The Negative Effects Of Anxiety
Left unchecked, anxiety can negatively affect our lives in these ways:
- Interrupting daily life Causing issues at home, school, work and socially
- Isolating us Not wanting to participate in normal daily activities or take new steps in life due to fear
- Emotionally Increasing our risk for depression, suicide and failure to progress in life
- Physically Increasing our risk for physical distress, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, chest pain and tremors
- Mentally Increasing our risk for financial complications, poor decision-making and poor communication
Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Risk for GAD can run in families. Several parts of the brain and biological processes play a key role in fear and anxiety. By learning more about how the brain and body function in people with anxiety disorders, researchers may be able to develop better treatments. Researchers have also found that external causes, such as experiencing a traumatic event or being in a stressful environment, may put you at higher risk for developing GAD.
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Encourage The Child To Tolerate Her Anxiety
Let your child know that you appreciate the work it takes to tolerate anxiety in order to do what they want or need to do. Its really encouraging them to engage in life and to let the anxiety take its natural curve. We call it the habituation curve. That means that it will drop over time as he continues to have contact with the stressor. It might not drop to zero, it might not drop as quickly as you would like, but thats how we get over our fears.
Strengthen Your Body And Brain
Lifestyle changes can also be helpful for preventing anxiety and helping you cope with anxiety flares. What you eat, how much you sleep, and your physical activity levels can all have an influence on how you experience anxiety.
Research has found that mood and stress levels can be affected by what you eat. People who consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables, for example, tend to experience lower stress levels.
Research has also found that regular physical activity can be useful for both alleviating and preventing anxiety. One study found that physical exercise had a protective effect against anxiety disorders and significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety.
Sleep can also have a powerful effect on your mental well-being and anxiety levels. Research has found that problems with sleep are one risk factor for developing anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder. Even short-term disruptions in your sleep may lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
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Try To Eat Balanced Meals
Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.
You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.
Coping With Anxiety To Live A Better Life
You dont have to live with constant, crippling anxiety. Yes, this is a chronic condition that may resolve only to return years later, but anxiety disorder is manageable. It responds well to professional residential treatment for anxiety disorders and good coping mechanisms.
Life can be betterit can even be great againif you seek the help you need and learn to manage anxiety. You learn to stop anxiety attacks before they get out of control, to change your life to minimize stress and anxiety, and to make healthy lifestyle choices that promote good mental health.
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Do A Daily Or Routine Meditation
While this takes some practice to do successfully, mindful meditation, when done regularly, can eventually help you train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise.
If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting with yoga, or walking meditation. There are many free guided meditations on apps like InsightTimer that can help you get started.
Try Supplements Or Change Your Diet
However, it can take a few months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If youre taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor as there can be adverse reactions.
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What Is A Panic Disorder
If you have a panic disorder, you get intense, sudden panic attacks. These attacks often feature stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders.
The feelings of terror may start suddenly and unexpectedly or they may come from a trigger, like facing a situation you dread. Panic attacks can resemble heart attacks. If theres any chance youre experiencing a heart attack, go to the emergency room. Its better to err on the side of caution and have a healthcare professional check you.
During a panic attack, you may experience:
- Chest pain.
- Feeling of choking, which can make you think youre having a heart attack or going crazy.
Panic attacks are very upsetting. People with panic disorder often spend a lot of time worrying about the next panic attack. They also try to avoid situations that might trigger an attack.
Practical Powerful Ways To Help Manage Anxiety
Understand why it feels the way it does.
Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does will be one of your greatest tools in managing it. Think of it like this. Imagine being in a dark room that is full of stuff. When you walk around in the dark, youre going to bump into things. Youre going to scrape, bruise and maybe drop a few choice words. Turn on the light though, and those things are still there, but now you can navigate your way around them. No more bumps. No more scrapes. And no more having to hold your tongue in front of people who can confiscate your phone. Heres what you need to know
Anxiety happens because a part of your brain thinks there might be something it needs to protect you from. When this happens, it surges your body with a mix of neurochemicals , designed to make you stronger, faster, more alert and more powerful so you can fight for your life or run for it. This is the fight or flight response. Its normal and healthy and its in everyone. In people with anxiety, its just a little quicker to activate.
The amygdala acts on impulse. Its a do-er, not a thinker all action and not a lot of thought. It just wants to keep you safe, because safe is a lovely thing to be and because thats been its job since the beginning of humans. The amygdala cant always tell the difference between something that might hurt you and something that wont and it doesnt care. All it wants to do is keep you safe.
You might feel dizzy or a bit confused.
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Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
Telling Others About Your Social Anxiety
It’s likely your closest family and friends already have an idea of your social anxiety. If you want to tell someone specific, send a message that there is something you’d like to share and arrange a time at a quiet place to talk.
If you feel too nervous to explain your situation, write down a summary of what you’ve been feeling. It’s best to share your symptoms so that the other person can gain an understanding of what you are going through.
Remember that not everyone will know the ins and outs of social anxiety disorder some people may need some help to understand what you’re going through.
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Generalized Anxiety Disorder: When Worry Gets Out Of Control
Do you often find yourself worrying about everyday issues for no obvious reason? Are you always waiting for disaster to strike or excessively worried about things such as health, money, family, work, or school?
