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Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Everyone will experience anxiety at some point in their life; it’s a natural response to situations that makes individuals feel fearful or uncomfortable. Anxiety can be felt in many different ways, but it generally presents as feelings of apprehension, dread or doom. Physical sensations accompany anxiety, which also varies from person to person but can take the form of nausea, stomach ache, digestion changes, shakiness and increased sweating. In response to anxiety, and as a way to reduce the discomfort, avoid certain triggers or alter behaviours.

Anxiety can occur as a response to external situations and may linger after the event has passed. It can also appear with no obvious trigger. Recognising when anxiety has tipped from normal levels of worry into a debilitating disorder is crucial for early intervention and effective symptom management.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is living with debilitating anxiety, seeking professional medical advice is highly advised. Research shows that the sooner help is sought, the better the outcome for everybody.

Common Anxiety Disorders

There are a number of different anxiety disorders, many of which share symptoms, but they all have different manifestations and characteristics. It is common for clients to have multiple anxiety disorders at the same time. One may trigger another, or in some cases, anxiety is a symptom of another underlying mental illness.

Here we will look at some of the most common anxiety disorders in each individual.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions, with GAD being the most prevalent. GAD is characterised by persistent, excessive worries that may or may not be focused on a specific thing. Common worries a person may have could be concerned with are their personal safety and that of those around them, or natural disasters. GAD can interrupt everyday life and some people may find it difficult to leave the house.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is where the individual experiences obsessions – invasive, involuntary thoughts. To manage the anxiety these obsessions conjure, they will enact compulsions – repetitive behaviours, routines or rituals. Compulsions vary from person to person, but they could involve organising, washing, counting, tapping or blinking. Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder may find that obsessions and compulsions severely impact their everyday functioning.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a condition where the individual experiences extreme fear, often resulting in panic attacks. Although panic attacks can be a symptom of other anxiety disorders, someone with panic disorder may experience attacks without any specific trigger. A person living with panic disorder will have much more severe and invasive worries than the everyday concerns of someone without this condition. Panic symptoms typically include breathlessness, increased heart rate, tingling or numbness in the body and vision changes.

Phobias

Phobias can be described as an intense, irrational fear of a certain thing, environment or experience. Where fears can usually be decreased by reassurance and information, phobias cannot. Common phobias include; heights, storms, flying, needles, small spaces, big spaces, insects and strangers.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is an intense fear of experiencing a negative reaction from other people. This could include rejection, neglect or embarrassment. Those with this condition may find their lives are greatly impacted as it inhibits their general social involvement, meeting new people, and eating in public, among other things. Those with this condition may alter their lives in response to it. They may stay home, resist new connections or avoid social spaces.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

This can greatly impact a person’s independence and sense of self. 

Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Familiarising yourself with the different forms of anxiety is the crucial first step toward overcoming it. If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, it can feel like a huge responsibility to work out how best to support them. Below you will find a range of tips for dealing with anxiety.

Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are an extremely useful way to manage anxiety and reduce distressing symptoms. The theory is concerned with focusing on the present moment by communicating with your surroundings. This can be helpful in highly stressful moments or in the lead-up to a panic attack, but it can also be beneficial if you are experiencing mild forms of anxiety or distraction.

There are a number of grounding techniques you can use, such as:

  • Focus on how your body feels. Start at your toes and move all the way up your body, paying close attention to the different sensations. Notice if there is tension, pain, looseness, or tightness anywhere. Pay attention to each area before moving on.
  • Hold an object in your hand. A pebble, marble or leaf all work well. Try to focus on exactly how it feels in your palm. Spend time focusing on the feeling of this object. You can carry it with you for any moments of anxiety during your day.

  • Let your thoughts float by. Spend time focusing on your thoughts as they enter your head. Imagine your thoughts are sailing through the sky on a windy day. Don’t try to resist them; instead, let them enter your head, then imagine them leaving softly and gently in the breeze.

