The medical definition of anxiety provided in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Some people will experience bouts of anxiety accompanied by severe and/ or prolonged symptoms, while others may experience mild, and/ or fleeting symptoms of anxiety. Psychology Today asserts “anxiety is built into our primate origins as a warning system,” and that there are several benefits to experiencing occasional anxiety. Anxiety can help an individual avoid danger as its presence elicits a heightened state of alertness which in turn can help to detect and attend to potential threats. Anxiety can help an individual further develop his or her empathy. Situational anxiety can contribute to enhancing one’s motivation and increasing performance levels. While there may be benefits to anxiety, experiencing persistent, debilitating anxiety is not healthy. Below are five ways to deal with anxiety.
- Arm yourself with a robust supply of relaxation tools and techniques. Test out as many different relaxation methods as you can to figure out what resonates with you best. Consider trying out meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music, journaling, etc.
- Take care of your body and mind. Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and nourishment. Your body is fueled by how you treat it, if you want it to operate at its best, you must treat it accordingly.
- Stay connected to others. Spend time with family and friends. Nurturing relationships can help you avoid feeling isolated and alone. Sharing your feelings with someone that cares about you can help you feel supported and subsequently better able to cope.
- Keep an eye out for positives. Focusing your mind on the good things, no matter how small, can help calm your mind and distract you from negative thoughts.
- Do not hesitate to reach out to a professional for further guidance. There are exceptional mental health clinicians in Southern California that create customized treatment plans for individuals struggling with anxiety, that include a variety of effective therapeutic treatment modalities. For example, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that prioritizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. DBT is conducted in three different therapeutic settings, each with distinct goals. DBT includes weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly group DBT skills sessions, and phone coaching (between sessions) when needed. This format offers both the ability to provide personalized therapeutic support through the individual therapy sessions, as well as peer support though the DBT skills group sessions. DBT works by providing individuals with new skills to manage painful emotions and reduce relationship conflicts.
There are myriad ways one could deal with anxiety, and not all suggestions will resonate with each person. Everyone is different, each will experience varying severity levels of anxiety and will respond uniquely to different approaches used to assuage anxiety.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.