How to Manage Anxiety
Anxiety can affect all parts of your life so you are not able to enjoy your personal or work life. There is a long road to recovery but it is possible with time and effort. Anxiety disorders can be very taxing on the individual and it can affect your relationships and get in the way of opportunities.
Some examples of anxiety disorders are phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, hoarding and body focused repetitive behaviours. There are many treatment methods that are available and you can browse online resources for more information on how you can get help. You can read books that shed light on managing your disorder and there are many online courses that are geared toward helping individuals overcome struggles of their disorder. It is important that you learn about anxiety so that you have a better understanding of what you are grappling with. There are also behavioural and cognitive therapy methods that can help get to the root cause of the problem and understand how your daily life can be made better.
There are many relaxation techniques you can try. Not everything may be right for your experience so there will be a bit of a learning curve. Some examples of these techniques are abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and learning proper breathing techniques. There are physical symptoms of anxiety as well such as hyperventilation. This increases your oxygen levels all the while reducing the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Carbon dioxide is important for the regulation of body reaction to panic. This is where breathing exercises come in useful. You need to learn to breathe from the diaphragm instead of your chest as this will prevent hyperventilation. You can also try to hold your breath for a few seconds which will contribute to a boost in carbon dioxide levels in blood.
Anxiety can take you on a whirlwind journey of your darkest moments. Mindfulness is one of the ways you can combat this. By teaching yourself to stay in the present moment, you can reduce the power of negative thoughts and experiences. This is something that has to be constantly practised. You need to identify when your attention wanders off and bring it back to the present every time you are gripped by anxiety. Mindfulness can help you in accomplishing tasks in your daily life as well. Cognitive therapy allows you to identify beliefs and thoughts that are associated with your anxiety trigger. You can then work with a psychologist to change these patterns and think of yourself in a more positive light. There are many techniques used in cognitive therapy such as reality testing, cognitive restructuring and self-talk.
In behavioural therapy, you are moved to confront your fears. This therapy focuses on exposure to your fears so that you can desensitise yourself and train yourself to respond in a more favourable way. You have to identify your fears and rank them from the most threatening to the least. You can work on a least threatening fear at the beginning by imagining yourself in the situation and working out a plan to distance yourself from the threat. You have to repeat the exposure in order to build confidence.