Living a Healthier Lifestyle with an Anxiety Disorder
We all experience anxiety. Speaking in front of a group or driving in heavy traffic can make us anxious. However, feelings of intense fear and stress that overwhelm us and prevent us from doing everyday tasks can be signs of an anxiety disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States, with an estimated 40 million adults or 18% in the United States have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder symptoms can range from persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not threatening to sweating, tremors, and an upset stomach. How is it possible to live a healthy life with anxiety? Treatment for anxiety disorders can include psychotherapy and medication, but there are some changes you can make to help deal with your anxiety.
- Stay physically active. Participate in activities you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself. Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety. Staying physically active can improve your mood, help you stay healthy, and lessen your worries.
- Avoid alcohol and drug use. Alcohol and substances can cause anxiety or worsen anxiety symptoms. If you are addicted, trying to quit can also make you anxious, so working with your doctor or support group can help you.
- Take time to relax. Use visualization techniques, meditation or yoga to ease anxiety.
- Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested.
- Eat healthy. Eating meals that focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish can help to reduce your anxiety.
- Learn more about anxiety. Talk to your doctor and what might be causing your anxiety and discuss treatments that are best for you. Involve your friends and family and ask for their support.
- Follow your treatment plan. Once you talk to your doctor or therapist, be consistent in your treatment plan and take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments and complete any assignments your therapist may give you.
- Take action. Learn what triggers your anxiety or causes you stress. Work with your doctor or therapist to develop strategies to deal with anxious feelings.
- Join an anxiety support group. Remember that you aren’t alone. Surrounding yourself with others suffering from anxiety can offer compassion, understanding and shared experiences.
- Learn time management techniques. Learning to manage your time and energy can reduce your stress and anxiety.
- Participating in activities and surrounding yourself with loved ones can reduce your anxiety and help you not to become isolated.
- When symptoms of anxiety begin, take a brisk walk, or jump into a hobby to refocus your mind away from your worries.
- Get help early. If you feel symptoms of anxiety, it is important to get help early. Talk to your doctor or therapist and begin taking steps to treat your anxiety.
At Pasadena Villa, we use the most advanced and valuable methods available to treat anxiety disorders. Our Social Integration Methodology allows our therapist to observe and interact with residents in real life situations to help ensure customized treatment plans are as accurate and effective as possible. In conjunction with medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, Social Integration uses recreational, social and life-skills activities within the community. Pasadena Villa has been successful in assimilating individuals back into everyday life and reaching the highest level of functioning possible.
Pasadena Villa is committed to offering the highest quality clinical services in an environment that promotes health/well-being, recovery, and personal motivation. If you or a loved one would like more information on anxiety disorders, or other mental health or co-occurring substance use disorders, please call us at 877-845-5235 or complete our contact form. We currently offer treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Raleigh, North Carolina.