If so, you may have a type of anxiety disorder called generalized anxiety disorder . GAD can make daily life feel like a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. The good news is GAD is treatable. Learn more about the symptoms of GAD and how to find help.
It May Boost Cognitive Function
The same 2014 study also looked at the effects of lemon balm in improving cognitive function.
Participants were asked to do cognitive tasks involving memory, mathematics, and concentration. The results of these computerized tasks suggest that participants who ingested lemon balm performed better than those who didnt.
Although these participants did experience an increase in levels of alertness and performance, its still possible for fatigue to set in over time. Combining lemon balm with food also affects its absorption rate, which may have had an impact on its efficacy. Additional research is needed.
How to use: Take 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm three times a day.
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Mixed Anxiety & Depression Explained
Anxiety and depression have similar causes and some people can experience symptoms of both conditions at the same time. If youve been experiencing both low mood and persistent worry, tension, and unease, click below to learn more about the relationship between anxiety and depression.
How To Deal With Generalised Anxiety & Excessive Worry
There are many effective treatments for generalised anxiety disorder, including psychoeducation, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy , and medication.
For some people, medication will be the first line of treatment for anxiety. Although these medications are, somewhat confusingly, called antidepressants, they are effective for treating anxiety disorders.
Medication is generally recommended if someone is experiencing very intense worry, especially if they are too worried to try CBT. Antidepressant medications arent generally recommended as a first-line treatment for mild anxiety.
Different antidepressant medications work in different ways. You may need to trial more than one type to find the medication that works best for you. Make sure to keep in close contact with your prescribing physician during the early stages of taking medications the side effects can often be difficult to deal with.
Some things to remember when taking these medications are:
What is CBT?
How To Deal With Extreme Anxiety
Many people experience anxiety about real-life concerns. Such preoccupations include money, health, relationships, etc. However, the reality is that everyone can experience anxiety about anything. There are effective, yet small steps that can be taken to deal with extreme anxiety.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is a psychological disorder that leads to an anxious mood, which can range from a feeling of psycho-motor restlessness to a state of intense fear. Having anxiety at some point in your life is completely natural. Nevertheless, when it becomes so intense and persistent that it distorts reality, inhibits thought and alters the persons normal activity, we should ask for help and go to a specialist for psychotherapy or to initiate a pharmacological treatment, if necessary.
It Can Help Treat Nausea
Given its potential impact on your digestive system, lemon balm may also help relieve feelings of nausea.
A 2005 review assessing the results of several studies on lemon balm found the herb to be useful in treating gastrointestinal symptoms such as this. Although this is a promising development, its important to recognize the study limitations.
Many of the studies looked at lemon balm used in conjunction with other herbs. Further research is needed to determine the efficacy of lemon balm when used alone.
Theres also research to suggest that lemon balm can be used to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome .
A 2015 study researched the effect of lemon balm in reducing the intensity of cramps in 100 high school girls. The girls took either a lemon balm essence or a placebo for three consecutive menstrual cycles. The intensity of PMS symptoms was analyzed before and one, two, and three months after the trial. The group who took the lemon balm reported a significant reduction in symptoms. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
How to use: Take 1200 mg of lemon balm daily for optimal results. This will allow the herb to get into your system long before its time for PMS symptoms to appear. Continued use is thought to reduce your symptoms over time.
What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder
This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.
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Focus On Doing Something That You Like
If you have been putting off an interest, now is the time to take up the hobby. It may be keeping a pet, painting or anything that will occupy your mind. In so doing, your mind will now have new thoughts and that leaves it with no room for negative ones. Just by flushing out the unresourceful thoughts which create anxieties and replacing it with a new focus will work wonders.
Dealing With Anxiety The How
Here are some ways to manage anxiety by strengthening the structure and function of your brain in ways that protect it against anxiety. Remember though, the brain is like any other muscle in your body it will get stronger with practice. I wish I could tell you that it would get stronger with pizza and tacos but that would be a dirty big lie and very unhelpful. Delicious maybe, but unhelpful. What isnt a lie is that the following strategies have been proven by tons of very high-brow research to be very powerful in helping to reduce anxiety.
Mindfulness. But first to show you why.
A mountain of studies have shown that mindfulness can be a little bit magic in strengthening the brain against anxiety. In a massive analysis of a number of different mindfulness/anxiety studies, mindfulness was found to be associated with robust and substantial reductions in symptoms of anxiety.
Mindfulness changes the brain the way exercise changes our body but without the sweating and panting. Two of the ways mindfulness changes the brain are:
Okay then. What else can mindfulness do?
Plenty. Mindfulness can improve concentration, academic performance, the ability to focus, and it can help with stress and depression. It also increases gray matter, which is the part of the brain that contains the neurons. Neurons are brain cells, so we want plenty of them and plenty of gray matter for them to hang out in.
So mindfulness hey? What is it exactly?
Is there an app for that?
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Quick Ways To Cope With Anxiety
If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, there are some quick natural remedies that could help you take control of the situation.
If your anxiety is focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.
Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
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Get Involved In Your Community
Find a way to volunteer or be active in your community.
Science shows that helping others may influence levels of oxytocin in the brains of volunteers, according to a study in Hormones and Behavior by Michael J. Poulin and E. Alison Holman. Oxytocin helps the body manage stress.
Helping others also allows people to focus on something other than their anxiety.