How do i control my anxiety

Anxiety and Panic: Getting Control over Your Feelings

Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(8):1393-1394

What is anxiety?

Anxiety (ang-ZY-uh-tee) can be a normal “alarm system” alerting you to danger. Your heart beats fast. Your palms get sweaty. Your mind races. Sometimes anxiety can give you energy to get things done. But anxiety can get out of control and make you feel afraid for no reason.

Are there different types of anxiety?

Yes. Anxiety can be a general feeling of worry, a sudden attack of panicky feelings, a fear of a certain situation, or a response to a traumatic event.

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder is ongoing worry or fear that isn’t related to a certain event or situation. It also can be worry or fear that is out of proportion to what you would expect (for instance, worrying a lot about a child who is healthy). Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include muscle tension, trembling, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, irritability, loss of sleep, and not being able to focus.

What is panic disorder?

Panic disorder is another type of anxiety. It occurs when you have repeated periods of very bad panic, called panic attacks. Panic attacks last about five to 30 minutes and may include any of the symptoms listed in the box below. Panic attacks can lead to phobias if they aren’t treated.

Panic Attack Symptoms

  • Feeling like you’re going to choke

  • Chest pressure or chest pain

  • Pounding heart

  • Racing pulse

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Shortness of breath or tightness in the throat

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Nausea

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • Hot flushes or chills

  • Sense of unreality or dreamlike sensations

  • Fear of losing control, doing something embarrassing, “going crazy,” or dying

What is a phobia?

A phobia is a very bad fear of something. Some people have phobias of crowds, bridges, snakes, spiders, heights, open places, or social situations. A phobia is a problem only if it keeps you from living a normal life (for example, being afraid to leave home).

What causes anxiety disorders?

If you have an anxiety disorder, your body mistakenly triggers your “alarm system” when there is no danger. This may be because of a chemical imbalance in your body. It also may be related to a memory, to a side effect of a medicine, or to an illness.

Tips to Cope with Anxiety

  • Control your worry. Pick a time and place to do your worrying. Make it the same time and place every day. Spend 30 minutes thinking about your worries and what you can do about them. Then let go of the worry, and go on with your day.

  • Learn ways to relax. These may include muscle relaxation, yoga, or deep breathing.

  • Exercise regularly. People who have anxiety often stop exercising. But exercise can give you a sense of well-being and help with anxiety.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. They seem to help you relax, but in the long run, they make anxiety worse and cause more problems.

  • Avoid caffeine. It may make you feel more anxious because it stimulates your nervous system. Also avoid over-the-counter diet pills, and cough and cold medicines with a decongestant.

Can anxiety disorders be treated?

Yes. Talk with your doctor if you think you have an anxiety disorder. He or she can help you with the skills you need to cope with your anxiety. Your doctor may also suggest counseling and give you medicine if you need it. The most important thing is to take action. Anything you do will help give you a sense of control over your anxiety.

How to Ease Your Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Occasional anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, whether that’s in the next few minutes, days, or months.

Mental health experts define anxiety as worry over a threat that’s still in your future. Thinking about a conversation you dread, for example, could twist your stomach into knots days before it happens. Your heart may race before an exam or presentation. You might lie awake at night worried about whether you’ll catch COVID-19 at the grocery store.

It’s also normal to want to get rid of those uncomfortable, pit-of-the-stomach feelings as quickly as possible. But that approach can make you more anxious, says David H. Rosmarin, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“When you worry about getting rid of your anxiety, you’re signaling your nervous system that you have even more to be anxious about. And that makes your anxiety worse,” he says.

Keep in mind that if your anxiety is long-lasting and interferes with your daily life, you could have an anxiety disorder. In that case, you may need treatment to overcome it. 

Calm Anxiety by Accepting It

It’s not what people expect to hear. But one of the most effective ways to ease occasional anxiety is to accept it, says Rosmarin, who is also founder of the Center for Anxiety in New York City.

“When we let anxiety run its course in the moment without fighting it, ironically, that makes it less. On the other hand, fighting anxiety is what typically [triggers] a panic attack,” he says.

“And, if your only strategy is to distract yourself from your anxiety or to avoid things that cause it, you’ll always be afraid of it. It’s always going to be the bully in the schoolyard because you’ve never learned to deal with it.”

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America puts it this way: “The thoughts you resist persist.”

Try these steps instead:

Recognize and understand your anxiety: Tell yourself, “My nervous system is kicking into high gear because I’m worried about [thing X].

Don’t criticize yourself for those feelings: Instead, say, “This is a normal, healthy response by my body to these circumstances, which are complicated, stressful, or difficult. It’s OK to feel this way.”

Know that you can have anxiety and still function well: “You can perform very well with anxiety, and probably have done so before,” Rosmarin says.

Think back to a time when you were anxious but did what you needed to do anyway. Maybe you were filled with anxiety before an event or a meeting. But later, someone said you did a great job.

How to Stop Anxiety

When your anxiety feels overwhelming, these techniques can give you quick, short-term relief.

