Anxiety presents in a variety of ways. For some, it is a sense of uneasiness which may be accompanied by nausea, loss of appetite, or paranoia. Others may develop more concerning physical manifestations of chest pains, numbness and tingling to the extremities, or diaphoresis (sweating). Some people struggle with mild forms of anxiety a few times per week, while others struggle with severe anxiety daily. Regardless of how severe your anxiety is, we can all agree on one thing… anxiety sucks! There are a few tips and tools I like to share with my patients to help treat their anxiety outside of medication, and that is what we will cover here.
EXERCISE. EXERCISE. EXERCISE. Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There are countless studies that have shown the benefits exercise provides for your mind and body. Exercising is beneficial as it helps break down stress hormones and release positive endorphins which improve mood and serve as natural painkillers. Make sure to push yourself a little, as you need to get your heart rate up in order to reap the benefits. If you have chronic pain issues that limit your ability to exercise, you may want to look into low impact methods such as swimming or biking.
Meditation and yoga are two great methods for managing your anxiety. I usually recommend my patients search for an app on their smart phone or look up videos on Youtube. Some may be better than others, but the bottom line is just doing it. Meditation and yoga are both grounding techniques which help to calm a person down and center themselves. Meditation teaches you how to accept your life and surroundings as they are, and find peace in any situation. Yoga helps to relax the body, as well as releasing stress and tension that builds up throughout the day.
Last but not least, therapy. Therapy is beneficial for people who struggle with just about anything. Some people feel better simply by venting, and others require constructive feedback. These are both achieved during therapy sessions. Therapists are great for helping people work through problems, as well as developing coping mechanisms when you feel like you are losing control. If you are not sure where to look for a therapist, call your insurance and ask for referrals.
If you are someone who struggles with anxiety, I recommend trying exercise, meditation, yoga, and therapy first. If your anxiety persists, you may require assistance with medication. Anxiety is one of the most prominent mental health issues worldwide, and the providers at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists are well trained in treating it. We would be happy to see and treat you soon!
Find out why we are Orange County’s Preferred Psychiatry.