Conquering anxiety: Tips to prevent and manage an anxiety attack
We all struggle with some amount of anxiety every now and then that tends to subsides in a while. However, if our actions start getting influenced by an unreasonable fear or excessive worry, it is a red flag that something is not right and it could probably be an anxiety disorder. Many people continue to live with the condition despite realizing how it interferes with everyday functioning like waking up from bed, crossing the street or going to the market alone. It is important to treat anxiety, else it can worsen and lead to other psychological issues like depression, suicidal ideation and substance abuse.
Here are some simple steps to cope with anxiety symptoms, prevent them from overpowering and feel more relaxed:
- Deep breathing: Deep diaphragmatic breathing is quite helpful in alleviating and preventing anxiety symptoms. It converts the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system. Deep breathing can be practiced anywhere, any time. One should inhale deeply to the count of four and then exhale deeply to the count of four to feel the effect.
- Be active: Physical activity produces endorphins, which has a calming effect on the mind and body. One should indulge in some sort of a physical activity every day – it could be going for a brisk walk, running, playing some sport, dancing, swimming, etc.
- Take sound sleep: Sound sleep is central to managing anxiety. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increased production of the stress hormone cortisol triggering an anxiety attack. It is thus important that one sleeps peacefully or uninterrupted for at least seven to eight hours every day. If a person has trouble sleeping at night, it’s better to turn off all the gadgets one hour before hitting the sack, take a warm water bath or listen to soothing music at bedtime. One should also keep a gap of at least two to three hours between supper and sleeping. One should also avoid caffeine, as it is a mind- stimulating substance.
- Avoid mind-altering substances: Some people resort to taking alcohol or other mind-altering substances in an attempt to rein in their symptoms. It is important to understand that these substances can provide relief only for short-term, and instead it can only exacerbate the symptoms. Avoid them at all cost.
- Identify and manage triggers: It is possible to change our thoughts and our responses to them. Make a list of all the triggers that make one susceptible to anxiety. In front of these triggers, one should write one or two solutions so that next time a person is exposed to a trigger, the solution is ready.
- Eat foods that kill anxiety: One must avoid taking foods that exacerbates anxiety like diet soda, red meat, processed food items containing gluten and sugar, foods high in sodium and dairy products. It’s better to eat food rich in magnesium, tryptophan, eatables with low glycemic index and so on.
- Engage in relaxation techniques: It’s important to have a balanced and relaxed response to worries and that can be done by devoting time to activities which one loves to do and feels positive about. These could be practicing yoga, meditation, tai chi and mindfulness techniques. Other activities like reading a book, going for a walk, talking to a loved one, cooking or gardening are also helpful in minimizing anxiety.
Freedom from anxiety
It is important to accept one’s condition and remain consistent in his/her efforts to feel better. Not accepting the undesirable experiences is the root cause of self-inflicted suffering. The self-help tips can help you cope effectively, but if the symptoms are severe and long-lasting, it is best to reach out for professional support.
Early diagnosis ensures complete recovery from any kind of mental illness. Sovereign Health of Florida is a leading provider of treatment for mental health problems, including anxiety disorder treatment. For more information on our renowned anxiety disorder treatment centers in the United States or to know more about maintaining good mental health, call our 24/7 helpline number. For immediate assistance, you can even chat online with one of our representatives.