anxiety disorder treatment

Defeat Your Anxiety Disorder in Nine Simple Steps

Anxiety per se is not bad but it becomes toxic when it worsens into an Anxiety Disorder. Then it adopts the nature of a dark cloud of unease, apprehensions and self-derogatory thoughts hanging over a person’s head; inflicting his emotions, speech, behavior and interactions with fellow humans. It is not only injurious to his physical and mental health but also spoils his professional and personal life.

The genesis of the whole imbroglio is negative thoughts which are mostly false, irrational, biased or highly exaggerated. An anxiety disorder progresses through four stages: thoughts, emotions, sensations and reactions. The invasion of a negative thought gives rise to concomitant emotions; which cause sensations like a rapid pulse, palpitations, gastric problems, taut muscles and sleeplessness. You take certain steps to deal with these sensations but since the whole process stemmed from an irrational thought your efforts fail to give relief.

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Obviously the best way of eradicating an anxiety disorder would be to banish those negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones but this is not easy. The worries and fears which have inhabited your mind long enough to have transformed into a disorder have already engraved circuits in your brain so that any flutter in the wind activates those thoughts. However, persistent efforts will help you to get out of this mind-set. Here are some tips to defeat your anxiety disorder, choose the ones which resonate with you.

  1. Consult a doctor

This is necessary to rule out that your anxiety is not the offshoot of any disease or the side effect of any medicines you might be taking.

  1. Watch your thoughts

Are they a correct interpretation of reality? Weigh them on the benchmark of rationality and probability. You will soon realize how fallacious they are. The moment you catch any such thought whirring in your mind, alert your senses: observe your surroundings, watch every object within the field of your vision, see what others are doing, and listen to the sounds reverberating in the air – each one of them. You will soon realize that your hostile thought has been replaced by many others. When you remove a distressing thought every time in this way, the onslaught of such thoughts will lessen.

  1. Pick up an interesting diversion

In order to weaken the pathways engraved by distressing thoughts, take up an activity which will claim your full focus. The intellectual kind should pick up brain games like Crossword, Scrabble or Sudoku instead of obsessing about their condition. Artists forget all else when they work on a piece of art or craft. Running, swimming or playing vigorous games are excellent anxiety busters for the sporty kind. Spiritual souls find solace through listening to religious sermons, hymns and practicing meditation. Even de-cluttering can be a good diversion. Choose the tactic which suits your temperament and employ it to nullify the menace of negative thoughts.

  1. Challenge your thoughts

Anxiety generates feelings of lassitude, incompetence and hopelessness. You feel that you cannot do many of the things which you had earlier been doing. Therefore it is incumbent to do what you think you cannot do and prove yourself. You may think you cannot drive your vehicle, but do it and the fear will soon subside. Likewise about attending meetings, saying your say, achieving targets and joining cultural activities. If something seems too daunting, start small and increase the tempo as your confidence increases.

Anxiety

Every small step taken in this direction will reward you immensely. Your life will regain that level of normalcy and tranquility which it had lost.

  1. End your isolation

This is of paramount importance. Anxiety spews feelings of inferiority. You shirk meeting people lest they may perceive the changes which you think are very much discernible. This may or may not be true but the longer you isolate yourself the harder will it be to take up the reins once again. We have an inherent need for belonging. Thwarting this need causes unhappiness. Take the first step, exchange cursory remarks with service providers and graduate to family and friends. Go to places where you are likely to meet friends and acquaintances. Call up friends, arrange outings and accept invitations. The more you socialize the better you will feel. Join a gym or yoga class, or whatever else you fancy.

  1. Exercise

Exercise promotes the release of Endorphins which are natural stress busters and pain relievers. It also subsumes the harmful chemicals generated by anxiety: viz Adrenalin and Cortisol. It is a total win-win strategy. If you are a novice start slowly but be regular. This will boost your self-esteem and dissipate anxiety. Experts rate exercise higher than medicines for curing anxiety.

  1. Self-care

Anxiety causes lethargy and a “couldn’t care less” attitude. This is a dominant cause of the personality going downhill. Take good care of your personal hygiene, diet, sleep and appearance. Avoid excess of tea, coffee and avoid intoxicants altogether. Try daily massage. It increase oxytocin which is a bonding and anti-anxiety hormone. Massage will also iron out minor aches and pains if any. Reward yourself for progress made. Wear nice clothes and you will feel nice.

  1. Release the pressure

Even a metal pressure cooker explodes when the pressure finds no release. Share your angst with someone who cares for you or a mental health professional. If you don’t want to do this then consider writing out your woes in a journal. If your stress becomes more than you can handle, go to a secluded spot and scream your pain out. Tear a paper to bits, stomp the earth or pummel a punching bag. Employ the stress buster which works best for you but don’t fester inside. Release your tensions.

 

anxiety disorder

  1. Medication

This should ideally be the last choice. Minor and moderate anxiety can be cured through self-help measures but if your efforts fail to give you relief then psychotherapy should be the next option. However, if even that is not enough then it should be coupled with medication, but only till it makes you strong enough to help yourself. Psychiatric medicines do have certain side effects; therefore choose your way forward carefully. Inform the doctor if the medicine prescribed by him does not agree with you. He will change it and the next one might be more suitable. But don’t discontinue the medicine abruptly without informing the doctor. This should be done gradually.

Life is never smooth sailing all the way. A positive attitude, hope and gratitude for what we have been blessed with are useful tools for overcoming our problems.

This was all about how to deal with anxiety disorder. We have already covered the symptoms and causes of Anxiety disorder in our earlier post Anxiety Disorder- A Silent Enemy

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