It is perfectly normal to feel anxious about something. It is a normal human reaction to stress or fear. Anxiety is when one feels worried about something, for example, to feel worried about an exam, someone’s health, work-related issues, personal relationships and many other things. But anxiety can become a mental disorder when you are constantly in a state fear or stress. The level of stress becomes so overwhelming that it hampers your everyday life. For example, if you are anxious about your work at the office, you start to avoid going to office altogether.
Especially in these difficult times, when the entire world is fighting against a pandemic, anxiety has become a very common phenomenon. But let’s not worry! Every problem has a solution. Anxiety can also be dealt with guidance and support. You just need to identify the symptoms and help is available. There are corporate wellness programs, online psychological help and online therapy for anxiety available at your disposal. But before discussing how to deal with anxiety, we need to be aware of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Having a constant feelings of impending danger or doom.
- Rapid breathing which does not go away easily.
- Constant feeling of nervousness or restlessness.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Inability to sleep properly.
- Difficulty in concentrating on anything else except the present matter of concern.
- The tendency to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
- Having gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
- The inability to control reasons to worry.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
There are various types of anxiety disorders. Before determining how to deal with anxiety, your doctor will assess what kind of anxiety disorder you are suffering from. Here are the types of anxiety disorder:
In this kind of anxiety disorder, you try to avoid the places or situations that might trigger anxiety or stress.
In this kind of anxiety disorder, fear and worry reach an extreme point where you suffer from panic attacks. You may have chest pain, heart palpitation and the intense feeling that something bad is going to happen. Panic attacks lead to the fear of them happening again. As a result, you start avoiding such situations and places.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In this kind of anxiety disorder, you start worrying about even the simple day to day work. The anxiety makes you exaggerate the actual situation and affects you mentally and physically. Generalized anxiety disorder can be the result of depression.
In this kind of anxiety disorder, there is a high level of anxiety regarding being judged negatively by others.
Substance-induced Anxiety Disorder
In this kind of anxiety disorder, intense anxiety and panic occur from misusing drugs or other medications. It can also be the side effect of drug withdrawal.
Causes of Anxiety
The causes of anxiety cannot be explained. The symptoms can be triggered by anything and everything. Life experiences and trauma, at some point in time, can lead to various types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder can also be the cause of some underlying health issues. Anxiety can occur from medical issues such as heart diseases, diabetes, thyroid, respiratory problems, alcohol withdrawal, chronic pain and certain rare tumors.
How to Deal with Anxiety
Now that you know the symptoms, types and causes of anxiety, it becomes easier to plan how to deal with anxiety. Anxiety is a common mental illness nowadays with the stressful and monotonous life that we lead. But we cannot leave anxiety untreated, whether it is affecting our loved ones or us. We will discuss how we can deal with anxiety ourselves, and when should we consult a therapist formental health counseling.
Here are some ways to deal with anxiety:
Moving your body is a great way to improve mental and physical health. Proper exercise can ease anxiety and boost your self-confidence. Be sure to choose exercises that you enjoy. You can opt for Zumba or aerobics. However, do note that monotonous exercises that you do not enjoy can also lead to further anxiety.
Sleep is essential to treat anxiety and stress. Inability to sleep increases anxiety and panic attacks. Make a routine for yourself and even if you do not feel sleepy, lie in your bed with closed eyes. Try not to watch television or use your electronic device before going to sleep. Also, make sure that your bed is comfortable.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Both alcohol and caffeine can trigger your anxiety levels. Try to avoid them as much as possible if you are suffering from anxiety or depression. Caffeine is also present in some diet pills, some headache pills, chocolate and tea. Therefore, check the ingredients before you indulge in something.
Practice Meditation and Deep Breathing
Meditation and deep breathing help the mind and body relax. To get the maximum benefits, you should lie down on a flat surface. Then put one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest. Then take a slow breath so that your belly rises. Hold your breath for a second and then slowly let it go. The exercise will soothe your mind and help you concentrate better.
Indulge in Good Deeds
Indulge in good deeds – it will help you avoid negative thoughts and anxiety. When you help someone and see them happy, it makes you happy from within. Happiness goes a long way in treating mental illnesses like anxiety, stress and depression. Participate in social work and community work. It will help you slowly recover from anxiety.
Relax Tense Muscles
Try progressive muscle relaxation. It helps in relaxing the whole body and the mind. Tighten a muscle group for some seconds and then let it go.
Search for Triggers that Cause Anxiety
Try to be aware of what is causing your anxiety disorder. Whether it is a place, person or a situation, try to work on ways to control anxiety when you are in that situation or place the next time. This will help you manage your anxiety better and control it.
Talk to a Friend or Family Members
Share your feelings with friends and family members. Talk to someone when you feel that anxiety is taking over your thoughts or feelings. Sharing and talking can ease your worries. Do not isolate yourself. Try to converse with people as much as possible.
How to Treat Anxiety
Counseling for anxiety is very common nowadays. If self-help does not help you in controlling anxiety, medication and online psychological help is the best solution. Many people find it difficult to visit counsellors physically. Firstly because of the pandemic situation, and secondly, because of embarrassment and social pressure.Online therapy is the best option under these circumstances, where there is no perceived fear or embarrassment.
Medication for Anxiety
Your doctor will prescribe medicines according to the severity of your anxiety disorder. The medicines will help you control your anxiety and stress symptoms. The medicines generally include anti-anxiety and anti-depression medicines. Some doctors may also prescribe antipsychotic medicines such as Risperdal, Zyprexa or Seroquel.
In the present scenario, online therapy is the best solution for anxiety disorder. People can choose to opt for parent counseling, grief counseling and relationship counselling online without the hassle of being physically present with the counsellor. The best treatment for an anxiety disorder or any kind of mental illness is a combination of therapy and medication.
Types of Anxiety Therapy
These are the types of anxiety therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is used to recognize the causes of anxiety and then change the thinking pattern of the patient suffering from anxiety disorder. It aims at decreasing the occurrence of negative feedback and changes the way the patient reacts to anxiety triggers. CBT is used not only to treat anxiety, but also PTSD and phobias.
Group therapy is an excellent way of treating anxiety, stress and depression. When you share your anxieties and fears with a supportive group, it can be highly helpful in treating your fears. When you get to know that you are not alone, it provides mental support and strength. The group is generally headed by a health professional, and the group members are people with similar mental illnesses. Many of them have emerged fit from the illness and share their success stories. The groups arrange live online counseling where all the group members can interact with the safety of their homes.
In guided imagery therapy, the counsellor will make use of your imagination to transport your mind to a calm and relaxed environment. This will allow the mind to relax and will help in treating anxiety. With the improvement in technology, there are many guided imagery apps and podcasts where you can access the therapy online.
Mental illnesses affect our lives and relationships in many negative ways. A person suffering from anxiety or depression will not only suffer themselves but also negatively effect the people around them. Therefore, timely diagnosis and treatment are very important. It is not very difficult to fight against anxiety. The right approach and timely help can help you recover quickly.