Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health condition across the world. Our World In Data shows 3.8% or 264 million across the globe living with anxiety. And anxiety disorders affected more females (4.7%) than males (2.7%). But in America, only 37% of those affected sought support for anxiety management. So it is important to learn how to manage anxiety.
But it does not need to be this way. There are a lot of ways for managing anxiety so you can live a happy life. It is entirely treatable. Anxiety management strategies include therapy, medication, lifestyle changes and a combination of the three.
Going through life with anxiety is debilitating and distressing. It can stop you from living a full life. Feeling anxious can stop you from taking on new opportunities and cause problems in your relationships.
When anxiety is taking over your life, it is time to learn how to manage anxiety.
Five common types of anxiety disorders
While anxiety is characterised by intense worry and fear, it can trigger and manifest in different ways. Here are the five most common types of anxiety disorders. Understanding them helps you decide what anxiety management options may work for you.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
When you have generalised anxiety disorder you worry about everything constantly. You can worry every day for hours at a time. It will disrupt you from functioning normally. You may also experience tension, headaches, exhaustion and nausea.
Social Anxiety Disorder
If you suffer with social anxiety disorder, you have an extreme fear of interacting socially. This is usually because you feel scared of saying something that will humiliate you or that others will judge you. You will withdraw from having a social life, avoid group situations, conversations and activities. So you end up isolating yourself.
A panic hits suddenly out of the blue when you have panic disorder. You will feel a sense of terror and dread and may feel like you are having a heart attack.
You may experience dizziness, palpitations, chest pain and difficulty breathing. If you have panic attacks, then you probably go out of your way to avoid the places and situations that may trigger an attack.
If you have a phobia, you may have an intense fear linked to something, a place or a situation. When what you fear crosses your path, it can trigger a panic attack. This will make go out of your way to avoid your triggers as a way of managing anxiety. Usually phobias start as a child and are more common in women than men.
Common phobias include:
- Ophidiophobia – a fear of snakes
- Claustrophobia – a fear of small spaces
- Acrophobia – a fear of heights
- Astraphobia – a fear of thunder and/or lightning
- Cynophobia – a fear of dogs
- Aerophobia – a fear of flying
- Xenophobia – a fear of the unknown
- Glossophobia – a fear of public speaking
- Arachnophobia – a fear of spiders.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder is when your behaviour is repetitive and/or you have obsessive thoughts. Repetitive behaviour such as cleaning, checking, counting or washing your hands is a way of managing anxiety to try to quieten your obsessive thoughts. Unfortunately, continually performing the rituals only gives you relief temporarily. But not doing them only increases your anxiety.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) usually develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Your thoughts will be intense and disturbing. And how you feel about the trauma will last long after the event. You may continue to relive what happened through nightmares or flashbacks. Anger, sadness, fear and feeling estranged or detached from the rest of the world can be a normal part of PTSD.
What causes anxiety
It is not clear what causes anxiety. But most believe there are a combination of factors that contribute to the condition.
Causes can include:
- Medical conditions such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and lupus
- Allergies to food
- Medications, energy drinks and herbal supplements
- Trauma to the head
- Heart problems
- Neurological conditions
- Infectious diseases such as Lyme disease.
- Anxiety can be genetic where is runs in families
- Substance use or abuse
- Trauma such as soldiers in war zones or a sudden death in the family
- Environmentally such as being abused as a child or not being able to meet your basic needs.
Identify the triggers
The best way to identify what triggers your anxiety is to keep a diary. This will help you in managing anxiety. Whenever you feel anxious write down what is happening around you to make you feel that way. Sort out what you cannot control and focus in the things you can control.
An example is that if you know certain people make you feel anxious, consider the following questions:
- Why does interacting with these people make me feel anxious?
- Is it because they are judging me?
- What does it matter if they judge me? What affect does that have on me?
- Or is it me judging them?
- Would preparing what I am going to say help me feel less anxious?
Planning your interactions can help you to feel more able to control what triggers your anxiety.
Make long-term changes
Making long-term changes to your life can be a good anxiety management strategy. Here are a few that may help you.
Learn to become assertive
When you are anxious, do you have trouble communicating your needs? This could be from a fear of conflict or you may believe you do not have the right to speak your mind.
Learn to become assertive. Communicating what you need, believe, want, feelings and opinions helps anxiety management. There is no need to hurt others’ feelings. Just be honest and direct.
