Nearly thirty percent of Americans will suffer some form of anxiety in their life. That's a lot of emotional upheaval and worry. If you've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, there's a good chance that your doctor has recommended a variety of treatment options to help you improve your condition and deal with your symptoms. Here are a few things you can try to ease your anxiety symptoms and minimize attacks.
There are many things you can do to manage your symptoms on your own. Here are a few active self-soothing techniques to try.
- Progressive muscle relaxation can help you to address persistent tension. Relieving that tension can help you to minimize the anxiety and the strain that it often causes. Find a quiet, calm place to sit and focus on each part of your body to relax them. Start at either your head or your toes and work your way in the other direction.
- Active breathing efforts can help you to manage your breathing from the diaphragm. This is important, because it helps to ensure that you're getting the proper levels of oxygen and minimizing the risk hyperventilation. Try resting on a flat surface and placing a hand on your abdomen. Position the other hand on your chest and start breathing with a conscious effort toward feeling your abdomen move instead of your chest. This movement ensures proper breathing techniques.
- Physical exercise is also great for soothing mild levels of anxiety. The adrenaline and stress hormones that are produced due to anxiety attacks can burn off while you're exercising, and the activity levels will help you to soothe the stress hormones consistently.
- Visualization is another tool that's often provided by therapists and counselors. It involves using imagery to help facilitate relaxation. You'll focus on a peaceful or relaxing environment or somewhere you're happy. Close your eyes to block out the surrounding environment that's causing you anxiety. Picture yourself in this happier environment to minimize the anxiety effects.
Medical Intervention Tips
- Biofeedback is a tool used by many therapists to help you relieve the stress from your anxiety attacks. Biofeedback uses electrodes to monitor your blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate. The system provides you with a real-time display of your body's physical condition so that you can work with many different calming techniques to find the ones that work best for your needs.
- Medication is another option that you can consider if other techniques fail. Medications like those used for antidepressants as well as those for anxiety management can help you to control the many symptoms that result from anxiety attacks. You can talk with your doctor about the specific symptoms you're looking to treat and find a balance of medications that focus clearly on those symptoms.
- Therapy is also beneficial in addition to other treatments. The therapy is typically used as a support tool to enhance the effects of other anxiety management techniques, but it is a beneficial component. It encourages you to face the underlying causes of your anxiety attacks or uncover them if you're not yet aware of what is to blame.
Anxiety attacks can be debilitating and can prevent you from leading a productive, rewarding life. Don't let those attacks keep you from doing the things that you've always wanted to do. With the tips here and the support of a therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment, such as one from a center like The Center for Family Counseling, Inc., you can not only find ways to cope with the problem, but also discover the underlying cause of your anxiety and deal with it. The sooner you reach out to a local specialist, the sooner you can reclaim your independence and your ability to live life to its fullest potential.