them out before they get out of hand. So, confide in a close friend or loved one you can trust, and tell them what is happening. The vast majority of people will be happy to help you out, whether it’s by phone or in person.
Get out and exercise
Anxiety sends a huge dose of adrenaline through your body (call it “anxiety juice”), and the extra energy can cause a kind of nervous tension. It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that you can exercise it out, so get yourself outside or to the gym and do some aerobic exercise. Not only will it burn off some of your stress hormones, but it will also help you reduce the tension in your muscles. Training is also a fantastic activity to help you boost your endorphin production, which will help improve your mood. Finally, working out is tough and needs focus and concentration. A lot of people with anxiety find that they feel much better when they have distractions.
If you have a smoking habit, you are probably thinking that a cigarette or two can relax your nerves. Unfortunately, it’s something of a myth, and smoking can actually increase your chances of developing anxiety, not to mention the many more horrendous conditions that nicotine addiction is responsible for. So, get yourself some e-cigarettes. According to vaporescence.com, there is a vast array of different flavored juices to choose from, and you can also reduce your reliance on nicotine altogether by selecting a 0% liquid. Even better, quit altogether. Yes, you might feel more anxious for a short time, but most smokers have vastly reduced anxiety scores within a couple of weeks.
Again, in times of stress, we often reach for a beer, glass of wine, or something even stronger. There’s a good reason why too. Alcohol is a sedative and can also make people feel more confident in social situations. However, while it might help you to relax in the short-term, there will be problems further on down the line – your anxiety levels will be through the roof if you wake up with a hangover. And anxiety isn’t something that just goes away on its own, and if you are drinking every night just to feel calmer, you could end up with dependency issues. You can also build up your tolerance levels, and eventually will end up needing more beer, wine, or spirits to achieve the same level of relaxation – and that’s when the damage of drinking can start to take effect.
Listen to mood music
Music can have an incredibly relaxing effect on the mind, body, and soul. And while it might not sound like an activity that can help you overcome symptoms of anxiety, it’s actually a great way to calm down. And we’re not talking about listening to gentle, classical music, either. Some people are soothed by hard metal; others prefer to chill out to ambient electronica. The point is, you need to find your mood music and start playing it whenever you are feeling anxious.
Halt the spiral
Anxiety might seem like it occurs at a moment’s notice, but the reality is that it doesn’t come out of the blue at all. Your mind starts to prompt negative thoughts that increase in veracity over time – sometimes in a matter of minutes. And while it feels like you can’t stop it, there are plenty of strategies you can try that can control your mind from spiraling out of control. If you visit a therapist or counselor, they will be able to help you recognize when things are starting to happen, and also create a learning plan that will help you stem the tide of anxiety. For example, they could help you stop associating your physical symptoms with panic attacks, or help you develop an affirmation strategy – telling yourself you are OK and will feel better. Creating a checklist asking yourself questions is another good way of getting out of a panic or anxiety attack. Some people ask themselves if there is a genuine reason for feeling scared or worried, while others might ask themselves to provide evidence that something is actually wrong. Find a strategy that suits you, and use it – it can help anxiety by a significant amount!
Over to you
As you can see, there are plenty of things that anxiety sufferers can do to reduce the impact of their panic attacks. Of course, there is no quick cure, and if you are worried about your anxiety levels, you should always seek out professional, medical advice. However, anyone experiencing long-term anxiety can improve their outlook and general health by learning to manage it with some of these – and many other – ideas.
How do you find relief when struggling with anxiety at home? What techniques do you use that others may want to try?