Learning To Manage Anxiety

Roughly 41 million American adults aged 18 and older struggle with anxiety, but the condition presents differently in each individual. As a result, the methods used to manage symptoms and regain control can be different. Learn more about what anxiety looks like and how to manage stressors that may trigger the condition.

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Hyperventilation leading to avoidance

For many people, hyperventilation or a panic attack is a classic symptom associated with anxiety. The concern for people that experience panic attacks is that the fear of future attacks can interfere with life. Often associated with a specific event or trigger, some people may begin to avoid situations because of a fear of having another attack. But this behavior can significantly reduce the quality of life. Instead, people that struggle with panic attacks should consider speaking with a therapist and trying options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Prolonged periods of sadness

Feeling down once in a while is normal. But persistent sadness that interferes with life and makes managing daily tasks difficult is not. The above is a description of depression, but know that the condition can present differently and should be managed on a case-by-case basis. While some people can manage depression through talk therapy, other individuals may benefit from prescription medications. However, people considering medication to treat depression should speak with a psychiatrist or physician to understand any potential side effects.

Persistent stress

Just like occasional worries, stress is an unavoidable part of life. But for some people, stress isn’t occasional but is a constant presence. Although stress might seem like a mental condition, science has shown that the presence of persistent stress can lead to physical health complications. Along with common issues such as burnout, people who experienced sustained stress for prolonged periods can have a higher risk of heart attack, weakened immune systems, difficulty concentrating, and even digestion or fertility issues.

Diet and nutrition

Many American diets are comprised of processed foods and have gaps in nutrition. There are many supplements that have proven to help with anxiety. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the US and is often linked to anxiety. Vitamin D and other supplements like chamomile, vitamin C, magnesium and saffron are just a few of the possible options that people with anxiety may find beneficial.

Exercise and mental fitness

Exercise is also essential for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce anxiety. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue and improving energy and concentration. Being active can be especially helpful when stress is the cause of anxiety. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins and these chemicals in the brain act like natural painkillers and can also improve sleep.

Taking the first step

Managing anxiety is essential to ensure that a person’s quality of life isn’t being reduced. While curing anxiety might not be possible for every person, learning to identify and work through stressors can help people regain control. People that are struggling with anxiety should speak with a physician or therapist to begin the process of managing stressors.