Anxiety is currently ranked as the most common mental disorder in the US and is affecting an increasing number of people from all over the world. Self-reported anxiety levels in the US are up by 5 points since last year now affecting more than 18.1 million US adults.
So what are we going to do about it?
Sadly, the world we live in doesn’t see to be changing and so it’s down to us to find ways to manage our own anxiety levels if we want to be free of the horrible symptoms that anxiety can cause.
Try to help yourself
For mild and moderate sufferers of anxiety, it’s often possible to manage symptoms at home without the need for medication or assisted treatment. Some at-home things to try include:
Exercise promotes the release of endorphins which are hormones that can positively impact your mood. Exercise is also a form of meditation in motion and can help the brain to detach from anxious thoughts. Just a walk around the park or a gentle job is enough to release happy endorphins but for best results try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
Meditation and mindfulness give the mind a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life, providing a safe, non-judgemental space for the brain to relax. Just a few minutes of meditation every day has been proven to make people feel calmer and more content. There are a number of meditation tutorials online to help sufferers get started and there are now even dedicated apps such as Headspace for those looking for long term meditation guidance.
- Eating a balanced diet
Diet can play a big part in making anxiety symptoms feel worse and there’s even evidence to suggest that some nutrient deficiencies could be responsible for the manifestation of anxiety disorders.
- Drinking herbal teas
Herbal teas such as chamomile and kava-kava have long been considered natural remedies for anxiety. Not only does the ritual of drinking a hot beverage help to relieve anxiety symptoms but chamomile flowers and the kava-kava root have also been found to act as relaxants.
Seek help from a professional
If you find that your anxiety is not getting any better with self-help remedies then it’s time to speak to a professional. A doctor or therapist will be able to provide a wider range of treatments including:
There is a range of prescription medications commonly prescribed to anxiety sufferers that can help to ease stress and anxiety by balancing hormones and produce a calming effect, these include benzodiazepines and beta-blockers.
For those looking to avoid medication or looking to supplement their medication with other treatments, doctors will often prescribe a form of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or group counseling. These therapies are designed to help anxiety sufferers to talk about their symptoms and to find coping mechanisms that they can implement at home should they feel anxiety rising.
For those with more severe anxiety, a professional may suggest that they visit an inpatient anxiety treatment center where they can receive around the clock treatment and care to help them through their symptoms.