Anxiety disorders are the most prominent form of mental illness that occurs in the United States.
Over 18.1%t of the population experiences an anxiety disorder; however, out of those, only a little more than 35% receive treatment. Anxiety can be reduced and prevented through a combination of professional therapy and individual management. Here are a few tips for anxiety management and prevention:
Acknowledge What Is Going On
The onset of anxiety can occur extremely fast, and often without you being entirely sure what is happening. Something can trigger you, and result in you spiraling out of control. One way to manage and prevent spiraling out of control is to learn to recognize what triggers you and incites your anxiety. This can be a slow and challenging process, as it takes a long time to learn your own body and brain.
To start on the process of learning what triggers you, start analyzing your anxiety after it happens or force yourself to recognize what triggers you while it is happening. Keep track of this, as learning what makes you spiral is necessary to prepare yourself better or avoiding that trigger in the future.
Have a Plan
To successfully nip anxiety in the bud, try to set up an individualized plan for dealing with it when it emerges. You may even want to write this plan down and keep it on a notecard in your pocket, so you have something direct to refer to.
Everyone’s plan will vary based on what works best for them and their body. If talking to a friend or family member works best for you, consider calling them as a part of your plan. If you need to remind yourself to breathe deeply and count to ten, then add that as part of your plan.
Know Your Body
The most important thing in preventing anxiety is coming to know your body well and understand how you can calm it down. Anxiety disorders are a product of the parasympathetic nervous system being overstimulated, which results in cascading anxiety. You want to be able to acknowledge what is best for you and how you, as an individual, can avoid anxiety
Learning how to both recognize triggers and calm yourself down is critical to keeping your anxiety at a manageable level. You also want to make sure you are doing things that are healthy for you and maintaining generally low-stress levels. Get a full night’s sleep, eat well, and exercise.
Consult a Doctor
Many people take anxiety medications when they feel that they are on the cusp of an anxiety attack or panic attack. Although these are frequently stigmatized, there is no shame in seeking out psychiatric medications as they can help give you the tools to handle your anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety can be a painful and challenging process. Luckily, there are many ways to get a handle on it; it is just a matter of finding out what works best for you individually. For more information on reducing and preventing anxiety, go to either HealthLine.com or my.ClevelandClinic.org.