Contributed by: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Eating Disorder Hope
Anxiety can take many forms: social anxiety, panic disorders, specific phobias, or generalized anxiety form. While it is normal to feel tense, anxious or nervous at times, anxiety disorders are serious conditions that can impair a person’s ability to function in their day-to-day life.
Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that require professional help and intervention. While nothing can replace professional care and treatment, there are many effective methods that can help manage anxiety.
Step One: Meeting with a Health Professional
The first and most important step towards managing an anxiety disorder is to meet with a health professional who can help guide you. Having an actual diagnosis for anxiety can be helpful in understanding what you might be struggling with as well as in identifying effective treatment methods.
The combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy can be effective for controlling anxiety episodes.
Managing Anxiety and Stress
If you are suffering with anxiety or any type of anxiety disorder, how can you help manage this in addition to professional treatment? Anxiety and stress can also be managed with the following techniques and suggestions:
- Understand your triggers: What is it that sets off your anxiety or causes you to feel stressed? Understanding the situations that trigger your anxiety can help you better prepare for such scenarios.
- Deep breathing and meditation: If you find yourself in a stressful situation, ground yourself by practicing deep breathing. Focus and/or meditate on something that is soothing or relaxing, such as a favorite place.
- Learn how to take a time-out: We all live such busy lives, and sometimes the stress of an overloaded schedule can lead to anxiety and stress. Practice self-care and take a few minutes out of your day to slow down. Whether unwinding with a massage, a bubble bath, music or your favorite book, dedicating time away from a typically busy schedule can help you stay grounded.
- Practice self-care: This includes eating balanced meals, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. If you are unable to care for yourself properly, you may be more easily triggered and susceptible to anxiety
- Have a support system: Be able to share, talk, and commune with people in your life who you love and trust can help you feel less overwhelmed and process the things you experience on a daily basis.
Whether you or your loved one is facing anxiety, know that there are many resources at your disposal that can help you effectively cope and enjoy your beautiful life!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been your experience with anxiety disorders? How have you effectively dealt with an anxiety disorder?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 13th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com