I thought it might be helpful to share some basic information and tips on managing anxiety since 1 in 5 Americans will experience mental illness at some point in their lives.
It is healthy to have occasional anxiety and fear. It is our way of analyzing a situation to determine if it is safe or not. Anxiety is associated with muscle tension and avoiding particular behavior. A common symptom of anxiety has been described as a pit in your stomach or it’s “tied up in knots”. Fear is described as an emotional response that elicits a flight or fight response.
When anxiety and fear begin to overwhelm you, it is important to know there is help available and you are not alone.
Do your feelings of anxiety prevent you from functioning normally?
Are your feelings of anxiety or fear out of proportion to a situation?
If you answered yes to these questions, what do you do?
Typically, people speak to their doctor about their feelings and are many times prescribed medication. This can be very helpful.
Finding a mental health therapist will also be extremely helpful in providing you opportunities to learn and practice ways to minimize your anxiety while in a safe place.
Here are 4 things you can start doing NOW to help you in managing your anxiety
1. Minimize caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant and creates in our bodies the same feeling one might feel in the fight or flight response.
2. Use relaxation and breathing techniques
Breathing exercises can be very effective. For example, Fitbit and smartwatches have short relaxation sessions you can use.
There are many podcasts that you can find that have guided meditations on reducing anxiety or stress
Writing down what we are feeling and thinking gives us an opportunity to look at what we are experiencing more objectively.
Praying to God and reflecting on His promises in Scripture are important tools in reducing anxiety. You can find many examples, but I am providing you with one here:
My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope. God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not fall. My deliverance and honor are with God, my strong rock; my refuge is with God. Trust God at all times, my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge! (Psalm 62:6-9, NAB)
“What Are Anxiety Disorders?”. Psychiatry.org. Reviewed date January 2017.
New American Bible, USCCB.org. accessed on June 22, 2020. http://www.usccb.org/bible/psalms/62.