According to the diagnostic interview data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, 21.4% of U.S. adults experience anxiety or any mood disorder at some time in their lives. Additionally, around 45% of these mood disorders will be considered serious impairments. Whether considered severe or not, anxiety disorders can impede an individual’s day-to-day living, making it difficult for them to participate in school, work, relationships, etc.
Although anxiety treatments are available to address its symptoms, there will be times when it is not just possible to connect to your immediate healthcare provider. So for today’s blog post, we will be giving you practical tips to better manage your anxiety at home.
What is Anxiety?
Stress-related anxiety is a common part of living. Feeling anxious about a big presentation, being sick, or making a big life decision is always a part of life. However, a person with an anxiety disorder experiences more than temporary worries or stress. Often, the anxiety lasts and gets worse over time.
Anxiety is a form of mood disorder wherein the patient responds to certain objects or situations with dread and fear. These objects, situations, or people are often referred to as triggers. The following are some types of anxiety disorders:
- generalized anxiety disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- panic disorder including agoraphobia
- social anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- Trichotillomania or dermatillomania or any body-focused repetitive behaviors
What Are The Common Signs of Anxiety
Patients with anxiety disorder often have physical responses to their triggers, such as elevated heartbeat and blood pressure, sweating, and hyperventilation. Additionally, their fear or dread is often uncontrolled and disproportionate or inappropriate to the situation. Here are the general signs to look out for:
- Feeling wound-up, on-edge, or restless
- Muscle tension
- Easily irritated
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Problems with concentrating or remembering
- Difficulty controlling feelings of fear, worry, or dread
- Sleep problems
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is best to set an appointment with a professional. Preliminary assessments are helpful in getting the right treatment to address your anxiety. If for some reason you can’t get in touch with your health provider, the next section lists down some anxiety treatments to manage your symptoms at home.
How Do You Manage Anxiety At Home?
In the event that you can’t talk to a health professional, here are some ways to better cope with anxiety.
Learn About Anxiety Disorder
Education is an important step in dealing with your symptoms. This includes knowing your triggers and your body’s reaction to them or joining educational groups about your anxiety disorder. Getting to know these things will help you better understand and approach your situation. As the old saying goes, knowledge is indeed power. The more you know about your anxiety, the more you’ll feel in control of your situation and responses.
Often, a person having an anxiety attack gets caught up in the chaos of triggering or anxiety-provoking thoughts. Mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to the present moment, allows you to untangle your mind and rest your body. It helps people manage stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and cope better with illnesses.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are practices that help the body develop the “relaxation response,” characterized by reduced heart rate, lower blood pressure, and more relaxed breathing. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response that happens in an anxiety or panic attack. Some relaxation techniques are:
- Progressive relaxation: Also called progressive muscle relaxation technique, this involves tensing certain muscle groups as you breathe in, and then releasing the tension as you breathe out. The repeated tensing and breathing helps you relax mentally and physically.
- Isometric relaxation exercises: This is a form of exercise involving contraction of a muscles without any visible movement in the angle of the joint paired with deep breathing.
- Guided imagery or “visualization”: This technique involves picturing objects, scenes, or events in your mind that are associated with calmness. This imagination or visualization in your mind attempts to produce the feeling of relaxation in your body.
Do Breathing Exercises
Another anxiety treatment you can do at home is breathing exercise. One of the physical signs of anxiety is hyperventilation or breathing too quickly, and doing a set of breathing exercises will help in restoring your normal breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. A common breathing exercise is abdominal breathing. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable space.
- Place your hand on your abdomen.
- Gently attempt to breathe under that hand.
There are certain vitamins and minerals that help our body maintain its equilibrium, so eating a balanced diet will be helpful in managing anxiety. For example, magnesium deficiency is often linked to anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Additionally, calcium and Vitamin B deficiency is linked to worsening symptoms of anxiety. Make sure you are eating the right kind of foods to provide you with what your body needs. Additionally, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants as they can trigger adrenaline release.
During an anxiety or panic episode, your body is flooded by adrenaline and other stress chemicals. By moving or doing some light exercise, you basically burn up these chemicals in your blood which eventually promotes calmness. Additionally, exercise is known to trigger a positive feeling in the body which helps with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Also, doing light physical activities like walking clears the mind.
If you can access a healthcare provider, get the help that you need. There are many ways to approach how to treat anxiety, but again, it will always be best to seek professional advice. Getting the right treatment strategy that fits your needs will help you function better in day-to-day living. A rehabilitation strategy often involves managing and treating anxiety through the following methods:
- Psychological Therapy
Psychological therapy or talk therapy allows people an opportunity to talk about their thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors to cope with the symptoms of their mood disorders. The most common therapy used is cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety which aims to modify behavior, emotions related to your triggers and responses. Some other therapies are dialectical behavioral therapy, group therapy, and support groups.
Patients with a more serious anxiety disorder often need medications to regulate imbalances in hormones and emotions. Medications often utilized are mood stabilizers. It is important to keep in mind that medications should be administered and monitored by trained healthcare professionals, especially prescription medications.
A Revolutionary Treatment For Depression And Anxiety
If you are looking for anxiety treatments for your or a loved one’s anxiety disorder, we at Roots TMS are here to help. We offer cutting-edge treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS, a psychiatric breakthrough in treating anxiety and other mood disorders while providing the highest level of safety and support to our patients. Our treatment team is here to help you and guide you on your journey to recovery and wellness. Come visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807, or call (866) 766-8776 for immediate assistance.