Do a reality check: Ask yourself these questions:

  • On scale of 1 to 100, how likely is it that the thing I’m anxious about will happen?
  • Do I have good reasons to think something will go wrong?
  • Is there a chance I’m overly worried?

Share your anxiety with someone you trust: Don’t avoid your anxious thoughts, which can make them worse. Talk them over with a friend or family member, who can help you put them in perspective. 

Remind yourself that you’re safe: “When anxiety kicks in you may feel scared or out of control, with your mind racing to all these uncertain future catastrophes,” says clinical psychologist Debra Kissen, PhD, chief executive officer of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Centers in the Chicago area.

“Ask yourself, ‘Is there a real danger in front of me, or am I actually safe at home and worried about something that’s no threat to me right now?’” she says. “This thinking can ground you in the moment and reboot your brain and body so you feel less anxious.”

Redirect nervous energy: Anxiety can be like a motor revving, says licensed professional counselor Lisa Henderson. “Take control of that energy and put it somewhere else,” says Henderson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Synchronous Health in Nashville. 

“If you’re sitting there worried, for example, get up and walk or pace,” she says. “Take a few minutes to clean something. Go outside for 5 minutes. Shorts bursts of activity can release that anxious energy.”

Take a mental break: “Use a guided imagery app or simply daydream on your own,” Henderson says. “A brief mental vacation can break the cycle of anxious thoughts.”

To try this on your own, set a timer for a few minutes, close your eyes, and picture yourself somewhere you feel peaceful or happy.

“Just letting your mind wander can work well if your anxiety comes from feeling controlled or managed,” Henderson says. “If your mind returns to its anxious thoughts, notice -- without judgment -- that it’s happened and mentally tell your anxiety ‘I’ll be with you in a moment.’ Then go back to your daydream.”

You may prefer an app that guides you through your thoughts to help you release anxiety. Find relaxation or meditation apps that appeal to you and give them try.

Just breathe: Inhale and exhale slowly, evenly, and deeply for several breaths.

Change your position: “Whatever you’re doing, do the opposite,” Kissen says. “If you’re hunched over with worry, stand up and take a Wonder Woman pose. If you’re under a blanket, go wash your face with cold water. Changing your sensory experience can ‘change the channel’ from anxiety.”

Use a mantra: A mantra can shift your mind away from anxious thoughts that play over and over in your head, Kissen says.

Two she likes are: “These thoughts are uncomfortable, but not dangerous,” and “This, too, will pass.”

Put your anxiety on a schedule: Pick a 15-minute window during the day to think about your anxieties. “During that time, tell your brain to just go for it and let the anxious thoughts come,” Kissen says. “But when they arise outside that time, tell them ‘I’m willing to hear you, but come back tomorrow at 3 p.m.’”

If anxiety keeps you awake, get up: “If you’re lying in bed worrying about things for more than 5 minutes, get up and go to another room and write down your anxieties,” Kissen says. “Go back to bed when you’re tired, but get up again if you feel anxious. It might take a few nights of going back and forth, but this exercise can train your brain that your bed is for sleep, not for anxiety.”

Do I Need Treatment for Anxiety?

There’s a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.

Signs that it’s time to talk to a mental health professional include:

  • Constant or nearly constant anxiety
  • Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
  • Anxiety about things that don’t actually threaten you
  • Panic attacks

Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.

“You don’t want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,” Kissen says.

Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.

Rosmarin notes that it’s important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesn’t need to go on indefinitely to be effective.

“A course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,” he says. “There’s also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.”

How to control anxiety and not panic, simple tips.

This post is also available in: Italian

Anxiety comes when we don't expect it! At the most important moments, she has a habit of suddenly appearing and interfering. How to cope with this unpleasant feeling and learn not to panic over trifles?

This has happened to all of us. Anxiety before an exam, an important project at work, fear of public speaking, a new position, etc. Nervous in such situations - is ok . Anyone, regardless of status and age, can panic in a stressful situation. And the more responsibility is placed on us, the more stress and anxiety.

Tachycardia, shortness of breath, feeling of tightness in the chest, pain in the neck, tightness in the muscles ... All these are the consequences of severe stress that are felt at the physical level.

The cause of stress and anxiety can be some personal problem, and sometimes a person falls into hysterics because everyone around is panicking. For example, as it is now, the whole world is worried about the coronavirus and everything is terrible afraid of getting sick .

Anxiety, anxiety, fear, panic, nervousness: it is difficult to describe this feeling in one word. It arises from the depths of our subconscious and very cleverly manipulates the whole organism. is difficult to get rid of completely, but it is quite possible to take control over time.

How to control anxiety? Here are 5 things we can do.

1. To develop awareness of thinking is the main task. Our mind sometimes lives its own life and tends to go where it pleases, and literally, reaches for negative thoughts, and we do not consciously follow its lead. But we are creatures capable of thinking freely and can learn to direct thoughts and consciously focus our consciousness on the moments we need. nine0006

2. Meditation helps a lot to focus on breathing, calm down, understand your feelings and bring your mind back to the right point, not allowing him to go into a whirlpool of negative thoughts, as he used to do before.

