The Anxiety and Depression Association of America claims that nearly 40 million people in the United States have an anxiety disorder, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the USA. Anxiety can manifest in several diverse ways: panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder are all anxiety forms, just to name a few.
Healthline notes the following as symptoms of anxiety: nervousness, restlessness, feeling tense, feelings of danger or panic, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing or hyperventilation, increased sweating, trembling, insomnia and much more. These effects can wreak havoc in our daily endeavors, and may cause us to want to hide away. Renee Jain, writer for the Huffington Post, has provided several excellent strategies to help alleviate these debilitating symptoms of anxiety:
- Focus on breathing. A recent study discussed by Time Magazine found that breathing helps the brain maintain a sense of calm. When we focus on breathing, we disrupt the overactive nerves in the brain, giving us a sense of relief. Try counting your breaths, and breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth slowly.
- Drink water. Water helps our system eliminate waste and function properly. Since dehydration can peak anxiety symptoms, drinking water can curb this before it even happens.
- Hug a loved one. Feeling connected to others is an innate need that we all have – by hugging someone we care about, anxiety symptoms can be relieved.
- Be mindful. Staying aware both formally and informally can help ground you and relieve symptoms of anxiety. A study conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorder found that participants who practiced mindfulness and meditation had more improvement in relieved symptoms than those who did not.
- Witness love. Look at pictures of you and your loved ones, ones that prove you are loved. Volunteer somewhere and help others. Call a loving friend whom you can talk to.
- Reframe stressful situations. Change your thinking to be more positive. For example, if you failed a test and must retake it, say to yourself, “At least I am able to retake it, and I have more time to study, which is great. I’ll be more prepared this time around.”
Anxiety can feel difficult to manage, but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t let it. Make the decision today to take active steps towards bettering your health and well-being. Don’t let anxiety define you. Remember that it takes practice and patience – find tools that work best for you.
If you have a mental illness and the symptoms feel debilitating, perhaps a recovery treatment center would be best for you. Call New Vista Behavioral Health today to learn how we can best suit your needs. Our licensed, experienced health care team wants to see you succeed – call us today at 855-577-0113.