How to defeat anxiety?

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, anxiety disorders can be debilitating. These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. These disorders can be managed effectively by a number of available treatments.

What's Inside?

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

  1. Excessive worrying – Excessive worrying about everyday matters is one of the most prominent aspects of generalized anxiety disorder
  2. Feeling agitated – Sweating, shaking, dryness in mouth and rapid heartbeat are some of the most common symptoms.

  3. Restlessness – If one experiences restlessness on majority of days for more than six months, it could be a symptom of an underlying anxiety disorder.

  4. Tense muscles – Muscle tension has a strong co-relation with anxiety. One might experience cramps and intense physical pain while worrying excessively and it could be a prominent symptom of an anxiety disorder.

What is an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense panic or fear. It usually peaks within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, one may experience feelings of terror and loss of control.

What are the treatments available?

Psychotherapy or “Talk therapy” – Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy, can help a person learn a different way of thinking, reacting and behaving to help feel less anxious.

Medication – Medications will not cure anxiety disorders, but can give significant relief from symptoms. The most commonly used medications are anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.

What are some of the coping strategies?

  1. Connect with others – Loneliness and isolation can trigger or worsen anxiety. Regularly meeting up with friends and joining a self-help or support group can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

  2. Manage stress – Stress management can prove to be extremely beneficial in dealing with anxiety.

  3. Practice relaxation techniques – Techniques like mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and enhance emotional well-being.
  4. Exercise regularly – Exercise is a natural stress buster. Rhythmic activities that require moving both arms and legs are extremely effective.

  5. Get enough sleep – Sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings. One should try and get enough sleep to feel more relaxed and at ease.

  6. Be smart about caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine – Consider reducing your caffeine intake. Also, alcohol can also make anxiety disorders worse. Cigarettes might feel
    calming, nicotine is in reality a powerful stimulant that leads to higher levels of
    anxiety. Therefore, it makes sense to reduce or avoid completely consuming alcohol and nicotine products.