10 Steps in dealing with anxiety

10 Steps in dealing with anxiety?

Anxiety is a treatable condition that has been overcome by many individuals just like you. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be very effective in dealing with anxiety disorders. There are however many ways in which you can further improve the outcome of your battle against anxiety. The following are ten easy steps that will help you on your way to recovery.

Step #1

Write down everything that worries you. You can do this either on a piece of paper, a laptop, a phone or wherever. Whenever you are attacked by thoughts of worry write them down. This way you can put a distance between yourself and the thoughts that worry you without trying to ignore them.

Step #2

Allocate yourself worry time. Ignoring anxiety in an attempt to cure it usually has the opposite effect. It will only make matters worse. Rather decide on two periods each day where you allow yourself to give in to worry for about 10 minutes. The rest of the day should be worry free. If worrying thoughts come to mind, write them down and review them during your worry time.

Step #3

Try to accept uncertainty. We live in an age where we are taught to control everything from our diet, to our careers, to our children etc. We believe that if we can control everything it will bring us security. Not only is this untrue, but always worrying about things you can’t control will only lead to you missing out on all the pleasant surprises along the way. You must learn that you can’t always control and predict everything that will happen and there isn’t always a quick fix for everything that can go wrong. This is after all what keeps life interesting.

Step #4

Regularly practice relaxation techniques. These exercises can reduce the symptoms of stress which in turn leads to anxiety. Exercises such as deep breathing, meditation and muscle relaxation exercises will not only ease your anxiety but will also make you feel healthier.

Step #5

Follow a healthy diet. Eating regular, healthy meals will help to support your blood sugar levels as well as provide you with energy to handle those everyday stressful situations.

Step #6

Reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Alcohol can interfere with your sleep. Even though it may initially cause you to relax and fall asleep faster, you are likely to wake up during the night. Caffeine is a stimulant and can mimic some of the symptoms associated with anxiety such as rapid heartbeat. Just like alcohol caffeine may also prevent you from falling and staying asleep at night. Try to drink less coffee during the day or choose decaffeinated coffee if you really can’t go without it. Despite the common perception, many studies have shown that nicotine does not relieve anxiety but can in fact make it worse.

Step #7

Try to exercise regularly. Exercise uses up all of the stress causing hormones in your blood and the other advantage is that it will make you look and feel good about yourself.

Step #8

Get enough sleep. Feeling tired inhibits your ability to deal with stressful situations and can increase your anxiety.

Step #9

Outsource your responsibilities. Anxiety is a common phenomenon amongst perfectionist. If you always take on more responsibilities than others because you feel that you can do the job better than they, you might be causing your own anxiety by overloading yourself with responsibilities. You should learn to trust people and ask for help. Accept that your standard for a job well done isn’t necessarily the only one.

Step #10

Talk to someone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a therapist. You can talk to a close friend or family member of yours. Knowing that you have the support of the people you love will make it easier to deal with anxiety, but people won’t know that you need support if you don’t tell them.

Anxiety is a frightful and a disruptive condition. The good news is that many people have overcome anxiety and so too can you.

References:

“Anxiety Attacks and Anxiety Disorders.” Helpguide.org. 2012. Helpguide.org. (October 16, 2012) http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

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