How to Manage Anxiety
Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it. Managing anxiety attacks properly and instantly is a must.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to perceived fearful situations. When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms give way to heightened senses and a rush of Adrenalin which can save your life. This is the fight or flight syndrome.
In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the consequences of the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and that fear of the unknown can send you into a panic.
Normal Anxiety vs Chronic Anxiety
Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in some ways. Like with the fight or flight example, it can save your life. In new situations, we normally get panicky, but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. But for someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case. Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely, it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. Unchecked anxiety of this type can also lead to clinical depression.
If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or have a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.
Strategies for Managing Anxiety
Below are some steps/ tips/ ways to manage extreme anxiety:
1. See a professional.
This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques or treatments.
2. Get a good night’s sleep.
During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each day. Get sufficient rest to prevent stress that may lead to anxiety.
3. Exercise on a consistent basis.
Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.
Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.
5. Manage the worry.
When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation. Don’t overthink.
6. Don’t use tobacco or alcohol.
You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations, you could rely too heavily on substance abuse and gain more problems in the process.
7. Find some relaxing activities.
Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading, or listening to music.
Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent, you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.