What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the body’s response to stress. It is a mixed feeling of fear, nervousness, tension, worry and uneasiness. Genetics and environmental factors can lead to anxiety.
At least once in our lifetime, everyone would have experienced anxiety. Every individual experiences anxiety in different forms. Some experience anxiety like a butterfly in their stomach, while others experience it as nightmares, panic attacks and other painful thoughts.
The manifestation of anxiety always differs. We think that anxiety is only caused when a negative incident happens, but it is not fully true. Anxiety can occur before taking up an exam, talking to a crush, joining a new office, or taking up new roles and responsibilities.
There is a difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder. Experiencing anxiety when taking up new things is common. However, when it becomes uncontrollable and affects the quality of life, it can be due to disorder. In such cases, you will require medical attention.
How can I treat anxiety?
Anxiety can be treated in various ways. In some cases, people don’t require treatment as it subsides on its own, and it occurs only during certain situations, and people tend to outgrow such.
When people experience an anxiety disorder, treatment will be required to cope with it. One common treatment method used to treat anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioural therapy. The therapy aims to treat the underlying cause of anxiety disorder. It helps handle the situation that leads to fear and develops a coping mechanism. It also improves problem-solving skills.
Medication can also be used to treat anxiety. Antidepressants are commonly used to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. These medications reduce the severity of anxiety attacks.
Apart from therapy and medication, lifestyle changes are also required to treat and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Sleeping for 7-8 hours, consuming a balanced diet, and meditation can also help with anxiety symptoms. It is also important to reduce stress to get relief from the symptoms.
Symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is a part of life. But when it interferes with your life, then you must consult a mental health professional. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety are
- Feeling restless and on the verge of breaking out
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches and unexplained pain
- Worrying too much
- Easily irritable
- Sleeping issues
- Racing or pounding heart
- Chest pain
- Tingling or trembling
- Feeling that situation is out of control
- Rigid body posture
- Fear of getting judged by new people
- Being too self-conscious when trying to socialise
There are certain coping strategies to handle anxiety.
Take a time-out
Taking some time for yourself can help with anxiety. Meditate, practise yoga, learn a new hobby or connect with a new friend. If you have any problems, try to step back from the problem. This will give you clarity on your issue.
When you are flooded with problems, it will be difficult to think about them clearly. Distract yourself, walk around, have your favourite cup of tea or take a hot shower. This will help with anxiety.
Eat well-balanced meals
Food is not only fuel to the body but also for your mind. So, choose your food wisely. Consume foods like quinoa, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and eggs.
Limit alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can trigger anxiety. Try to eat consistently. Do not skip meals. Try to set yourself a time to set out. Meditate or do yoga for some time. This will help with the urge to drink caffeine and alcohol.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping for 7-8 hours can help with stress. You will also get enough rest for your body. Anxiety can make you over think, and when you sleep well, your brain chemicals get a balance.
According to research, anxiety levels reduce after a deep, slow-wave, non-REM stage of sleep.
Exercise can help reduce anxiety levels. Exercise does not mean you must work out in the gym with heavy sweating. Brisk walking for an hour, cycle riding and swimming can help reduce anxiety levels.
Exercise boosts the level of feel-good neurotransmitters, clears your mind and improves breathing. Anxiety is linked to shallow breathing, and a deep-breathing can help with anxiety.
Take deep breaths
If you suddenly feel anxious, slowly stand up and take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Try to do this for at least a few seconds.
Meditation can also help with anxiety. Just close your eyes and try to meditate for 5 minutes. This can reduce anxiety levels and you will get a clear view of your situation.
Count to 10 slowly
Counting can help with anxiety. When you focus on something like counting, your mind can get relaxed, and your anxiety levels will also reduce.
Counting slowly is a great tool, especially in crowded places where it will be challenging for you to carry out anxiety exercises. Relaxation skills are more important, like physical exercises. Train your mind to relax with the help of such exercises.
Do your best
Try to do your best, and do not worry about the results. Concentrate on the process, and your results will follow. Do not aim for perfection. This can lead to unwanted stress and anxiety. Do your part and wait for your results. Above all, learn to accept whatever happens.
Accept that you cannot control everything
In life, you cannot control everything. Do not try to imagine scenarios in life and ask yourself, “Is the situation as bad as you think? This will help calm you down and act according to the situation.
Humour in life can help with all mental health conditions. When you are alone and suddenly anxious, try watching a movie that contains more humour. Do not be alone, and try to spend some time with your friends. This will help with anxiety.
Being with friends and cracking jokes can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. According to research, humour has reduced the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Maintain a positive attitude
A positive attitude helps reduce anxiety. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Try to be kind to yourself. If you take any wrong decision, do not be harsh on yourself. Instead, learn from the experiences and do the right things.
Anxiety levels can reduce when you volunteer yourself. Participate in activities that occur in your work, school or within the community you live in.
Learn what triggers your anxiety
A place or situation can trigger anxiety or it can even be the music you hear. So, learn the things that can trigger anxiety.
Talk to someone
Talk to your close friend or close relatives about your anxiety. They can help you with anxiety and calm you down. If that does not help, do not hesitate to consult a healthcare professional.
Do I Need Treatment for Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders have to be treated with pharmacotherapy, psychological therapies or a combination of both. However, treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms.
In some cases, anxiety can be controlled by simple techniques like meditation and taking a walk. However, for people with severe anxiety disorders, treatment is inevitable.
Anxiety can be controlled with the above-mentioned techniques. These home remedies can help ease the symptoms. However, if the symptoms do not settle and they aggravate, you will require professional help.
Medication, therapy or a combination of both will be used to treat anxiety. Exercise and adequate sleep can help reduce anxiety. Avoid alcohol consumption and try to consume a well-balanced diet.
How to get rid of anxiety fast?
You can get rid of anxiety by meditating, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Walk out from the room you are in and try brisk walking. Deep breaths can reduce anxiety.
What are 3 strategies to reduce anxiety?
The strategies to reduce anxiety are
1. Consume healthy food.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Adequate sleep for 7-8 hours.
What is the 5 5 5 methods for anxiety?
The 5-5-5 rule or method for anxiety is a simple, deep breathing exercise. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise until the thoughts slow down or when you notice some relief.
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