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Taking control of anxiety disorder

THERE DOESN’T seem to be an end to the ways anxiety appears in our lives.

Because everyone is different, there are probably as many varieties of anxiety as there are people once you factor in causes, severity levels and a host of other issues.

No two cases are ever exactly alike, thus there can be no one-size-fits all solution to the problem. Even anxiety sufferers realise that their own situation can fluctuate from day to day, sometimes even hour to hour, depending on what is going on at any given time. Ranges in the amount of anxiety a person experiences can vary widely from hardly noticeable to extremely debilitating, often requiring hospitalisation.

Anxiety is Not to Be Denied
While we all worry (it’s actually a necessary part of life), even milder forms of anxiety should not be ignored if they go for longer than six months. Like weeds in a garden, the sooner you can attend to them, the better chance you have that they will not completely take over your life.

With five recognised classifications of anxiety and so many variables in the symptoms which often can overlap, there are necessarily many different ways to tackle anxiety. A few patients, especially those with the mildest forms of anxiety, may see results with just one method of treatment. However, for many anxiety sufferers, a combination of skills and even medications provided by a team of professionals including a GP, psychologist, psychiatrist and social workers may prove to be the most effective way to reduce and hopefully eventually eliminate bothersome anxiety once and for all.

If you notice your anxiety is getting beyond your ability to cope, or it never seems to go away, a professional diagnosis may be your only chance at getting better. A complete physical with your GP will identify any potential physical causes, while a psychologist or psychiatrist may be necessary to delve deeper into any mental and emotional issues.

So You’ve Got Anxiety... Now What?
Sometimes in the case of mild anxiety, all that is needed to ease anxiety are some easy lifestyle tweaks. Of course, one of the first things you can look at is your diet and activity level. Sound nutrition which includes a majority of natural, organic foods along with a healthy level of daily movement balanced with proper rest will reap tremendous benefits.

Will Supplements Help Relieve Anxiety?
Some suggest that supplementation with vitamins and minerals helps as well. The caution here is that the body is designed first and foremost to work best with natural foods.
Supplements, especially those derived from chemical compounds supposedly mimicking vitamins and minerals show no conclusive quantifiable scientific evidence in backing up the claims of the manufacturer.
Even supplements touted as ‘all natural’ should be approached with care as the quality and efficacy can vary widely. It’s a game of ‘Who can you trust?’ Your best bet is to put your money into raw, natural, organic foods instead.

Got Anxiety? Get Pumped!
Physical activity, the kind sufficient enough to get you breathing, your heart pumping and maybe working up a little sweat is a great stress buster as well as an overall body detoxicant. Be careful not to get too much of a good thing though. Balance all your hard work and play with a good sleep every night and watch your anxiety melt away.
Alcohol and caffeine are known to stimulate anxiety symptoms, so you may want to drink more water or healthy drink alternatives such as green tea.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Advantage of Professional Help
When your anxiety levels get beyond the mild and tolerable ranges, more aggressive forms of treatment are often indicated. A psychiatrist may initially prescribe medication to help the patient feel more sense of control. However, meds alone are NOT the answer and may even lead to greater problems if other supporting therapies are not used to determine the source of the anxiety.

Of course, patients will be thrilled with any relief from their anxiety. They may think that the prescription is the only thing they need (or want). However, other counseling therapies can help to uncover patterns and triggers, and eventually get to the original source of the problem.

You won’t get this kind of help merely by reading a magazine article or a book on the subject. However, once a professional therapist helps you get to the root of your issues, you will then have the best chances of all in totally eliminating bothersome anxiety.

Remember, in all but the mildest forms of anxiety, professional help should be sought at the earliest symptoms. Do NOT ignore the signs or try to go it alone. Your anxiety will not go away by itself.

How to Cope With Life’s Daily Challenges
* Relax by getting some quiet time alone each day. Breathe deeply. Let go!

* Train your focus by practicing visualisation. Take your mind off the worry and see what you want instead.

* Try to determine your stress triggers and do something about them.

* Designate at least one hour of each day to be happy! (No, we’re not talking about the alcohol-induced happy hour)

* Seek - and more importantly ACCEPT - help from family, friends and co-workers. You don’t have to do it ALL yourself!

Those are just a few things you can try on your own when your anxiety is mild and tolerable. When these fail to deliver relief, remember to seek professional help immediately. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will tackle your anxiety.

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