According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18 percent of adults in the U.S. now live with the effects of anxiety disorders. That's over 40 million people, which makes these disorders a major health phenomenon. The people who you know may be living with anxiety and may not seek treatment. They may be afraid of the social stigma, they may not have the resources to afford professional help, or they may not know there is even a problem. Other patients have tried and later abandoned medication and other recommended treatments for anxiety with the belief that they can manage on their own. All of these reasons and many more are why so many practitioners have devoted their careers to helping patients who are having difficulty dealing with anxiety. Here, we look at 3 tips that patients can use to address anxiety, but keep in mind that these do not replace the benefits of professional mental health treatment:
1. Don't Allow the Effects of Anxiety to Have More Control Over Your Life Than They Should
This requires focusing mental effort on positive thought patterns. When you live with anxiety, it can bleed into all areas of your life. If you're anxious, the effects of anxiety, such as feeling nervous about social situations and dreading everyday tasks, feel heavier. It's easy to get caught up in a cycle of stress creating more stress. Take charge of how you think and feel.
2. Set Up a Sleep Routine
Many people suffering from anxiety have trouble sleeping. It's not always about replaying past events over and over in their minds as with people who have served in combat and victims of violent crimes. It's about not being able to shut your mind off, which gives negative thought patterns too much time on center stage. Without proper sleep, you get caught up in a cycle of sleep deprivation, which eventually leads to other health symptoms. Quite simply, a sleep routine, such as reading 30 minutes before bed while burning an aromatic candle, can help your body prepare for sleep. With enough sleep, your body can find time to heal, even from emotional scars. During the day, your mind can be more at ease, which makes it easier to handle anxiety.
3. Block Time in Your Schedule for Preferred Leisure Activities
Your favorite activity could be riding a bike or fishing alone at the city pier. Perhaps, you like to sit and watch strangers walk by in the shopping mall or grab a coffee and read a book at Starbucks. Whatever activity helps you relax and enjoy yourself must become a regular part of your routine. For some patients with anxiety, there's a need to block in this time every day, even with the many demands of work and family. Even people living alone depend on leisure activities to distract them from their fears and concerns.
If you think you could be living with anxiety, it's important to take a step back from a difficult time in your life. This period might suggest an acute or chronic anxiety disorder. Work with a therapist who is qualified to make a diagnosis and then treat a potential anxiety disorder. Get strategies for dealing with anxiety, which should focus on overcoming your fears. Anxiety looks different in each of our lives. While you may feel anxious about a particular task, such as having an argument with your spouse, you might also have ongoing fears that are not associated with particular stress factors or impending events. Don't let your fears have too much control over your day. For more details on dealing with anxiety, please contact us today.