3. By the way, even performing some specific action or task helps eliminate negative thoughts, because our mind cannot be in two places at the same time.

4. Quit literally of the word. nine0006

Some research has shown that there is an association between social media addiction and depression, which is akin to alcohol or drug addiction. And this is a great reason to turn off the technique! You can even schedule your gadget usage.

5. Take the time to care deeply !

Yes, I understand that I am contradicting myself now, but if we give ourselves a specific time to think about the bad or worry about some things, then in the future we will reduce negative thoughts in general, preventing them from invading any another space of our day. nine0006

Other useful things to fight anxiety:

- have a social life

- listen to music

- exercise

Diet also helps control anxiety.

It is important to take vitamin B12, essential for good mood, and other B vitamins that allow you to produce serotonin without eating sweets. Omega-3s can improve mood and cure depression.

Every time we are about to become a victim of intense anxiety, let's to disassemble his in the truest sense of the word into parts.

We must admit that this is not a real danger, that we are expecting something that may not even happen at all , and we must think that the best thing we can do is to be flexible and think clearly, to counter a particular problem should it ever arise.

Stop anxiety: 5 ways to help

Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. While fear is a basic human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation, and appears directly at the moment of danger. nine0006

The terms "fear" and "anxiety" are not synonymous, but they can be used interchangeably when it comes to situational anxiety (condition at a given moment in time). In the normal state, the self-preservation function prompts action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.

What causes anxiety

The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us are loneliness, problems at work, problems in relationships, health, environment and all sorts of conflicts. nine0006

Our lifestyle also has a big impact. For example, we are more likely to experience anxiety states if we constantly “hang out” on the phone or watch the news on TV. Digital progress has certainly made our life faster and better, but we pay for this comfort with an additional level of stress, new fears and complexes due to the large flow of news.

Alarm stages:

  • Waiting alarm. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly. nine0101
  • Anxiety in the form of phobias associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders or darkness. May be a clinical case if expressed in the form of panic attacks.
  • Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and is found in many psychological diseases: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear here that destroys a person's mental health.
  • nine0110

    Right now the whole planet is in fear of waiting due to the incessant flow of news and uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "Fear of waiting" or "free fear" is formed due to the information flow in which we are constantly immersed. The tools below will help you deal with situational anxiety that has nothing to do with clinical cases.

    False alarm

    Feelings of fear are easily confused, so before we talk about how to get rid of anxiety, we will learn how to identify it. nine0006

    There are situations when we do not distinguish between emotions, so the so-called "false alarm" is formed. In this case, the first thing psychologists can advise is to learn to isolate anxiety from a large stream of other emotions. Observe for yourself - in what situations anxiety covers you. Divide these situations into those in which anxiety is justified and those where it is not. For example, you are on a bus and, approaching a stop, you are overtaken by a feeling of anxiety. On the one hand, this may be due to fear that you will miss your stop, or a sense of shame, as it is embarrassing to ask the driver to stop the car. Or another example - you want to ask a question to the teacher in the class, but you are afraid to raise your hand. This fear may arise from self-doubt and the expectation that classmates will laugh at you. nine0006

    Sometimes anxiety comes from other feelings, such as shame or insecurity. Realizing this and overcoming it, you no longer have a reason for concern, and with it the state of anxiety disappears.

    How to deal with anxiety

    1. Recognize that you are anxious and direct your attention to it. You need to tell yourself that this is normal - this is your condition, which indicates something that you need to help yourself with. nine0006

    2. Ask yourself what exactly do you feel when you are anxious? What are your feelings, thoughts, feelings, what do you start to do? Gather information about yourself to identify help points.

    3. Determine what exactly you are worried about? What are the reasons for your condition? For example, you have to take an exam remotely. You worry about how everything will go, how you will look, whether you can answer all the questions. Perhaps you feel that the channels of information that are important to you about how the teacher reacts to you will be limited - his facial expressions, postures, gestures, non-verbal reactions. Or you know that you have gaps in knowledge, you missed classes and are afraid that the teacher will be dissatisfied. In such a situation, one can feel anxiety, fear, guilt, regret, disappointment, insecurity. Thoughts revolve around the fact that you will not get the desired grade or fail. So you start to procrastinate, avoid preparation, get irritated. nine0006

    4. Identify help points for yourself and write them down.

    For example: New circumstances for me. Anxiety about what is not done, the expectation of criticism. Physical state - bodily sensations, tension in the body. Terrible pictures of the development of events. A state of uncertainty, self-doubt, lack of support and loss of control, fear. Inability to prepare better due to my condition.

    5. Think about what will help you manage or reduce your anxiety on each item. nine0011 In the new circumstances, we need to get guidance, increase the predictability of the situation. You can ask others, read descriptions, organize preliminary training re-enactments of the event.

    Learn more