Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant inner turmoil, accompanied by nervous behavior — a feeling of uneasiness and worry. Almost everyone experienced anxiety. It is a normal reaction to stress. But when you’re experiencing intense anxiety and heightened fear along with other unpleasant physical symptoms on an extended period, it could be that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder. It is important to understand this early on because if left unchecked, could lead a person to other problems, more commonly alcohol and substance abuse and would need help with addiction among others.
If you’re reading this article, it could only mean that you are seeking ways to alleviate the symptoms of your condition. Below are some ways that help cope with anxiety disorder. They are not foolproof, but every tip is worth the try.
Learn to Relax
Yes, I have an anxiety disorder. In my years of dealing with it, I found out that when I’m having an episode, I tend to hold my breath and tense up my shoulders. When I know I’m in this state, I start to breathe slowly and I make sure that my stomach rises when I inhale. I release the tension on my shoulders. Right away, it makes the symptoms “feel” less excruciating. Others do meditation, yoga and learn other calming techniques. Try your best to find a calming activity that will work for you.
I have experienced a couple of relapses in my younger years. I could honestly say that lack of sleep is a major contributory factor on those unfortunate events. Lack of sleep triggers many physical symptoms that can cause anxiety attacks. When my sleep is lacking, my heart tends to beat faster. I also experience difficulty in breathing. These two symptoms alone can set a major episode enough to cause a major setback in your road to recovery.
If you’re the type who gets anxious before going to sleep, engage yourself in calming activities before going to bed like taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. You can even write down your anxieties if you like since it can be soothing. Most of the time, writing and reading your worries motivate you to deal with the issue and not just let it hang in your mind like a sword that dangles above your head every time you try to sleep.
Stay Connected to the World
Sometimes, it is easier to just give in to your fears, stay indoors and lock yourself from the world. But in reality, you are just making your condition worse. Do not lose touch with friends. Join support groups that can relate to your condition. Take daily walks even when you’re on your own. It helps to calm the mind while staying in-touch with your outdoor environment.
Do Something You Enjoy
Engage yourself in activities that you enjoy doing. Start a hobby. Learn to cook or bake. Do gardening in the morning. Attend art lessons or clean your backyard! It actually doesn’t matter what you do as long as you like doing it and you keep yourself busy. I had several instances when, in the middle of an anxiety attack, I went to the kitchen to wash the dishes. Tremors and light-headedness did not stop me from doing it. It kept me busy and it helped me pass the time until the episode ended.
I know it’s not always easy to do these things when you’re dealing with a debilitating case of anxiety. But, the world will not stop and wait for us to be better. We need to try to walk a step ahead of this condition. Instead of constantly living in fear, embrace the condition and work your way around it until things get better for you.