When you ignore your needs and just passively relate to others, it reinforce anxiety. Learning to express yourself assertively boosts your self-esteem.
What is bothering you?
To help your anxiety management, get to the root of what is bothering you. Do this by spending some time exploring what your think and feel.
Writing your thoughts and feelings in your journal can help you get in touch with what makes you anxious. When these thoughts keep going around and around your head as you try to sleep, write them down. Write down everything that bothers you. Even try talking with a trusted friend to help you understand why you feel anxious.
Get into the habit of exploring and expressing your anxious feelings to help your anxiety management.
You may have low self-esteem. This is common in people living with an anxiety disorder. But when you feel worthless it only tends to magnify your anxiety. This can trigger a fear of others judging you so you interact in a passive way. This will cause:
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Social isolation
- Trouble functioning at school, work and socially.
The thing is you can boost your self-esteem. Seek out support groups or therapy to help.
Change your focus
Usually anxiety comes from worrying about what might never be. You may worry about your partner breaking up with you even though there are no signs or you may worry about getting sick even though you are well.
Look, life is unpredictable. It is not possible to control the outcome of everything. But you can make a decision about how to deal with what is unknown. Let go of the fear of the future. Instead focus of being grateful for the things you do have.
Change your focus. Rather than fearing your partner is going to dump you, focus on being grateful for the relationship. Organise a romantic dinner together. Instead of fearing getting sick. Be grateful for your health and focus on eating a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Sometimes there may be signs that trigger your anxiety. For example, you may rightly fear losing your job if the people around you are being made redundant or the company is downsizing. Take action instead of letting anxiety take hold. Update your resume and start looking for a new job. This is a good anxiety management strategy.
In other words, focusing on the things you can change is a good anxiety management strategy.
Medications for managing anxiety
Your doctor may give you medications for managing anxiety. This is only a short-term solution. Being prescribed antidepressants or tranquilisers are usually only for long enough for other anxiety management techniques to take effect. But they will help you deal with the symptoms on anxiety.
Therapy to help anxiety management
Try therapy to help manage anxiety. There are different types of therapists depending on your type of anxiety.
A good counsellor will help you consider your options. It will help you to set boundaries, learn to regulate your emotions and improve communication. What type of therapy you choose, is entirely up to you. You may have to try a few before you find what suits you best.
Two of the most common are cognitive and behaviour therapy:
- Cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy helps you to change the thinking patterns and beliefs that make you anxious.
Behaviour therapy. Behaviour therapy focuses on helping you to deliberately face your fears to desensitise you to them. This helps you to redrfine the fear or danger you perceive that makes you anxious.
Positive Auditory Stimuli Technique
The positive auditory stimuli technique (PAST) targets the unconscious brain to change cognitive behavior. This works because all emotional and mental problems usually have their foundation in this area. It retrains the brain’s unhealthy patterns via the unconscious part of the brain.
There are seven major factors that contribute to mental illness—stress, negativity, worry, fear, dwelling on the past, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. While 60% of these factors are genetic, 40% are conditioned. Everyone inherits a blueprint at the time of birth. These create default patterns such as how you see the world, and how you react and behave.
Working with the unconscious brain to change conscious behavior may help address inherited thought patterns and behavior that are the root cause of your anxiety.
By accessing the innate intelligence of the unconscious brain, the PAST may help your brain to change past negative, ineffective experiences so they become happier and joyful.
PAST also compliments other depression treatment options. It is totally natural and will not interfere with any medication you are taking or your therapy sessions. Try the Emotional Empowerment Program through the Blissiree app.
You can access this method through the Emotional Empowerment Program using the Blissiree app. Download it now to discover how it can help you get fast relief. Try it for free.
- There are different types of anxiety, which one affects you?
- Anxiety is treatable through a combination of methods.
- Try the Anxiety audio program in the Blissiree Boost Library. The first 14 days of membership are free.
Look after your health and wellbeing
Now there is a way to get immediate relief from anxiety.
Download Blissiree now!
Access the free Emotional Empowerment Program Introductory Session today through the Blissiree app. 98% of people notice a change after the first session. The results speak for themselves.
Don’t just believe us. The evidence stacks up. A peer-review study published by the European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences reported significant reductions in anxiety, depression, stress and worry using this program.
Hear what others have to say
Dr Karen Viera, Ph.D. talks about Blissiree and its mental health programs.
Watch our latest documentary
It follows Gavin, Melissa, Grant and Kelly’s journey to recovery using the Emotional Empowerment Program methods.