Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. At the same time, anxiety is a normal healthy human emotion. People who suffer from anxiety disorder often feel like they are alone in their difficulties, or that there is something wrong with them. The good news is that treatment for anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) treatment, really works.
If your anxiety feels out of control or interrupts your work or school, start by seeking help from a therapist near you. With the right coping skills, you can manage your anxiety and live a happy, fulfilling, and productive life.
1. Identify the Sources of your Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal and natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, for some people, anxiety can become more severe and persistent, interfering with daily life.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, it can be helpful to identify the sources of your anxiety. Some common sources of anxiety include:
- Stressful life events, such as a death in the family or a job loss
- Health problems, such as an illness or injury
- Financial worries, such as debt or job insecurity
- Relationship problems, such as conflict or communication difficulties
- Environmental factors, such as noise or crowding
- Personal preferences, such as a fear of flying or public speaking
- Social concerns, such as fear that others will negatively judge you
Once you’ve identified the sources of your anxiety, you can start to develop a plan for managing them. This is a common technique taught in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Your therapist will work with you to identify negative thoughts and create practical solutions to manage those thoughts in your day-to-day life.
2. Practice self-care every day
Self-care is a major component of mental health. This means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to cope with stress and anxiety. You can start by making sure you get enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, and pursuing hobbies. Make sure to find time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Keep in mind that self-care may not always look glamorous. Self-care may also include beneficial activities that you may not enjoy in the moment, such as:
- Cleaning your house to maintain a tidy environment
- Going to the dentist and your primary care doctor
- Consistently taking your medication
- Participating in social events and keeping up with relationships
For many individuals with anxiety, seeing a therapist is another important form of self-care. Talking through your anxieties or fears with a professional counselor can be a cathartic way to overcome nagging thoughts. Other times, a therapy session can be difficult, and you may not feel like hashing out your anxieties. Staying true to your commitment to therapy and working through harder sessions can be an important self-care tactic as well.
3. Connect with others who understand what you’re going through
It can be difficult to talk about our problems with family and friends. They may not understand your feelings, or they may be too busy to really listen. That’s why it’s important to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
There are many online forums and support groups where you can anonymously share your stories and receive support from others who are going through similar experiences. These connections can help you feel less alone, and they can also provide valuable insights and advice. When you reach out to others, you open up the possibility of finding the help and understanding you need.
4. Seek professional help if your anxiety is severe or persistent
For some people, anxiety can become severe or persistent, interfering with their everyday lives. If you are struggling to manage your anxiety on your own, it may be time to seek professional help.
A therapist can work with you to identify the causes of your anxiety and develop coping strategies. In addition, therapy can provide a space for you to process difficult emotions and learn how to manage them in a healthy way.
If therapy is not enough, your therapist may recommend speaking with a psychiatrist. Unlike a counselor or therapist, a psychiatrist can diagnose and treat anxiety disorders with medication. He or she will ask about your symptoms and how they affect your life and may also order tests to rule out other conditions.
Treatment for anxiety disorder often includes a combination of medication management and therapy. Medication can help to reduce symptoms, while therapy can help you to understand and manage your anxiety.
In both cases, many providers offer telehealth services, making it even easier to access help for anxiety disorders.
Improve your life by managing your anxiety
If you’re struggling with anxiety, remember that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to feel better.
Take care of yourself, reach out to others, and seek professional help if your anxiety is severe or prevents you from living the life you want to live. Our mental health professionals are well-versed in a variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Find a therapist or psychiatrist near you and book an appointment in only a few days.