- 0.1 It’s normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, sports, a blind date, first time pregnancy or a confrontation with a friend. But if your worries and fears seem overwhelming and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
- 1 Do your symptoms indicate an anxiety disorder?
- 2 Other common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
- 3 Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- 4 Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:
- 5 How To tackle anxiety amicably
- 6 Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders
- 7 #1: Challenge negative thoughts
It’s normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, sports, a blind date, first time pregnancy or a confrontation with a friend. But if your worries and fears seem overwhelming and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Before knowing prevention, you should know symptoms and disorders – emotional and physical
Do your symptoms indicate an anxiety disorder?
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
- Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
- Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
- Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
- Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
- Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
- Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
- Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?
Other common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling tense and jumpy
- Anticipating the worst
- Watching for signs of danger
- Feeling like your mind’s gone blank
Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Pounding heart
- Stomach upset or dizziness
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Tremors and twitches
- Muscle tension
Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:
- Surge of overwhelming panic
- Feeling of losing control or going crazy
- Heart palpitations or chest pain
- Feeling like you’re going to pass out
- Trouble breathing or choking sensation
- Hot flashes or chills
- Trembling or shaking
- Nausea or stomach cramps
- Feeling detached or unreal
How To tackle anxiety amicably
Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders
#1: Challenge negative thoughts
- Write down your worries. Keep a pad and pencil on you, or type on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. When you experience anxiety, write down your worries. Writing down is harder work than simply thinking them, so your negative thoughts are likely to disappear sooner.
- Create an anxiety worry period. Choose one or two 10 minute “worry periods” each day, time you can devote to anxiety. During your worry period, focus only on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them. The rest of the day, however, is to be designated free of anxiety. When anxious thoughts come into your head during the day, write them down and “postpone” them to your worry period.
- Accept uncertainty. Unfortunately, worrying about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable—it only keeps you from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to accept uncertainty and not require immediate solutions to life’s problems.
- Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders #2: Take care of yourself
- Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.
- Adopt healthy eating habits. Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day. Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more anxious.
- Reduce alcohol and nicotine. They lead to more anxiety, not less.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.
- Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings, so try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night.
If you’re experiencing a lot of physical anxiety symptoms, consider getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isn’t caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you’re taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your anxiety disorder and devise a course of treatment.
Article credit: Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. for helpguide.org