Do you know what’s the most common mental disorder that the US is currently dealing with? It’s anxiety. About 40 million people across the country suffer from anxiety and the numbers are still rising. Do you belong to this category? Don’t be hesitant to say yes. Everyone experience some sort or anxiety (if not a mental disorder) at some point in life. Either way, when anxiety kicks in, you must not feel ashamed or helpless. Rather, you must be prepared about how to deal with the situation in the best way possible. 

So today, we are going to focus on this particular aspect. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. There may be millions of people dealing with anxiety but not a lot of them are aware of the right way to do it. So, let’s take a look at a few do’s and don’ts of Anxiety management.  

Don’t be Hard on Yourself

The first and most important point to remember while dealing with anxiety is that it’s not your fault. You don’t have to blame yourself for feeling a certain way, in this case, anxious. In fact, science describes anxiety as a means of survival that helped humans to be prepared and cautious. So, to a certain extent, anxiety is something we all need. But, let me repeat, ‘to a certain extent’ only. Even if your anxiety is soaring through the roof, remember, you are not the reason.

A number of factors can be contributing to your increased levels of anxiety. The environment, the situation you are in or even your genetics. That’s right, it is scientifically proven that anxiety can be passed down from generation to generation. So you may have inherited an anxious gene from your great grandmother or aunt. In either case, it is your time to realize that you are not the cause of your anxiety. If you are being hard on yourself for this reason, it needs to stop immediately. 

Do Learn Self Care

Instead of blaming yourself for feeling anxious, divert those feeling and energy into self-care. In the previous point, I have already discussed that anxiety can have many causes but you are not one of them. Anxiety is not something you should blame yourself for. So instead of feeding your mind with more negativity with the blame game, give it some rest. Learn to calm your body and mind by indulging in different self-care activities. 

Go for a walk in the park, learn to cook or take a swim in your pool. Get together with your friends and family and have a good time. Start adopting healthy lifestyle habits like exercise and eat healthy food. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. And most importantly, have a good night’s rest. 

Don’t Smoke or Drink

Along with adopting the right habits to deal with anxiety, you must also eliminate the harmful habits in your lifestyle. Smoking and drinking are such lifestyle choices that have no good intentions when it comes to anxiety. 

Let’s begin with smoking. You may love puffing on a cigarette when you feel anxious but it’s doing you no good. Many people think that smoking will help reduce their nervousness or anxiety. And truth be told, it does help in calming the body and mind but only temporarily. Your body’s blood pressure and heart rate lowers when you smoke. But once the effects wear off, you are back to square one. Also, when you don’t have a smoke, the withdrawal symptoms will feel like an anxiety attack in itself. 

The same is the case with alcohol. People tend to find a reliever in alcohol but in reality, it is only providing you with temporary relief. Reaching out for a drink every time you feel anxious will increase your dependence. And sometimes even induce anxiety which may be worse than what made you drink alcohol in the first place. 

So neither smoking nor alcohol can help with anxiety. They do not fight the underlying cause but give you a false sense of calmness which can later make your symptoms worse.

Do Deep Breathing Exercises

Try to calm yourself down when you feel that your anxiety is kicking in. One way to do this is by practicing deep breathing. 

Practice this technique: inhale deeply, hold your breathe and exhale slowly. This is a great way of calming your body and mind. You can also try doing yoga or meditation while breathing deeply to lower your anxiety. Deep breathing actually helps in triggering the nervous system to relax your body and mind. It will also help you stop overthink and clear your thoughts. Once you start practicing this on a daily basis, you will observe a significant change in your anxiety levels. 

Don’t Ignore Your Triggers

The cause of every anxiety attack is a trigger. It can be an uncomfortable situation, something you eat, someone’s statement or even bad weather. But, you cannot keep guessing when your anxiety is going to kick in or what will spark it. It’s time to identify these causes. 

Instead of fighting your anxiety and blaming it on yourself, accept the fact that you are feeling anxious. Try to calm yourself down and once the situation subsides, try to pinpoint the trigger. Carry a notebook with yourself and note down everything minor and major detail about different things that caused you anxiety. Once you have it figured out, don’t ignore the triggers. Rather, learn to face them. You may not be able to have a good experience for the first few times but with practice, the situation will become easier to handle. Just make sure to be in the company of a trustworthy person while you try to expose yourself to a trigger. 

Do Change Your Diet

You mood and the food you eat are more intricately connected that you think. In fact, some of you anxiety attacks may be be triggered by the food you ate that day. So, to manage anxiety effectively, you will have to make some changes in your diet routine too.

For starters, leave out all processed food from your diet. No potato chips, no cookies and no chocolates. These foods are a storehouse of salt and sugar triggers certain feelings that mimic an anxiety attack. 

Have whole grains instead. Switch all your processed food with whole grain brain, pasta and snacks. These contain complex carbohydrates that increase the levels of serotonin and induce happy feelings. Just make sure that your plate is always filled with a balanced meal that contains all the essential nutrients and no unwanted sugar, salt or other harmful components.

Don’t Delay Your Visit to The Doctor

The last but the most important step is to visit a doctor. It is very common for people to think that they can treaty anxiety on their own. It is true in mild cases but when it’s severe, you need medical attention. So the best option is to reach out to a medical professional for a consultation and let them decide if you can treat your anxiety on your own or need some extra help. Nowadays, you don’t even have step out of your main door to get yourself checked. You can get the best anxiety treatment from experts right from the comfort of your home. Just find a clinic you can trust and consult with the doctor. It’s easy and quick. 

If you are still waiting for the right time, you are harming yourself. While anxiety can be controlled at home but professional guidance is necessary. So stop what you are doing and reach out to a clinic and get your consultation right now.