Dizziness, chest pain, nausea, and an intense fear of dying: sound familiar? This might sound like a heart attack, but for most people, these symptoms come during a panic attack.
These attacks create an often overwhelming feeling of anxiety triggered by everyday circumstances, often with little or no warning. Sufferers can endure multiple attacks per week, or even per day, so it’s no wonder that strategies for quick anxiety relief are in high demand.
Of course, a panic attack is just one expression of an anxiety disorder. Many others suffer from different but equally debilitating issues. These include…
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a severe and continuous anxiety about everyday events that can last for months.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that anxiety disorders affect an incredible 20% of the population, so even if you don’t have issues with anxiety, many people you know will. This article will take a look at some of the most popular and effective techniques that sufferers can use to manage their anxiety disorders and gain relief.
Studies indicate that exercise is an effective treatment for anxiety.
When you first start suffering from anxiety, one of the most common ways of coping is to stop doing things. Unfortunately, this isn’t very effective and can even worsen the disorder. If you start trying to avoid the things that make you anxious, you can quickly cut out most forms of human contact. Some sufferers even become housebound.
It might be contrary to how you feel, but getting out of the house and exercising is one of the best ways you can start combatting anxiety and improving your levels of relaxation.
Exercise, such as jogging, is recommended by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and many scientific studies, such as this 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, back this up. The linked study shows strong evidence that regular exercise has a positive impact on the ability to handle anxiety.
2. Focus on the Moment for Quick Anxiety Relief
One of the biggest mistakes anxious people make is to try and deny their anxiety. When an attack comes, they try or ignore or eliminate it, hoping for quick anxiety relief but actually achieving little.
Instead, sufferers should take the following steps:
Step 1 – Take a deep breath
Focusing on your breathing by taking deep, slow breaths can help you relax and reduces the physiological symptoms you are experiencing. In particular, deep breaths can help reduce the typical “fight or flight” response sufferers experience, calming your body down.
Step 2 – Accept your situation
Accept that you are feeling anxious, and remind yourself that this is a result of your brain playing a trick on you. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed of your anxiety; instead, remind yourself that it will pass.
Step 3 – Focus on the moment
Most anxiety (but not all) is triggered by possible future events. Instead of thinking about what might happen, focus on what you are doing at the moment. Don’t fall into the trap of doing nothing while anxious, as this can make you feel even worse. Instead, try and get started on an activity, even if it as simple as doing some housework.
By concentrating on the activity instead of your anxiety, you can start to feel better – your brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
3. Try Journaling
Starting a journal can help you understand and control your anxious thoughts and feelings. This can help in a wide variety of situations that trigger anxiety.
When you journal about your emotions, including your fear and anxiety, you are expressing your emotions. This can give you a release and help reduce how intensely you feel them.
If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to about how you feel, journaling could be very helpful for you.
Personal relationships with colleagues, bosses, and even friends can be a big trigger for anxiety, particularly when there is a cause for confrontation in a relationship. Journaling about these problems, disagreements, and misunderstanding can help you understand why other people act they way they do and assess how you should approach the situation.
By thinking about it and expressing yourself before you have to deal with the situation, you can feel better prepared and reduce your anxiety.
Solve problems creatively
Other problems, often either monetary or work related, can cause anxiety too. Journaling about situations that trigger your anxiety can help you better understand why that situation makes you anxious and can help you think up creative solutions for what otherwise may feel like an unsolvable problem.
4. Take Advantage of Natural Remedies
Many anxiety sufferers look toward natural remedies to help reduce their anxiety. The good news is that there are some genuinely promising remedies with scientific research backing them up.
Putting It All Together
Every person with anxiety is different: two people with the same disorder can have very different experiences. The same is true about finding relief. What works for one person may not work for you, and vice versa.
We recommend trying out several different methods of managing your anxiety and experimenting to find out which one works best for you. It might be exercise, journaling, taking natural remedies, or a combination of several different methods. You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article; now pick a technique and try it out.
Do you suffer from anxiety? We’d love to hear from you about your strategies for quick anxiety relief. Share your experiences and successes with us below in the comments section.
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