Anxiety is a form of chronic apprehension that affects millions of Americans. Sufferers can display distressing symptoms including increased heart rate, sleeping problems, loss of appetite and poor concentration that ideally require treatment for anxiety disorder. Chronic anxiety is a medical condition that requires professional anxiety disorder treatment, preferably in a clinical environment when patients can be monitored throughout the process.
For sufferers of anxiety, here are 15 tips and suggestions to assist in managing the symptoms:
#1 Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Waking up from a night of long deep sleep has many health benefits and developing a better quality sleep pattern is a great way to combat anxiety. Lack of sleep can be quite debilitating and can lead to lack of concentration and judgment, with much wider consequences for the sufferer. The recommended 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep even after a few nights can make a significant difference. Methods to
encourage sleep such as a soak in a bathtub or a few minute’s meditation can assist greatly in developing natural sleep patterns to beat anxiety.
#2 Smile Often
It may sound trite or crass but the act of smiling has a positive effect on a person’s whole disposition and can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is interesting to note that many call centers encourage staff to smile while speaking to customers as it makes them sound more inviting to speak to. Fact is smiling also lifts one’s own spirits considerably too.
#3 De-clutter the Brain
Physical clutter is something that obviously prevents things from getting done and the same can be said of the brain. Mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation can help to cleanse the mind of internal dialogue and in turn de-clutter the brain to better deal with situations that would otherwise trigger anxiety.
#4 Express your Gratitude
Studies show that expressing gratitude is an effective way of reducing anxiety. Negative thoughts and feelings are often at the root of anxiety and by finding a way to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on the negative, a well-balanced state of mind can be achieved.
#5 Eat Healthily
People who suffer anxiety can also suffer lack of appetite or cravings for particular foods. Food is very much wrapped up in the issues surrounding anxiety and has the ‘power’ to heighten or lessen the sometimes chronic symptoms suffered. For example, studies have linked vitamin B to good mental health and whole grain carbs can regulate serotonin levels.
#6 Learn Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing exercises are very effective in preventing panic or anxiety attacks in anxiety disorder treatment. It is also possible to quiet the mind when practiced daily or at times when anxiety levels are particularly high. Deep breathing techniques can help to reduce the heart rate in stressful situations.
Meditation has been proven as a very useful tool to combat anxiety and is often adopted in anxiety disorder treatment programs to enable patients to develop their own techniques to moderate breathing to reduce their heart rate in situations likely to cause them anxiety.
#8 Make a Vision Board
Anxiety that stems from depression can often be heightened by a fear of the future. By creating a vision board using images that are aspirational for someone with anxiety issues, they are able to create a brighter future to look forward to. Goal-setting is another method used to achieve the same objective.
#9 Take Time to Have Fun
Truly relaxing and enjoying leisure time with others is a great way to counteract the effects of anxiety. It is important for our mental health to take time out from routine chores to focus on the things that give us pleasure and people with anxiety issues can benefit enormously.
#10 Be Silent
Sufferers of anxiety can be assisted by allowing themselves time each day to completely disconnect from the outside world. That means no cell phone, tablet, TV or radio or any other kind of external stimulus even if only for a few minutes. This can be very refreshing when incorporated into a daily routine and relieves the symptoms of anxiety.
#11 Indulge Concerns for Limited Times
Denying issues that cause anxiety does not make them go away. Sometimes it is necessary to fully indulge worries and concerns and think them through as long as there is a limit to the thought process and a cut-off time after which the issue is given no further thought for the day.
#12 Make Plans
For people prone to anxiety planning events or even for the day ahead can lead to a more relaxed feeling about the things that need doing. For example, by placing car keys in the same place each day, the time spent searching for them every day is reduced. Small adjustments like this can make a big difference.
#13 Visualize Positive Outcomes
Having a positive vision for the future is a good antidote to anxiety. Depression and anxiety can lead to thoughts of worthlessness and helplessness, particularly when faced with difficult choices. Visualizing a desired outcome is a positive way of finding clarity.
#14 Use Sense of Smell to Relax
Anxious feelings can be reduced with the right smells and aromatherapy treatments and massages are a very popular way of de-stressing. Herbs like Basil, Anise and Chamomile are known to reduce tension in the body and improve mental clarity.
#15 Get Out Socially
The company of others is useful in terms of support for people who have feelings of anxiety and those with plenty of friends are less likely to react negatively to stressful situations. Whether in groups or in more intimate settings the company of good friends is very therapeutic.