Episodes of anxiety attacks can be uncomfortable, unpleasant and unhealthy. Because of this, most people head to the medicine cabinet for a quick relief. While some may find medications as an effective way to battle anxiety, there are more natural and equally effective ways of dealing your excessive emotion without subjecting the body to different negative side-effects.
Exercise – Exercise improves the health of the body and mind, and improves the overall well-being of a person. A 30-minute exercise, 3-5 times a week is enough to provide anxiety relief. Increasing to at least an hour of aerobic exercise each day provides maximum benefits for relieving stress and anxiety.
Sleep – A popular adage, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” speaks of the importance of sleep in the overall health of a person. Qualitative sleep for 8 hours a day is a proven and effective technique to battle stress as well as anxiety attacks.
Healthy diet – Along with exercise, diet plays an important role in the overall health of the body. Eating healthy food maintains the normal chemistry and hormones of the body as well has provides resistance to common ailments that increases the risk of anxiety attacks.
Avoid unnecessary stressors – Most stressors are unavoidable and it is also unhealthy to turn your back to certain situations that need to be addressed. Still, some situations and people cause unnecessary stress that result to anxiety attacks. Avoid people that stress you out, learn how to say ‘no’, trim down your to-do-list, avoid sensitive topics such as politics and religion, etc.
Relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation, Taiji, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization and breathing exercises can reduce anxiety and promote the feeling of relaxation and emotional well-being.
Keep a positive outlook – While it is very difficult to maintain a good attitude when experiencing an anxiety attack, it is very crucial to be more conscious and help stay in control over the situation to effectively battle your condition. Do not think “Oh no, not again!” or “I’m screwed” when an episode hits you. Think that it will be over soon and control your emotions so that your anxiety will now get worse.
If the abovementioned techniques do not work for you, it is probably time to consult a health professional about your health. Since symptoms of anxiety attacks may be a result of other psychological and physical conditions, you need to see your medical doctor first and get a complete physical in order to rule out any other possible causes.
If anxiety prevails and symptoms last for more than 1 to 2 weeks, especially if you have no idea why, see a trained therapist.
A person with anxiety disorder usually goes under medication, therapy or both. Prescription drugs for anxiety are usually antidepressants and benzodiazepines. However, they provide short-term relief and thus, other therapy is often recommended. Therapies given are cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. They are both effective (especially when combined with medication) to treat anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Exposure therapy, on the other hand, helps treat anxiety attacks by subjecting the patients to control fear in a safe and controlled environment. Through repeated exposure, patients gain greater self control and more confidence in facing fearful situation.