The reality is that anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health illnesses. In the U.S., around 40 million people are suffering from anxiety, with ages starting from 18 years old. However, the good news is that it is also a disorder that can be treated, controlled, and managed more easily than others. Depending on its severity, the process might be longer, and results might come later on. For this reason and the fact that many individuals still find it difficult to recognize they are struggling with anxiety – most probably because of its stigma – many people don’t seek help.
Your anxiety symptoms can be significantly diminished with an emotional support system, perseverance, and a professional guiding you. Psychotherapists are highly skilled and trained individuals who can support the entire process. Apart from help given by a specialist, you can do specific techniques that can help you better manage your anxiety. You will find that a combination of these will bring improvement.
1. Practice meditation
Meditation can be highly beneficial for people with anxiety. If you have never done it before, it might seem challenging to do it and quite silly. However, guided meditation, where you practice deep breathing and learn to focus on every breath you take, can effectively calm and relieve the symptoms of anxiety. This method could be more beneficial if you have panic disorder, where the common symptom is irregular breathing. With time and practice, this method can help you a great deal.
What’s more, research studies have revealed that medical marijuana can also help people with anxiety. More specifically, individuals who use medical marijuana reported up to 58% decrease of anxiety symptoms. While this doesn’t treat this disorder, for some people it can be beneficial in alleviating some of the symptoms. Combined with other techniques, such as meditation, can help people manage their anxiety better.
2. Exercise more
Whether you are a passionate gym-goer or not, exercising benefits both your physical and mental health. Plus, it is essential not to get intimidated by experienced individuals who go to the gym or jog on a regular basis. Instead, you should focus on yourself and your abilities and take it easy. You could start by joining a yoga or Pilates class for beginners or try a sport. Even going for a walk for 15 or 30 minutes might be able to help you.
3. Change your diet
Going hand in hand with developing the healthy habit of exercising more is the habit of changing your diet with one that consists of food that is not difficult to digest. While it is tasty, fast food can affect your metabolism in the long term, which can worsen your mental health as well. The recommendation is to find a balanced diet and include certain nutrients, such as green tea or valerian root, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
4. Recognize your thought pattern
People with anxiety disorders often have numerous specific negative thoughts, which can distort and enhance the severity of a situation, meaning that some things appear more catastrophic than they are in reality. This is one way an anxiety disorder can manifest, but if this is your case, it is crucial you identify these negative thoughts and question them. Indeed, this is easier said than done.
For this reason, it is crucial you adopt a more long-term strategy, such as going to therapy, where a medical professional can help you learn techniques that replace negative habits and patterns with positive ones. One type of therapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy.