What Can We Do When Anxiety Hits?
We are each given plenty of challenges in our own lives. Whether it be relationships, work, family, or other sources, there are plenty of things that can bring us anxiety. However, sometimes there are things that affect people globally. When the whole world faces problems, it is easier to become anxious. Watching the news and being personally and even economically impacted can escalate any tendencies we may have had with anxiety previously. When personal or even global events occur, what can we do when anxiety hits?
What Is Anxiety?
Most people understand anxiety as being fearful or anxious. Some might even define it as an irrational fear of something, or being overly anxious about something. Those might both be true, and most people experience that level of anxiety at some point in their life. Anxiety is also common with those who use substances, or may develop with substance use.
However, for some of us, anxiety is frequent or even constant, and will not go away. This level of anxiety is usually diagnosed under an anxiety disorder. There is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD,) panic disorder, and many phobia-related disorders, amongst others. These anxiety disorders are serious and can interfere with our ability to function. When we seek treatment for these disorders, we free ourselves to live our lives again.
How Severe Is My Anxiety?
All of us worry about things from time to time. When something affects us as a group, whether it be a region, country, or even globally, it is not unusual for many people to experience an increase in anxiety. That is our body’s way of helping to protect us, to keep us on high alert.
When our response begins to impair our ability to function, we may need to consider some form of treatment. Particularly if our anxiety is long-lasting or keeps re-occurring, then we should definitely seek treatment. If we are seeking treatment for substance use, our anxiety can be treated at the same time.
First Line of Treatment
Therapy is considered the first line of treatment for anxiety. Sometimes our anxiety is rooted in past experiences or certain types of events. By working with a licensed therapist, we can explore the source of our anxiety and learn how to heal, which may decrease or even prevent some anxiety.
We can also learn techniques that help us to manage anxiety. We can learn to control our reactions when something comes up that causes anxiety. We can also learn stress management, which can also decrease our anxiety symptoms.
In addition to the tools we can learn in therapy, there are other evidence-based skills that we can learn and use to help ourselves with our anxiety. One example is mindfulness meditation. Within this method, we learn to relax, we learn to focus, and we learn to be present. Since anxiety is often based on irrational fears or reactions to outside ideas or things, the better we are at mindfulness meditation, the more control we give ourselves over our own anxiety. The more we practice, the better we become.
This may not work for serious anxiety, but mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool to have to help us relax and find peace, whether our world is relatively calm, or especially when there is global turmoil. The more tools that we have, the more we are able to help ourselves.
When anxiety is severe, we may need more than just therapy to help us. A psychiatrist can help to evaluate our health and prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or even certain types of anti-depressants. Medication, unfortunately, only helps with some of the symptoms of anxiety and is typically prescribed to be utilized along with therapy for optimum results.
Medications are very helpful for those of us who suffer from panic attacks or debilitating anxiety symptoms. However, they carry risks of dependency as well, so it is very important to discuss all of the risks and benefits with your psychiatrist.
Being Proactive in Times of Crisis
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to self-monitor. We need to pay attention to both what is going on externally around us as well as how we are feeling about those events internally. In doing so, we may be able to catch anxiety as it is growing inside of us, and before it becomes insurmountable. This is especially true when we know that there is change or crisis around us personally, locally, or globally.
By being proactive in our mental health, we can seek solutions before the problems are out of control. For example, it is much easier to find a therapist or psychiatrist when we are relatively calm and still functioning normally. We can also make better-informed decisions if we are not in a crisis state mentally.
When anxiety hits, we can take our lives back. Despite events in our lives personally or globally, we can find ways to calmly navigate the storms and not let anxiety take over our ability to function. We can find help for anxiety, just like we can find help for substance abuse.
AToN Center can help you when anxiety hits. Call (888) 813-5928 today to find treatment for your substance use and your anxiety. During times of calm or crisis, you deserve to feel safe and healthy. We can help you to find that peace, even when the world is in crisis.