Updated on 03/28/2022
Table of Contents
- Most Common Anxiety Disorders
- Techniques Used Most When Managing Anxiety
- Get Anxiety Treatment Today
Most Common Anxiety DisordersBefore diving more into how to manage anxiety disorders, it would be a good idea to list some of the most common disorders that cause anxiety. Some of these disorders include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
Techniques Used Most When Managing AnxietyAs noted above, there isn’t just one set of techniques or treatments that are used when trying to manage or overcome anxiety. In fact, there are many different options used when trying to accomplish this goal.
One of the techniques that is used to help people manage or overcome anxiety is counseling.In counseling sessions, cognitive-behavior therapy is often used. Basically, the client will learn to change their patterns of thinking and their beliefs that are connected to the anxious responses. For example, someone who has social anxiety will reprocess their thoughts regarding how it feels and what will happen when they are around new people or big groups of people. By realizing that it isn’t as scary as it seemed, they can start overcoming that anxiety. The foundation of this type of counseling is that beliefs cause thoughts and thoughts cause feelings and feelings cause behaviors. Throughout these sessions, you will focus a lot on your self-talk and challenge yourself to overcome unhelpful beliefs, thoughts, feelings and fears. Weeding out negative thoughts and beliefs can change your entire life.
Behavior TherapyAnother method commonly used to help people overcome anxiety is behavior therapy. This is quite similar to cognitive therapy. However, exposure therapy is the primary option here. For example, your therapist might want you to confront your fears. By doing so, it will help desensitize you to the experience, helping you to be less anxious about it the next time. By continuing to expose yourself to that fear, you will become less and less anxious, hopefully, overcoming the anxiety altogether. You will be taught to follow the proper steps for exposure therapy, as well.
Practicing MindfulnessWhen you feel anxious or overwhelmed, what is the first thing you do? Does your mind go racing? Do you start holding your breath? Do you get a headache? Is your body and mind all in a mess? These things are the norm for people who have anxiety. However, one of the techniques that can be used to help people overcome or prevent anxiety is mindfulness. Here at Harmony Oaks Recovery, we teach mindfulness. We believe it is one of the best assets for anyone when creating a healthier, calmer lifestyle. Mindfulness allows you to calm your unwanted, restless thoughts. It allows you to focus on the here and now instead of worrying about what already happened or what could happen in the future. People are starting to realize how beneficial mindfulness can be to their recovery – both with mental health issues and addictions. Even people who don’t have these issues can improve their life through mindfulness exercises. You will learn about many of these exercises in our treatment center. When you go home from the treatment program, you can practice the ones we teach and learn others, as well.
Various Relaxation TechniquesWhen it comes to anxiety, the number one thing you need to do to overcome it is to find a way to relax your mind and body. Depending on how things present for you with anxiety, you might have to calm your body before your mind. For example, if you commonly get shaky or get dizzy, you may need to take care of these issues, before you can calm your mind. Sometimes, it means eating a small snack or taking deep breaths. Other times, it may mean talking through your issues or taking a nap. Those ideas are also relaxation techniques that can lessen your anxiety. Do you see how that works? It is a cycle of physical, emotional and mental issues. Anxiety can tear up someone’s entire life and every aspect of their being. However, when you learn to relax your mind and your body, anxiety has less of a hold over you and your life. Some of the top relaxation techniques that we will teach and you can practice here at Harmony Oaks Recovery include:
- Isometric relaxation methods
- Abdominal breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Proper Breathing TechniquesBoth mindfulness and relaxation techniques involve using proper breathing methods. The reason why this is so important when overcoming an anxiety disorder is that most people will start breathing fast or even hyperventilating when they are anxious. This is especially true if they are having an anxiety or panic attack. However, proper breathing techniques can be helpful in teaching you how to go through diaphragm breathing rather than chest breathing. If you can learn how to breathe through your diaphragm on a regular basis, it can help to prevent hyperventilation in the first place. Basically, the key is to have your belly expand when you are breathing in. To ensure you are doing the proper breathing methods, you can put one of your hands on the bottom part of your abdomen. The other hand should be on your chest. The way to know if you are breathing correctly is if your abdomen is moving rather than having your chest move. When you practice this breathing technique, it should slow down your breathing and help you to overcome the anxiety you are feeling. This doesn’t necessarily mean the anxiety will entirely disappear. However, you will have more control over your thoughts and how you are feeling.
Anxiety EducationHave you heard that knowledge is power? Well, that couldn’t be any more true, especially when it comes to anxiety and recovery. If you struggle with any form or degree of anxiety, it is important to learn about the disorder and treatment options. You should also learn about various techniques that can help to reduce or prevent some anxiety. Just having the knowledge of what could help you is power enough to lower your anxiety levels a little bit.
ExercisingDid you know that exercising can help people to overcome and prevent anxiety? Studies have shown that exercise including walking, hiking, running, weight lifting, swimming and many others can help people to relax. It also helps to block out the fight or flight response which usually floods a person’s body when they are anxious or stressed. If you aren’t sure which exercises to do when you are feeling anxious, our mental health treatment program professionals can teach you more about exercise and fitness/wellness training.
Making Diet ChangesThere are many minerals, supplements and vitamins that can help the mind and body to relax. Basically, though, the healthier you eat and the fewer unhealthy foods you eat, the less anxious you will be. The reason for this is because the healthy minerals and vitamins boost positive feel-good chemicals in the brain and unhealthy foods cause inflammation and stress responses in the body. Some of the foods that should be added to your diet to help manage and prevent anxiety include:
- Wholegrain cereals
- Leafy green vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products
- Artificial additives
- Processed foods
Assertiveness TrainingDid you know that being assertive can actually help people to be less anxious? There are many people who believe being assertive is going to cause more stress. However, when you are assertive, you are more likely to get your opinions and beliefs heard. You are more likely to get your wants and needs taken care of, as well. If you are direct and honest with people, that is all that can be asked for. In addition, many people find that being assertive leaves less negotiation to be had, which means less anxiety, too.
Improving Self-EsteemPeople who struggle with anxiety often don’t have great self-esteem. They may have feelings of:
- Being judged
- Difficulty functioning
Learn Problem-Solving SkillsAnother way that you can learn to manage your anxiety and prevent future anxiety is by gaining problem-solving skills. People that fret often about problem after problem, instead of finding proper solutions, usually have higher anxiety. However, when you practice new problem-solving skills such as:
- Making to-do lists
- Working with a partner
- Asking for help