Anxiety disorders can strike anyone at any time, and the level of anxiety in America has only worsened in the past few decades as we go about our hectic lives. This is really a shame, as there are many treatments for anxiety out there for sufferers to peruse. Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life and it is possible to escape from its grip. This article will outline ten ways that you can start treating your anxiety today.
Get Enough Rest The simple fact is that most people do not get enough sleep at night. Most of us go about our days in a constant state of sleep deprivation, and bragging about how little sleep we get and how busy we are has become a badge of honor. However, this type of behavior isn’t healthy for anyone, and it can be especially damaging for anxiety sufferers. If you are currently struggling with anxiety, you simply must get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Your overworked mind needs a chance to rest and restore itself for the next day. People who don’t get enough sleep will soon find that their overall mood worsens and problems that would normally be small are blown to endemic proportions in their minds. Feeling anxious is a sign that you need to take it easy.
Change Your Breathing Most people don’t breathe properly and this can be especially damaging for anxiety sufferers. Make sure to breathe from diaphragm, and don’t fall into the habit of taking quick breaths, as this can lead to hyperventilation and panic attacks. Take a deep breath in to the count of five, hold it for five seconds and then slowly release. You can continue doing this until you begin to feel relaxed, and make a habit of each day so you’ll be well-prepared for any potential panic attacks.
Learn how to relax Training your body to relax by listening to classical music, treating yourself to nice a warm bath every now and then and most importantly, learn the art of meditation. Meditation will teach you to focus on the here and now and to be more “present” in your everyday life. The mind of an anxiety sufferer is often in the past or the future, and meditation helps you to focus on what’s actually happening. Progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tightening and loosening muscle groups while focusing on breath, is also very helpful.
Get a massage A massage be just the treat when you’re suffering from anxiety. The most popular and well-known massage is the Swedish massage, and it’s your best bet if you’ve never visited a massage therapist. However, many people who suffer from anxiety develop areas of tightness in their muscles called trigger points, so a deep tissue massage may be in order to address these problem areas.
Change Your Diet It’s important to really watch what you put in your body when you suffer from anxiety. Focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your caffeine intake, as this can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
Exercise! Try to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day. Don’t forget about yoga, which has been shown to increase levels of GABA in the brain, the same chemicals that anti-anxiety medication targets. Any activity that gets your heart rate up will produce mood-enhancing endorphins in the brain.
Consider Herbs Herbs such as kava kava and passionflower can be very soothing to those who are suffering from anxiety. However, it’s important to make sure they can be used safely with any medication you may be taking.
Talk to a Friend It’s important to not to underestimate the strength that you can find in friends and family. As the old saying goes, “no man is an island,” and by garnering the support of your loved ones, you’ll find that your journey to overcoming anxiety is much easier.
Get Involved in your Community Sometimes the best type of therapy we can provide for ourselves is getting away from our own problems by serving others. Research volunteer opportunities in your area and find one that best suits your passion and abilities.
Visit a Therapist The best type of therapy for anxity is called cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy will teach you how to address cognitive distortions that are leading to your anxiety. Be sure to find a therapist who is skilled in this particular area, as you will reap dividends from everything he or she will be able to teach you.
“Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. <http://www.mayoclinic.com> 22 Jan 2012.