Dealing With Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but it can be a problem when it interferes with your life. It can also lead to feelings of isolation and depression if it is not treated properly.
Anxiety can be caused by a number of things, including illness and traumatic events in your life. It can also be a sign that you have an underlying medical condition, so it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Risk factors for anxiety disorders include genetics, family history and a person’s environment. Having parents or other family members with anxiety disorders increases a person’s chances of developing an anxiety disorder, as does living in a high-crime area, being homeless or having poor social support.
Some people may develop an anxiety disorder because of a stressful event in their past, for example, having a baby, moving house or losing a job. They may also have a physical health issue that causes stress, such as thyroid problems or chronic pain.
You can learn to manage your anxiety symptoms, such as panic attacks, by practicing breathing techniques. These can help to slow down your breathing, reduce your heart rate and calm you down. You can also do a simple meditation or relaxation exercise that will help to relax your body and mind.
Your doctor will talk with you about the best ways to treat your anxiety and any other symptoms. They will usually prescribe medication, but there are also many other treatments you can try at home.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments. It involves working with a psychologist to identify and change actions and thought patterns that cause you to feel anxious. You will also be given training on how to manage your symptoms effectively.
Other treatment options for anxiety include exposure therapy, where you gradually expose yourself to situations that trigger your anxieties. This helps to desensitise you, so you’re less likely to experience them in the future.
Another type of therapy, called EMDR, is used to help people cope with traumatic memories. It is very effective and can be done face-to-face or over the telephone.
Getting regular sleep and a healthy diet are also important for managing your anxiety. A healthy diet can reduce the amount of stress hormones produced in your body, which can make you feel anxious. Avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola or energy drinks, can also help to calm you down.
Staying active can help you to manage your anxiety too. You can do exercises such as tai chi or yoga, which will make you feel more relaxed. You can also enjoy time with friends and family, which will decrease your worry and stress levels.
Keep your relationships with your family and friends strong and support each other if you need it. Having someone to share your thoughts with will also help you feel more secure in yourself and your ability to cope.