Taking Control: Natural Techniques To Reduce Anxiety
Nearly 7 million American adults suffer from a general anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Everyone experiences the occasional bout of anxiety. Between today's overburdened schedules and the current politically charged social environment, people are particularly vulnerable to these stressful episodes. Anxiety can spiral out of control and become debilitating as the effects consume your mental and physical health. Learn how to recognize anxiety and what you can do to take back control before its triggers and symptoms control you.
Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological state that is characterized by feelings of stress, worry, apprehension, or fear. General anxiety disorder is diagnosed when these feelings plague an individual for more days than not over a period of six consecutive months. Anxiety manifests into a variety of physical symptoms, including the following:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pain
- Twinges and tingling anywhere throughout the body
- Changes in appetite
- Disrupted sleep patterns
Any of these symptoms can also be a sign of other health conditions, some of which are serious, as well as a side effect of certain medications or a sign of substance abuse, so it is important to address your symptoms to your physician. Once other conditions have been ruled out and you are diagnosed as having anxiety, then it's time to learn how to deal with it.
Common Triggers of Anxiety
In order to learn how to deal with anxiety, the first step is to identify the cause for these episodes. There are numerous triggers for anxiety, including the following:
- Death of a loved one
- Surviving a disastrous event
- Job or school pressures
- Being the victim of a traumatic event
- Personal relationship struggles
- Personal economic struggles
- Coping with a serious illness
- Injury that results in a physical impairment
One component that all of these triggers share is the element of overwhelming stress. Several natural stress-relieving techniques can be enlisted to try to cope with your anxiety, including the following:
- Distractions and diversions
- Interaction with friends, family, and support groups
- Yoga and meditation
- Physical exercise, balanced diet, and rest
Anxiety in which the symptoms are triggered by a particular short-term event, such as an upcoming examination or performance, can be managed by employing these methods. They may also be helpful when coping with a traumatic situation of longer duration, such as the loss of a loved one.
Distractions and Diversions
By devoting one hour a day to down time, you can occupy your mind with a diversion. The diversion may come in the form of watching an episode of a favorite television program, working on a craft project or escaping into the pages of an engrossing book. These pastimes distract the mind from dwelling on life's stresses by providing another point of focus. Electing to delve into a new interest, such as cooking or gardening, provides the added benefit of building self-confidence as you learn a new hobby. Confidence gained by achieving success in one aspect of life will aid in providing the confidence to tackle other, more challenging areas that may cause stress.
Interaction with other individuals is another beneficial method to employ in your quest to deal with anxiety. If you share a close bond with a sibling or friend, you can relieve your symptoms of anxiety with a conversation, either on the telephone or face to face. Topics of these conversations should be about fun, positive, and even trivial matters to provide the needed distraction. However, even when the other individual is experiencing a stressful situation of their own that they need to talk about, you may find that they actually have some helpful advice to offer, which in turn will help to boost confidence in handling their own scenario. By talking out problems, the exchange of ideas and potential solutions take place. In addition to close friends or family members, support groups comprised of individuals who have been experiencing the same stressful traumas are valuable resources for this therapeutic interaction.
Yoga and Meditation
Managing physical health in order to learn how to deal with anxiety is also crucial. By enrolling in a yoga and meditation class, you will acquire such skills as breathing and relaxation techniques and stretching routines to help alleviate both mental and physical symptoms of stress-induced anxiety. These helpful skills will empower you to take control of your mind and body, making it much easier to cast aside the negative emotions that afflict your overall state of being. Once learned, concentration methods can be taken along and applied during such activities as a daily walk, a weekend stroll along a scenic route, or fitness workouts.
Daily stretching and 30 minutes of daily physical activity lead to better health, as does a nutritionally balanced diet and adequate rest. Consume a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and plenty of water. Avoid processed foods that contain high levels of salt, sugar and artificial ingredients, as these can all have adverse effects, such as hypertension and diabetes. Limit caffeine consumption and engage in relaxation techniques before bedtime. Turn off all mobile devices for an hour before you plan to go to bed, and strive to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. When your physical health improves, your stamina to fight against such invaders as illness and stress is much stronger.
Anxiety disorders that are characterized by symptoms that continue for extensive periods of time or by episodes that are frequent and paralyzing will require further treatment from a physician. It is still beneficial to learn the aforementioned coping skills to deal with anxiety, however. If you need to pursue extra help from a professional health care provider, specific individual counseling, and/or prescribed anti-anxiety medications used in conjunction with these techniques will achieve better results.
The effects of anxiety can have a crippling impact on your ability to function through life's daily routine if you don't take charge. Once the cause of anxiety has been identified and you become aware of the stresses that trigger the symptoms, you can effectively learn how to deal you're your anxiety. Managing anxiety before it takes complete control over your life will be an empowering tool toward enjoying a better quality of life. For additional information, contact a company like The A Treatment Center.