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Tips for Coping with an Anxiety Disorder

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Do you face your heart throbbing fast in your chest when you encounter stressful conditions, or do your palms get sweaty before a presentation? That’s anxiety. Anxiety disorder hinders life’s general tasks, impairing your quality of life. There are some long-term and short-term methods that you can instill in your lifestyle to prevent feeling consumed by anxiety in everyday life. 

Quick ways to cope with anxiety

The sporadic anxiety attacks, usually centered around a specific event, can be coped with by quick strategies. These strategies help you in taking control of the situation. 

  • Analyse your thought pattern. Whatever negative thoughts and fears are coming to your mind, challenge them. Rationally analyze the nature of these fears and ask yourself, if it is true.
  • Deep focused breathing. Breathe in and count to four. Breathe out and count to four. Controlled breathing will reduce your heart rate which will calm you down and give you space to have perspective.
  • Aromatherapy. If available, use essential oils, candles, or incense to calm yourself down. Aromatherapy potentially releases chemicals in the brain which ease anxiety.
  • Quick walk or stretching. Focusing your attention on your body instead of your mind can sometimes help in calming the anxiety down. In case of an acute attack, either go for a walk or do muscle stretches to divert your brain towards the physical aspect of your being.
  • Keep a journal. Writing down whatever you are feeling helps in calming your nerves because it gives a vent to your emotions.

Long-term strategies to cope with anxiety

If you have generalised anxiety disorder, short-term coping mechanisms simply won’t do. It’s always safe to discuss strategies with your mental health counsellor if you are having difficulties. 

  • Identify your triggers. Identifying your triggers is an essential step for anxiety management. Triggers can be anything from smoking and caffeine to work stress or a person with bad history. Once you identify these triggers, you should try to minimise your exposure to them. If it’s not possible, use other mechanisms.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT helps people change their reactions to certain triggering situations. A therapist can also help you in this aspect.
  • Deep meditation. Try to meditate deeply every day. It will take some time to reach the level of deep meditation, but it works wonders. Sitting with your thoughts in total silence and finding ways to mould your anxious thought pattern can help you long-term. If meditation is difficult for you, try doing relaxing workouts or yoga, and leave yourself entirely at the moment. Let yourself flow with your body movements.
  • Change dietary habits. A good diet goes a long way and not just for physical well-being, but also mental peace. Certain supplements like lemon balm, green tea, and kava kava, help in calming anxiety. It will take some time for your body to get full advantage of the supplements, so stay consistent.
  • Anxiety medications. There are myriads of anxiety medications like SSRIs and MAO inhibitors in the market, manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry, and CDMOs like Scorpion Biological Services. If your anxiety is severe, consult a mental health professional and get your prescription. 

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.


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