Aug 02 2009

How to Manage Your Anxiety

Published by at 11:31 am under health

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Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? It doesn’t take much for me to have these symptoms. It only takes a certain person walking in the door to get my heart racing and not in a good way. If you find yourself feeling these symptoms, you probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations. When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life. This is the fight or flight syndrome. I remember these feelings as a teen when I had to take out the trash. The lack of lighting made our alley a fearful place at night. Fear of the dark can be maddening.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic. I am sure my headaches have often times been caused by anxiety.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways. Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life. In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional. This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way. (My anxiety brought on insomnia!)

3. Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate. Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Don’t use alcohol. You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

6 responses so far

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  • 6 Responses to “How to Manage Your Anxiety”

    1. Lisa - Life is Like a Box of Legos on 03 Aug 2009 at 2:29 pm

      Awesome post! Thanks for checking in with me … although I have been AWOL with respect to my blogging, fear not, I have been collecting future blog fodder! I hope to be back to a more “normal” routine either this week or next … BTW … love the purse handles … may have to add them to my wish list! All the best to you and yours …
      .-= Lisa – Life is Like a Box of Legos´s last blog ..The back story … =-.

    2. Abigail on 06 Aug 2009 at 4:52 am

      I used to have anxiety attack when I have to be in front of public, which I believe are experienced by most people. Since I took public speaking as my major, and I was forced practicing many times to speak in front of public. and it helps. What I wanna share here, you can cope this problem by practicing to speak in public many times. If you failed, don’t give up.
      .-= Abigail´s last blog ..CHEAP DISNEY TICKETS – Is it Possible to Have an Outstanding Vacation with the Lowest Rate? =-.

    3. Noor on 10 Aug 2009 at 8:38 pm

      I think individuals suffering from Anxiety should really not smoke too much and consume alcohol.
      Additionally, for relaxation, some meditative music can also help.

    4. Sara on 11 Aug 2009 at 5:05 am

      I have been working on my anxiety for years and even though I keep feeling better and bett, I doubt I will ever be completely free from it.

      Great post, thanks

      /Sara
      .-= Sara´s last blog ..Spel – hur fan visste du det? =-.

    5. Jon-jon on 11 Aug 2009 at 6:46 am

      I have seen some people who have anxiety and they still smoke and drink. I really don’t understand why they do it? they shouldn’t but still

    6. Adrian on 15 Aug 2009 at 9:35 am

      Oh! Thanks for your post! It is very helpful, I’m actually searching how to manage anxiety to advice my friend who’s experiencing this kind of feeling.. She’s been taking anti-depressants like generic Wellbutrin SR (150 mg) and and Lexapro (10 mg).. so I can also give these advice to her and for sure it can also help her… thanks! =)

  • PLEASE NOTE: This is a personal blog. Any comments made, that include links to advertise your business or website will be deleted. Only real names will be accepted in the Name box.