Anger, Anxiety, Depression Make the Connection | Counselor Education Series

Anxiety

How to Cope With Anxiety

Anxiety is your body’s natural reaction to stress. Feeling anxious is common and healthy, but if it doesn’t go away after you’ve dealt with a trigger, or you feel anxiety that lasts longer than 6 months, then it’s likely you have an anxiety disorder.

An anxiety disorder is an irrational fear that interferes with daily life and affects your ability to work, socialize, study and relax. It’s caused by a combination of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle choices.

Symptoms may include trembling, sweating, feeling dizzy or racing heartbeat. They also may be accompanied by nausea, stomach cramps or shortness of breath.

The cause of an anxiety disorder is not fully understood, but experts believe it is partly genetic and partly caused by environmental factors. Certain events or situations can trigger anxiety disorders, such as the death of a loved one or an accident.

There are several treatments for anxiety, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and ‘desensitisation’. These help you recognise, challenge and change problematic thinking patterns that cause your anxiety.

Self-care strategies are also important for helping you to cope with your symptoms. These can include getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and drug use, and exercising.

Exercise helps produce chemicals called endorphins in your brain that make you feel more positive. It can also reduce stress.

Meditation and mindfulness can also help you cope with anxiety. These practices involve focusing on your breathing and relaxing your mind and body. You can also listen to music or repeat a mantra.

Avoiding situations that make you anxious can be helpful, but it’s important to talk with a mental health professional if it becomes a problem. It’s also a good idea to get support from family and friends.

Medication and talk therapy can also help with anxiety, but you’ll need to speak to your GP or other medical professional about them. They can recommend the best medication for your particular condition, and they will keep track of how well it’s working.

The most common medication used to treat anxiety is sertraline, but there are other SSRIs available. These drugs are usually prescribed alongside CBT and other psychological treatments, to make sure they’re effective.

EMDR is another form of talking therapy that can be useful for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s used to help you deal with the memories and emotions that have caused your anxiety.

Your therapist might teach you relaxation and breathing techniques, which can help you to calm your mind and body. They will also help you explore your traumatic experiences and change how you think about them.

These strategies might be hard to apply at first, but over time they can become a normal part of your everyday life. The key is to keep trying until you find the right ones for you.

The best way to relieve your anxiety is to take control of it and manage it. The more you practice and understand your feelings, the easier it will be to manage them.

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