Anxiety: Common Disorders and Tips to Manage Anxiety

The Four Most Common Types Of Anxiety Are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD worry about many different things, especially aspects of everyday life like work, health, family, and/or financial issues. These worries are intense, persistent, and interfere with their normal lives, for a period of six months or more. These experiences often lead to uncontrollable fear and a feeling that something terrible will happen.

Social Anxiety: A person with Social Anxiety has an intense fear of being criticized, embarrassed, or humiliated in everyday situations. Situations such as speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work, or making small talk are likely to cause nervousness and anxiety both prior to and during the event.

Panic Disorder: A person with Panic Disorder will experience panic attacks, which are intense, overwhelming, and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and excessive perspiration. Panic Disorder is typically classified by recurrent panic attacks or a persistent fear of having one.

Specific Phobias: A person with a specific phobia feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it. Fear can be a rational response to situations that can pose a threat to one’s safety, but a person with a specific phobia will often feel panic, fear, or terror that is completely out of proportion to the actual threat.

Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, but there is hope. By taking small steps every day, you can learn to manage your anxiety.

Five Ways to Help Minimize Your Symptoms

Become a relaxation expert

Relaxation techniques have a physical effect on the body and calming the mind. Deep breathing is a common way to achieve this goal. Repeat the following deep breathing exercise several times daily: Inhale slowly to a count of four, starting at your belly and then moving into your chest. Gently hold your breath for four counts. Then slowly exhale through your nose to a count of four.

Incorporate prayer

Did you know that scientific studies have proven prayer induces states of relaxation? Pray by asking God for what you need, thanking Him for particular blessings, or using a Psalm to guide you. You might memorize a passage of Scripture or a specific prayer so that you have it available to re-direct your mind away from your anxious thoughts and toward peace. You can also incorporate prayer when practicing deep breathing.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Sleep, exercise, and food are crucial to your well-being. Inadequate sleep can trigger anxiety. If you’re having trouble sleeping, engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime such as taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, or reading. Exercise/joyful movement is key to sending oxygen to every cell in the body so your brain and body can operate well. A brisk walk or other physical activity that brings you joy will release endorphins and lead to a reduction in anxiety. Lastly, eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains for long-term energy instead of the short bursts that come from too much sugar or caffeine.

Connect with others

Doing things with those we feel close to deepens our bonds which allows us to feel supported and secure. If you feel worried or nervous about something, talking about it with someone who listens and cares can help you feel understood and better able to cope. Get together with others and engage in an activity that improves your anxiety, such as taking a walk in the park, going on a hike in the woods, or taking a yoga class together.

Pay attention to the good things

A great way to keep our minds off the worry track is to focus our thoughts on things that are good, beautiful, and positive. Appreciate the small, everyday blessings. Allow yourself to dream, wish, and imagine the best that could happen. When confronted with anxious thoughts, take a moment to visualize yourself handling the situation with calm, ease, and clarity. Start a gratitude journal to get in the mindset of appreciation, and out of the mindset of being overwhelmed.

Start by incorporating a few of these practices into your daily life and our hope is you will see improvement on your mood, outlook, and overall mental health. If you are struggling with anxiety and it’s impacting your life, don’t wait to ask for help. Please reach out to Crosswinds today. We’re here to walk through this battle with you.