Everyone experiences nervousness occasionally – a healthy, situational reaction to challenges that are new or important. Perhaps a job interview or school exam has you feeling unsettled.
Yet when worry grabs your mind and doesn't wish to let go, it may become intense and excessive. Anxiety can lead to episodes of fear or terror, and it may interfere with your daily life.
Do not despair if you or a loved one is burdened with this challenge – help is within reach.
Do I Have Anxiety?
Those suffering from anxiety often deal with these symptoms:
- Tense, nervous feeling
- Sweating, trembling
- Rapid breathing
- Accelerated heart rate
- A feeling of looming panic or danger
- Feeling weak or tired
- Inability to shift thoughts away from a particular worry
- Difficulty sleeping
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Strong desire to avoid anything that might trigger anxiety
How Can I Manage My Anxiety?
It may feel as though your anxiety has control of you, but that is not the case. Ways to bring this challenge under control include:
The 54321 Grounding Technique
This exercise in mindfulness will pull your attention away from the anxiety source and help block unhealthy thought patterns. Sit or stand quietly and gaze at your surroundings. Take notice of:
- Five items you can see: a bird, your foot, a pencil balanced lazily on a desk
- Four things you can physically feel: a cup handle, your feet on the carpet, a friend's hand
- Three things you can hear: your breathing, a fan blowing, your son chatting on a phone, a dog barking or cars passing outside
- Two items you can smell: lotion, a child's cupcake, hot coffee
- One thing you can taste: rainy air, a piece of butterscotch candy, fruity gum
Studies have indicated that exercise may quickly lift mood to help with depression and anxiety, and it has the potential to work as effectively as medication in some people.
Mayo Clinic recommends taking part in enjoyable activities, as well. Caring relationships and social interaction may help reduce worry. In addition to staying active it is equally important to get a good night's sleep.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
It is important to remember that what you eat has a significant impact on physical and mental health.
- Avoid skipping meals – this can result in a jittery feeling from a low blood sugar that may worsen anxiety
- Aim for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Stay away from simple carbohydrates found in processed foods
- Consider foods rich in zinc, B vitamins, and magnesium
What if I Need Help With My Anxiety?
Remember that help is always available and that anxiety may need treatment. You are not alone, and counseling can be a powerful means of defeating this problem.
BCB Therapy serves all of Oregon, helping people with anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and other issues. We use EMDR and other tools to help you return to your healthy self.
A telehealth appointment with our mental health experts is your first step in finding professional, effective help. Contact us to find anxiety relief.