Anxiety is a natural reaction to feeling threatened or stressed. It is normal for everyone to experience some anxiety from time to time. Anxiety becomes a disorder if a person has extreme levels of anxiety regularly, which it affects their day-to-day life. The effects of anxiety might be out of proportion to a person’s stressors, but the experience of anxiety blows up feelings like fear, stress and dread to unbearable proportions as a response to situations.
Symptoms can be physical, such as a racing heart, excessive sweating, hyperventilation, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, or psychological like uncontrollable thoughts and panicking.
Anxiety manifests itself in a variety of ways. Anxiety can be induced by certain events or duties, such as public speaking or driving.A person may also be concerned about their health, particular bodily processes, or relationships. Anything that sets it off can make you feel agitated, concerned, tense, and difficult to relax.
Not to shine a glorifying light, but sometimes anxiety can be good; for example, it aids us in recognising harmful circumstances and focusing our attention, allowing us to remain safe. An anxiety disorder goes beyond the normal worry and fear you may experience from time to time.
Anxiety can be classified as a disorder if:
- It makes it difficult for you to function.
- When something provokes your emotions, you frequently overreact.
- You have little control over how you react to things.
Different approaches work for different people dealing with anxiety, not to mention the various types of anxiety disorders which require different treatments.
Keeping that in mind, let us look into four approaches one can take to cope with anxiety disorders.
Small, everyday coping techniques
Generic as it may sound, eating regular healthy meals, getting adequate sleep every night, practicing relaxation via yoga, massages and meditation can make a difference.
Talking about the symptoms and stressors to close ones and trying to take a step back to appreciate how far one has already come in life can help put things into perspective and make anxiety less severe.
Exercise and movement
This too is an oft-repeated run-of-the-mill advice, but studies show that exercising has an indisputable good effect on one’s mental health. One should try to have a moderate amount of movement every day and try to set achievable exercise goals.
While meds aren’t a sure-fire solution, they can make a great dent to symptoms which help to better functioning. Healthcare professionals usually prescribe anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants or beta blockers depending on the subject, and make a programme to find the right dosage and combination of medicines to suit you.
Various kinds of therapy options are available to treat anxiety. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helps make behavioural changes using strategic methods to cope. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying patterns in thinking so that solutions can be presented on how to change such harmful patterns. Exposure therapy is more effective in treating phobias, as it involves exposing the subject to their fear little by little in a controlled environment.
There is no one universal treatment plan that works for all. Trying different approaches and combinations to find what works best for you is the path to cope with anxiety disorders. The different anxiety disorders make treatments diverse. The most important thing to note is that you are not alone, you do not have to deal with this by yourself. Seeking professional help can increase the quality of life tenfold and make it incredibly easier to overcome the hurdle of anxiety.