Most of us suffer from some level of anxiety as part of our daily lives. It’s part of the flight or fight response and you can experience it just before an interview, a meeting or an important event like a marriage or the birth of your first child. In this context is a perfectly natural response and often goes away quickly once the event is over.
When it becomes problematic is either if you have to endure chronic or debilitating anxiety that effects how you live on a day to day basis. You could have difficult with social occasions, a phobia about a particular thing or a constant need to keep your home clean because you have an obsessive compulsive disorder and any disruption to your regime causes immense stress.
Under normal circumstances there are a number of things you can do to conquer every day anxiety:
Even if you have what is termed an anxiety disorder affecting you more than a casual bout of panic or fear, there are certain things that you should be doing to relieve the symptoms:
The trouble is that anxiety disorder can all too often be mixed up with other things in your life. Obsessive compulsive disorders can arise from issues you encountered as far back as a child. You may have undergone a very traumatic experience at some point and be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. You may have a specific phobia that is really impacting on your life and you could well be fighting with a condition such as depression along with your anxiety.
Getting the Right Help
If your anxiety problem is not being solved by any self-help regimes such as meditation, then you may well want to seek professional help.
One area that has been shown to help people deal with anxiety disorders is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT which takes a hard look at how you react to your own behaviours and works on ways to challenge negative thinking. This can work with problems such as PTSD by changing the context of your anxiety and getting you to face up to the traumatic experience that started everything. It’s not an easy path for many anxiety sufferers but it can be very effective if you stay the course and work at getting better.
Another choice is Exposure Therapy and it involves facing your fear in a safe and secure environment. It’s designed to get you used to the thing that causes anxiety and is utilised quite a lot to conquer phobias. The notion is simple – the more you are exposed, the more you get used to it and the less anxious you get.
If you have a general anxiety disorder, then your doctor might well advise relaxation therapy which is all about learning techniques to keep your emotions under control at stressful times. This can include breathing exercises and meditation and they can be powerful tools to help you combat anxiety attacks.
In severe circumstances where none of these methods work for you, your doctor could refer you to a specialist mental health professional. There is medication available but most health services nowadays try to exhaust the alternatives before they resort to this solution. Medication can include antidepressants, beta blockers and tranquilizers which all have their own various side effects that can be harmful for long term use.
The good news for anxiety sufferers is that there is plenty of help and support out there that can make a big difference.