Being anxious from time to time is normal. But, what if the anxiety becomes overwhelming or relentless? What if it doesn’t seem to have a cause? You need to take action because your well-being is already at risk when anxiety no longer looks like a reasonable response.
The family of anxiety disorders includes post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and, the most common, generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD.
What is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)? It’s the kind of anxiety that people commonly suffer from and is characterized by excessive, persistent worrying about everyday activities and events that an individual finds difficult to control.
This post will explore the different ways to combat generalized anxiety disorder. Read on below to learn more.
1. Question Your Thought Pattern
One way to cope with GAD is to challenge your fears. Negative thoughts distort the severity of the situation by taking root in your mind. Ask if they’re true. Try to figure out where you can take back control.
2. Talk To Someone
Find a trusted person you can talk with about your challenges. Anxiety can lead people to believe that they’re alone in their experience, and no one can relate to them. That isn’t true at all. Share with people who are important to you the experiences you’re struggling with. Don’t be afraid to open a conversation up, and you’ll find that these individuals are actually willing to listen and care for you.
3. Undergo Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A number of psychological treatments have actually shown to help individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder. One of them is cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is the one that produces long-lasting and the most consistent improvements.
Getting better from GAD means gaining control over worry. For cognitive behavioral therapy to achieve that, the following components of treatment are implemented:
- Relaxation training to control physical tension; it’s usually in the form of progressive muscle relaxation
- Actively identifying and challenging worrying thoughts
- An approach where patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder are taught essential skills for managing their anxiety and taking responsibility for control and change over their behavior, feelings, and thoughts
- Exercise More
Even small amounts of exercise can positively affect anxious feelings and thoughts. Several studies have shown that regular exercise or working out can help build your tolerance to stress and reduce anxiety. If you want something that can give you more control over the body and mind, choose yoga. It’s especially useful for managing generalized anxiety disorder since it helps to focus and slow your breathing. Always look for opportunities to fit different forms of exercises into your day.
5. Undergo Acupuncture
Acupuncture releases endorphins that help relieve stress and pain. Acupuncture calms the release of several neurochemicals implicated in your brain’s response to stress. The very nature of acupuncture is, in fact, calming. It touches specific points in the body that play a role in calming the nervous system. Chinese medicine calls these particular points the Shen. Several studies from Evidence Based Acupuncture involving over four hundred patients also found that the process of acupuncture often improved anxiety symptoms compared to conventional treatments.
Please take note, however, that when seeking acupuncture treatment for GAD, it’s important to find a licensed and certified acupuncture practitioner or physician. Also, only choose someone who has considerable experience working with anxiety symptoms.
Inhaling and exhaling slowly is one of the best ways to get through your bouts of worry. Breathing may seem like one of the obvious solutions, but you have to do it properly. Practice your breathing. By doing so, your mind only focuses on breathing rather than on irrational thoughts. Breathing by slowly inhaling and exhaling scientifically aids certain anxieties that you’re experiencing because it allows for more oxygen to successfully flow to your brain.
7. Connect With Others
Doing things with the people you feel close to deepens your bonds. It allows you to feel supported and secure. Spend time with your friends and family. Just hanging out with them works, but organized activities are great. The fun and sharing that go with connecting with others allow you to feel happier about things, as well as make you feel less upset.
8. Use Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is thought to actually help in activating certain receptors in the brain, potentially easing anxiety. Aromatherapy can be very soothing, whether they’re in the candle form, incense, or essential oils in scents like sandalwood, chamomile, and lavender.
9. Get More Organized
Poor organization can be one of the serious sources of stress and anxiety. Make sure that you’re managing your daily responsibilities and tasks effectively. Good time management skills are vital in becoming organized. Consider using a to-do list and other simple time management techniques. You can even use more in-depth apps and tools. An organized and calm environment should help you to feel more in control.
10. Connect With Nature
Aside from connecting more with people around you, having generalized anxiety disorder also requires developing a connection with nature. Heading for a hike in the woods or a walk in the park can help you feel peaceful and grounded. Snowshoeing, trail biking, hiking, and walking also offer additional benefits, such as exercise (which also helps in alleviating generalized anxiety disorder, as previously mentioned). Choose somewhere you feel safe to help you relax and enjoy your surroundings. Also, to enjoy being connected to people, invite a family member or a friend.
11. Change Your Diet Or Try Supplements
Certain nutrients or supplements can help in anxiety reduction. Taking supplements or changing your diet is definitely a long-term strategy. Consider adding the following to your diet:
- Dark chocolate (in moderation)
- Kava kava
- Valerian root
- Green tea
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Lemon balm
Please take note, however, that your body can take up to three months before actually running on the nutrition these foods and herbs provide. If you’re going to take herbal remedies together with other medications, make sure to discuss everything with your doctor.
Antidepressants and some other medications have been shown to reduce associated physical symptoms and worry in people with GAD. These drugs, however, aren’t recommended for long-term use. It’s also essential to take note that improvements only last as long as you’re still taking these medications.
Treatments for generalized anxiety disorder include exercise, meditation, counseling, and prescription drugs, among others. A combination of these modalities is what experts recommend. Again, experiencing some anxiety when facing difficult life changes or decisions is normal. However, it becomes a disorder when it already interferes with your daily life, and that’s the time for you to take action and cope with it using what you’ve learned from this post.