Anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Panic Disorder can be crippling. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these issues and ensure that they do not take over our lives. I have personally suffered from Panic Disorder for ten years, but have used the following methods in order to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
Exercise is a fabulous way to get the endorphins flowing through your body, making you feel happier and calmer. Yoga is an especially wonderful practice for the anxious. Focus on meditation, breathing, and grounding oneself is the foundation of yoga. Best of all, yoga can be practiced at home with minimal equipment.
Of course, if yoga is not your thing, other workouts can be beneficial to anxiety sufferers as well. Running, weight lifting, and cycling are just a few examples of exercises that can relieve nervousness. You may not feel like doing much when anxiety strikes, but believe me: you’ll be glad you did.
No matter how uneasy you feel, it is always comforting to know that you are not alone. Check out support groups near you, or join an online community of anxiety sufferers. Others who struggle with similar issues can share helpful advice with you (and vice-versa). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 18% of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. You are never very far from someone who has experienced what you are feeling.
If you are not comfortable seeking out others afflicted with anxiety, it can be worthwhile to discuss your problems with friends and/or family. Simply knowing that your loved ones are aware of your struggle with mental health is a great source of comfort.
Relief from your fear can be as easy as simply taking your mind off of it by doing something else. Get lost in a good book. Watch a funny movie. Cook an interesting dish. Buy a canvas and try your hand at painting. The idea is not to become a modern-day Picasso; but to expend your nervous energy through creativity.
Traditional Mental Healthcare
According to the ADAA, two-thirds of Americans with anxiety disorders are not receiving treatment. This alarmingly high number can be partially attributed to the stigma attached to mental healthcare. The Center for Disease Control surveyed adults with mental illnesses in 2007 and found that only 25% of them believed that people are sympathetic to those with mental illness.
Do not be afraid to seek treatment for your anxiety. Perhaps cognitive-behavioral therapy will be the solution for you. Maybe relief will come from medication. Regardless, there is no shame in finding the treatment that is right for you.
Alternative and/or homeopathic remedies can certainly be of value to those with anxiety disorder. Acupuncture and massage are both alternative methods that some sufferers find useful.
Chamomile tea is a wonderful calming beverage. Melatonin tablets are extremely effective for those who have trouble getting to sleep.
One should always consult with a doctor before embarking on any course of treatment for anxiety.