Yoga

Yoga is a brilliant way to bring yourself back to your body and focus on the now. Yoga is beneficial for our mental and physical health, whatever our situation. Yoga has been found to reduce conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression, lower chronic pain, improve sleep quality, and enhance our overall quality of life. Individuals can practice yoga at home using online tutorials, or better still, they can join a class which has added social benefits.

Breath Work

Breathing exercises work in a similar way to grounding techniques as they pull you into the present moment and allow you to focus on the now. There are a number of breathing exercises to practice, including:

  • Box breathing – inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts. Continue this pattern until you begin to feel the anxiety dissipating.
  • Focused deep breathing – breathe deeply and focus on how the air feels as it moves in and out of your lungs.
  • Breath visualisation – try to envisage how your breath might look as it fills your lungs and transports around your body, injecting life and power into your being.

Breathwork is a brilliant, transportable technique you can do wherever you are.

Meditation

Meditation has long been heralded as a technique to improve and maintain good mental health. Meditation shares qualities with deep breathing, but it can also have a deeper, more long-term impact. Through this practice, we can understand the thoughts which cause us to feel anxious. By noticing them, accepting them, sitting with them, and then letting them go, we can change our responses to these thoughts. We can learn not to judge or react to difficult thoughts and situations, reducing anxiety and distress.

Practising meditation takes time and energy, but it’s a lifelong tool for stress management. There are many ways to begin. Some people choose to meditate on their own, others may use guided audios, while others may prefer to seek advice from a meditation teacher.

Improve Sleep Quality

Poor sleep hygiene can severely affect our mood and ability to function. Anxiety disorders are typically perpetuated by poor sleep and vice versa. Sleep can be negatively impacted by anxiety. Among many important bodily functions, getting enough sleep improves our hormone regulation which impacts our stress response.

Improving the quality of your sleep can include:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Getting natural sunlight every day
  • Incorporating exercise into your daily routine
  • If you need to nap, keep them short and don’t nap later than 3pm

Keep a Daily Routine

Often, anxiety is related to a perceived lack of control in our lives. Although it is important to work through this notion in therapy, there are some empowering and healthy ways to have control over some elements of our lives.

One way to add stability is to maintain a daily routine. This doesn’t mean the day should be boring or monotonous; on the contrary, it can enable many to explore things outside their comfort zone when certain familiarities are in place.

Daily routines can involve getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, eating at a similar time, and journaling at a specific time that suits you.

Having this familiarity can help manage stress and help you deal with anxiety symptoms. Outside of this schedule, try incorporating other activities and socialising to bring variety to your day.

Anxiety Treatment at Addcounsel

Anxiety disorder treatment at Addcounsel varies depending on the needs and desires of the client. Addcounsel is ready to welcome you to our luxurious living environment. We ensure that our clients have everything they need to recover.

Treatment Modalities

Our innovative treatment programmes combine a range of clinical and alternative therapies. Depending on the client’s mental health history, Addcounsel will build a plan which incorporates some of the following treatments:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical-behavioural therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Expressive arts therapy
  • Family therapy
  • One-to-one therapy
  • Self-love techniques
  • Somatic therapy

A Continuum of Care at Addcounsel

We combine top-tier medical care with alternative therapies to provide a rounded healing experience. Our diverse team comes from various backgrounds and specialisms, ensuring we have the skills needed to provide clinical excellence to every client in our care.

We tailor our one-to-one treatment programmes to the needs of each client – no two cases are the same, so their treatment shouldn’t be either. We start every journey with an assessment to learn about the individual and make a plan for the days ahead. We conscientiously monitor their progress, and we have a flexible approach. If we need to alter their programme we are ready to do so.

Contact us today on +44 (0)202 709 3968 to learn more about our treatment programmes and how we can move forward together.

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Whether you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, our team would like to answer any questions you may have about treatment. Call our care team today to find out more about our treatment modalities and have all your questions answered