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Maybe you have been battling anxiety and tried every trick in the book to reduce it with zero results. It can be very frustrating being saddled with anxiety, but no matter what you do, you can’t find relief. If you are reading this, nodding, and thinking, “Nothing helps my anxiety,” then this blog is for you.
Anxiety disorder can be absolutely debilitating. When anxiety runs amok, it can keep you trapped at home, the only place you feel safe. The problem with that is you need to be able to work, socialize, and have relationships. This is how to be a healthy, functioning person, but anxiety puts a barrier between you and healthy, normal life.
The Basics About Anxiety Disorder
Believe it or not, nearly one-fifth of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for sub-types of anxiety, each with its own features and remedies.
All anxiety disorders have the common feature of irrational fear and worry. Other symptoms include feeling a loss of control, and physical symptoms like trembling, racing heart, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, and insomnia. The most common responses to anxiety are avoidance behaviors and social isolation.
The array of anxiety disorders includes:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety
- Specific phobias
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
How Anxiety Affects Your Life
Living in constant fear becomes a trap that prevents us from achieving our goals and dreams. An anxiety disorder can hold us, hostage, fooling us into believing we aren’t worthy of those goals and dreams.
So what do we do? To avoid the discomfort of anxiety, we begin to isolate ourselves, to hide away from what scares us. By avoiding stressful situations, we think we are dodging judgmental people or something that scares us. In reality, all we are doing is hurting ourselves. When we isolate ourselves, we may develop other maladaptive behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm. This only makes things worse.
You may be surprised to learn that unchecked anxiety is also harmful to our physical health. Chronic stress and worry keep the stress hormones at elevated levels. This can result in other health risks, such as weight gain, heart disease, digestive issues, and sleep problems.
Have You Really Tried Everything?
Maybe there are some techniques to reduce stress and anxiety that you have not tried yet. Consider these nine actions:
- Deep breathing techniques. Try some simple breathing techniques to quickly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Deep breathing causes a decrease in blood pressure, relaxes muscles, slows your breathing rate, reduces tension, and calms your mind.
- Diet. It may surprise you to learn that our diet can help or hurt our mental health. Limit exposure to caffeine, processed foods, and sugars to help your anxiety. Some of the foods you may want to add to your diet to reduce anxiety include:
- Lean proteins.
- Whole grains.
- Almonds and cashews.
- Dark chocolate.
- Yogurt or kefir.
- Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
- Meditation. Carve out time for quiet reflection. Meditation allows you to take a break and connect with your spiritual side. You can practice meditation in the solitude of your own room, or in a quiet outdoor setting.
- Yoga. Yoga can have powerful relaxation effects. Yoga blends breathing and poses, positions, and movements to calm the mind and tone muscles. There are many types of yoga to try out and discover which is the best fit for you.
- Aromatherapy. Using essential oils from certain plants and flowers can help you relax. For anxiety, the most helpful oils are lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, chamomile, and bergamot. Aromatherapy may be delivered as vapor, , or applied to strategic points on the body.
- Massage therapy. Massage can produce many benefits as it releases muscle tension and toxins from the body. A deep massage targets the points on the body where we tend to hold our stress, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.
- Mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness you learn how to gain control over distracting thoughts that keep you in a worried state. Mindfulness helps to focus your attention on the now. You teach yourself to accept what you are experiencing in the present moment without judgment.
- Exercise. Adding some daily exercise to your routine is a great way to get stress and anxiety under control. Movement, such as running, cycling, swimming, and walking, helps produce endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which help to regulate stress.
- Grounding techniques. Grounding is the practice of uniting yourself with the natural elements. This can be accomplished by walking barefoot or standing in the sand, on the grass, or even in the dirt. Grounding helps to reduce stress by connecting with the earth’s natural electrical energy.
What to Do If Nothing Helps Your Anxiety
If you have tried all of these tips and still say, “Nothing helps my anxiety,” try a mental health program. These are retreats or inpatient programs that focus on the treatment of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety treatment involves several activities:
Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves both individual and group sessions working with a therapist. They will use such methods as CBT, exposure therapy, and EMDR to reduce the impact of your fears and anxiety.
Medication. There are some effective drugs to treat the symptoms of anxiety. These include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or antipsychotic drugs. These may help to rebalance brain chemistry and reduce symptoms.
The residential setting offers a more intensive treatment approach. The program offers a quiet, safe place to focus on new ways to reduce your fears and learn to relax.
The Treatment Specialist Online Mental Health Guidance
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource for informative articles on mental health conditions and treatment options for adults, teens, and families. If you have tried everything and nothing helps your anxiety, call us for guidance at (866) 644-7911.