Everyone experiences nervousness, fear, and anxiety from time to time. In some cases, however, these emotions manifest in situations that don’t require such an extreme response. If this pattern persists, it can become debilitating for the individual. Support from family members can be invaluable for people dealing with frequent anxiety, but that tool isn’t available to everyone. You don’t have to feel alone. No matter the situation, resources are still available to help you cope and manage anxiety.
Anxiety or Anxiety Disorder?
When faced with dangerous or stressful situations, anxiety is a normal response. Humans developed the response to identify environmental threats and create a sense of urgency, keeping them safe. Though we still use it to the same end, sometimes the response can be triggered when it isn’t warranted. We may experience anxiety in stressful social situations where the perceived threat is social rejection. However, you may have an anxiety disorder if the feeling is overwhelming, frequent, or persists for long periods.
“Anxiety disorder” is an umbrella term that can refer to various conditions, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, phobias, and more. Some signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder, as identified by the National Institute of Mental Health, are:
- Feeling restless, worried, wound up, or on edge
- unexplained headaches, muscle aches, or stomachaches
- Sleep issues, such as fatigue or difficulty falling asleep
- Pounding or racing heart
- Feelings of impending doom or being out of control
- Chest pain, trembling, and sweating
These symptoms and their persistence can cause mental, emotional, and physical fatigue for an individual. They can also lead to someone avoiding situations where they might experience the symptoms, which can damage relationships and social life. Having a family that understands your condition and is willing to support you can lift some of the burden. If your family is absent or unsupportive, you may feel lonely and helpless. However, you can still face anxiety with the help of coping techniques and other resources.
How To Manage Anxiety
There are many different techniques for dealing with anxiety that have been effective in mitigating symptoms. Some are daily practices that can create a more peaceful mindset, and some are calming techniques that help relieve you from an anxious state.
- Journaling can help track symptoms and identify triggers. It can also provide an outlet for anxious thoughts and allow the individual to combat them on paper. Journaling provides a medium for intentional self-talk and prioritizes being present with your mental state.
- Meditationis the practice of settling the mind through intense internal focus. Some people use meditation to achieve better focus or awareness, and others use it to create a peaceful mindset. The breathing exercises practiced with most meditation can also lower blood pressure and help you feel grounded.
- Nature can have a calming and stress-reducing effect on some people. It may be helpful to reduce anxiety symptoms to spend time outdoors every day, especially in natural spaces that you find beautiful.
- Socializing with friends, peers, or coworkers can reduce feelings of loneliness, especially if you lack familial support. Building a network of people you can trust and open up to about your mental health is important. Talking about your anxious feelings may reveal that others often feel the same way. A sense of community and camaraderie can help you through the more challenging times.
- Exerciseis not only important for physical health but also for mental health. The endorphins released during physical activity promote a healthy sense of well-being and can ease anxiety symptoms. This is why Laguna Shores Recovery Center uses exercise as medicine within our programs.
It’s important to note that everyone is different, and these techniques might not work for everyone. Don’t give up; relief from your symptoms is possible. It’s often necessary to try multiple options before finding one that works for you.
Finding Support Elsewhere
If your family is unable or unwilling to support you, there are other people you can bring into your support system. As mentioned above, friends and peers can offer social and emotional support that can be a valuable tool. You can also seek specialists and mental health professionals to aid you in facing anxiety. Therapy is often helpful in identifying and treating anxiety disorders.
A 2015 study from Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience identifies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as being especially effective in reducing negative symptoms in children and adults. Group therapy and group support programs can also prove useful, putting you in touch with others experiencing the same thing as you. Some individuals also find relief through holistic approaches, nature therapy, or art therapy. Here at Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we offer numerous therapeutic methods to aid in healing from addiction and anxiety. The important thing is to find what works best for you and stick with it.
Feelings of loneliness or helplessness can add an extra burden on top of an anxiety disorder. It’s vital to have a support system full of people who care about you, but not everyone can have that through their family. At Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we understand. Depending on your situation, your family members may be unable or unwilling to give you the support you deserve. You don’t have to feel alone. Our team of dedicated and compassionate mental health professionals is here to guide you, providing you with resources to mitigate the negative effects of anxiety and addiction. We want to find the best treatment for you, whatever that may look like. Give us a call at (866) 774-1532.