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Anxiety, And How To Cope With It

Techniques To Relieve Or Eliminate Anxiety

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Following are techniques which have helped other people reduce anxiety:

  • Self help, such as:
    • Hypnosis (including self hypnosis)
    • Yoga.
    • Meditation.
    • Exercise - preferably at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise doesn't have to be at the gym or world class. Walking is a form of exercise.
    • Distracting yourself when you start feeling anxious. For example:
      • Read a book or listen to a book on tape while waiting for a doctor's appointment. 
      • Watch a video during a treatment for which you are awake.
      • Garden or anything else that relaxes you.
    • A conscious effort to adopt a different attitude. For example:
      • By working on keeping a positive attitude (such as focusing on the steps you are taking to deal with the disease, and/or appreciating each moment.)  To learn how to keep a positive attitude, click here.
      • By reframing the illness or crisis as a challenge.
    • Be conscious of your thoughts and change the subject. 
      • For example, recognize that anxiety is based on fear. Fear is a thought. Thoughts can go as quickly as they come if we see them for what they are, and then change the subject. To put this in practical terms: when fear appears, recognize that it is a thought, then call the thought "fear." Then let the thought go and consciously move on to a more positive thought. 
      • Some people do this by thinking of a big stop sign when they recognize a fear thought and actually saying "Stop!" loudly and firmly.Then they change to a more positive thought. Of course this is easier to say than to do. However, with practice and time, it does get easier.
    • Write or keep a  journal. The form doesn't matter. The key is to get your emotions out of your system and onto paper.
    • Seek information. Information leads to knowledge which replaces vague understandings or myths. For example, learn what to expect with respect to your health condition, tests, treatments, drugs and side effects. 
      • To learn how to do medical research, click here.
      • To learn how to do medical research on the internet, click here.
      • For information about professionals who will research for you, click here
    • Recognize that anxiety can strike at any time and prepare for it by knowing what to do if it strikes.
    • Deep breathing.
    • Listen to calming music. For instance, the song Weightless was written to help with anxiety.
  • Avoid sugar and white flour. They have both been linked to an increase in brain chemicals that cause anxiety.
  • Get some sun daily if possible. People who suffer from anxiety have been found to feel more relaxed after spending between 20 and 40 minutes outdoors when the sun is shining. Use of sunscreen is advisable.
  • Get support. For example:
    • Use a supportive Team of family and friends.
    • Consider joining a support group. For information about support groups, including the value of support groups, how to find one and how to start your own, click here.)
  • Acupuncture to help alleviate symptoms.
  • The herb: Kava (also known as Kava Kava.) The herb is illegal in a few states apparently because people were getting adverse reactions when combining Kava with alcohol and/or prescription medications. It was also made illegal in Europe but as of 2014, it is again legal. As with other remedies, speak with your doctor before taking.
  • Anything else that helps you.
  • If severe anxiety makes day-to-day functioning difficult:
    • Speak with your doctor. Medication such as anti-anxiety drugs are available. Anti-anxiety drugs are often referred to as "tranquilizers" because they leave you feeling calm and relaxed.  Antidepressants are also used.

NOTE: It helps to have a doctor with whom you are comfortable, and who takes your concerns seriously. If you don't have such a doctor and are experiencing anxiety on an ongoing basis, consider changing. To learn how, click here.

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