How To Deal With Anxiety Beyond Medication
Written by: Brandi Monasco
What do you think of when you hear the word “anxiety?” A worry wort? Someone that is always nervous? Someone that feels “on edge?”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety is described as a disorder that involves more than just temporary fear or worry. It is something that does not go away no matter what you try and can in fact become worse over time.
Anxiety is more than just worrying about that big exam coming up or that big decision you have to make. Different types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Roughly 40 million Americans suffer from one of these anxiety disorders and only about a third of those Americans have sought treatment or are even able to receive treatment.
If you experience any of these symptoms for at least 6 months, you could very well be dealing with an anxiety disorder:
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia or sleeping problems
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of fear, panic, or uneasiness
- Muscle tension
- Cold or sweaty hands or feet
Anxiety disorders cost Americans $42 billion each year to receive treatment. It is not common for many doctors to push aside your symptoms, so here are a few other things that you can do to help yourself feel better.
Stop Expecting The Worst. Many times, having anxiety is about worrying about the future. It is usually overreacting about what could go wrong or “what if this happens?” If you have a major exam coming up, you could be worrying about “what if I don’t pass the exam?” The best thing that you can do in any situation like this is to stop worrying about what could go wrong and try to focus on the now and the present. Do what you can do at that given moment in time.
Stop Worrying About The Future, Come Back To The Present. This goes along with stop expecting the worst. Sometimes you start thinking about the future and you become overwhelmed, mainly because you are not sure what to expect in certain situations. When you find that the future or “what ifs” are overwhelming you, tell yourself to STOP and stop thinking about the future immediately. Easier said than done, but this can help. Think about the present time that you’re in.
Ground Yourself. You’re feeling anxious and like you’re about to lose control. Stop what you are doing and focus on the moment. If you need to, take a step outside. Feel the wind on your skin, the smell in the air and the noise in the background. Slow down to remind yourself that you are in control of your emotions and your fears and that anxiety cannot get you. When you start to become more aware of what is going on around you, you’ll start to lose interest of what’s going on inside you.
Focus On Your Breathing. When you are dealing with anxiety, sometimes you find yourself on the verge of hyperventilating and this can cause your anxiety to become worse. When you feel that your breathing is about to go out of control, take a step back from what you’re doing or the situation you’re in and take a few deep breathes. Breathe in deep through your nose, and out slowly through your mouth. Try to do this at least 10 times. This type of breathing is sort of like what yoga practitioners do.
What do you do to help naturally ease your anxiety? Share with us in the comments below!
Source: J. B. (2002). Oddball Ointments Powerful Potions & Fabulous Folk Remedies. American Master Products, Inc.
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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