How To Reduce Anxiety | Orlando Anxiety Treatment
Anxiety can range from experiencing mild symptoms of unease and apprehension to more severe anxiety symptoms that include persistent worry, chest pain, physical tension, headaches, and more. When anxiety interferes with daily functioning, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 18% of the population in the United States is affected by an anxiety disorder, making anxiety disorders the most common mental health issue in the U.S.
Good self-care has been found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Below are tips to help you reduce your symptoms of anxiety:
- Exercise. Exercise has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety. Psychologists who have studied the effects of exercise on anxiety disorders have found that exercise may not only reduce, but perhaps even prevent anxiety. Yet few mental health providers recommend exercise as part of well-rounded treatment. According to psychologist Michael Otto, “Exercise is something that psychologists have been very slow to attend to. People know that exercise helps physical outcomes. There is much less awareness of mental health outcomes — and much, much less ability to translate this awareness into exercise action.”
Research suggests that developing a regular routine of exercising for 20 minutes or more per day provides the best benefits for anxiety.
- Get Enough Sleep. Anxiety can have a negative effect on sleep – seven out of ten adults with an anxiety disorder report difficulty sleeping. Getting a good night’s sleep is very important as it can help you to better manage anxiety. Establishing healthy sleep habits is imperative. To improve your sleep habits try the following:
– Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
– Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
– Keep your bedroom cool and quiet.
– Refrain from using electronic devices at least 1 hour before bedtime.
-Relax before bed by taking a hot bath, listening to soft music or try progressive muscle relaxation.
- Practice Mindfulness. Research has repeatedly shown that mindfulness can reduce symptoms of anxiety. When practicing mindfulness, we are better able to respond to the physical and mental symptoms anxiety with awareness of the present moment instead of simply reacting.
- Reduce Caffeine. Caffeine can trigger symptoms of the fight-flight response that feel very much like anxiety symptoms, even in individuals who do not suffer from an anxiety disorder. Caffeine can exacerbate anxiety symptoms by increasing heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones and it has been found to reduce the calming neurotransmitter, GABA. If you experience anxiety, it may be a good idea to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet.
- Change Your Thinking. You may not be aware of how much your thinking affects your anxiety. There are a number of cognitive distortions that fuel anxiety – when a person has an anxiety disorder, their thinking typically jumps to the worse case scenario. Learning to change unhelpful thinking patterns has been shown to be an extremely effective method for reducing anxiety. Over the past 40 years, psychologists have developed an effective method of psychotherapy known at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that numerous research studies have shown to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.
At The Center for Anxiety & OCD at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, our practice is made up of counselors and therapists who have received specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is the only method of psychological treatment that has been found to provide substantial benefits for individuals struggling with anxiety disorders.
Speak With An Orlando Anxiety Therapist