Coping with Anxiety – Guest Blog by Dr. Wilfried Busse

Anxiety can easily consume the lives of those it touches. The worry, stress and apprehension that comes with this disorder undoubtedly takes a severe toll on individuals both mentally and physically. The root of anxiety may be caused by several different factors, such as stress from school or work, finances, drugs, psychological abuse, upcoming social events, and more. Although anxiety varies from person to person, the symptoms tend to include:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lack of concentration
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Irritability
  • Seclusion from loved ones
  • Nausea and/or other feelings of sickness
  • Hot flashes

Recognizing signs of anxiety in oneself as well as others is essential. There are several useful ways to manage your levels of anxiety in order to maintain a better peace of mind. Here are a handful of examples of how to better cope when you become anxious:

Pause – Putting some time aside to clear the mind and relax is crucial. This may include activities such as yoga, napping, reading, taking a bath or listening to music. Everyone relaxes differently. Some, for example, become relaxed through massage while others prefer rigorous exercise. Meditation is also a beneficial way to find your focus; simply taking deep breaths can work wonders as it allows for better oxygen flow and alleviates worry. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.

Stay healthy – Pairing a healthy diet with exercise eases feelings of anxiety. Antioxidants are great for boosting morale and increasing overall levels of health, such as the consumption of berries. Additionally, increased magnesium levels have been shown to decrease anxiety. Treating oneself with luxuries such as dark chocolate and almonds can help create a sense of ease. Workout-wise, try cardio activities such as Zumba, jogging or kickboxing. However, if visiting the gym generates feelings of anxiety, exercising around your neighborhood by walking the dog or riding a bike is just as beneficial. Another option is to use workout DVDs in the comfort of your own home.

Avoid triggers – It is important to refrain from substances that are particularly known to heighten emotions and make individuals feel tense, hyper, lethargic, confused or unhappy. Staying healthy means avoiding toxins, including alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and caffeine. Cutting these out may be difficult at first. To help, try substitutes such as gum, stress balls and non-caffeinated tea.

Laugh – Anxiety is known to suppress positive feelings. One way to make your positivity re-emerge is through laughter. There are several ways to find more amusement throughout the day: listen to your favorite comedian, pull out the comic strip, watch a comedy movie or browse funny pictures online. Laughter is genuinely good for the soul. It helps increase your mood, relieves tension and decreases worry all while relaxing the entire body, releasing endorphins and boosting the immune system.

Find a source of expression – Talking with someone is a great way to express feelings, concerns and questions because it unclutters the mind. This can be with a professional or a trusted friend. Other great outlets for expression are through writing in your journal, painting, playing music, and so on. Ultimately, finding a way to communicate your feelings is vital to effectively releasing the negative thoughts that are causing stress in the first place.

While these are all beneficial methods for coping with feelings of anxiety, every case differs. For instance, there are various kinds of anxiety, such as:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias

In cases such as these, professional help is recommended. At Wilfried Busse, we work to provide anxiety treatment in a confidential and trusting environment. Anxiety is a serious disorder that can consume your life if not properly dealt with, and we can help.