In Florida, thunderstorms come and go, often very quickly. These storms roll in rapidly with crashing thunder and heavy downpours. After 30 minutes or so, the rain stops and they pass through. But what about the storms that don’t ever seem to leave?
Anxiety is one of those storms that may linger. It isn’t a quick-moving storm in the lives of those who struggle, but rather a long-term deluge of fear. While adrenaline can push us to lead productive lives, it can all too easily turn into a prolonged and unnatural state of worry known as anxiety. Recently, I’ve spoken with a few friends and coworkers who have shared with me about their struggles with anxiety. I was surprised to hear that these friends I know and interact with daily had hid the pain so well. But the truth is, they aren’t alone – anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S., which is 18% of the national population.
As I continued to research the matter, I learned that anxiety is considered to be highly treatable. However, it’s estimated that only about one-third of those who are suffering actually seek treatment. This is sometimes due to the negative stigma associated with anxiety in our society, which creates feelings of shame within those who are suffering and leads them to hide their hurt.
Thankfully, there is hope for you if you’re struggling with anxiety, or if you think you know someone who is. Here are five other things you can do to manage and treat your anxiety.
1. Keep Talking. Talk to your friends, family, or a doctor about your struggles with anxiety. Their support and prayers will be a huge source of encouragement.
2. Practice Relaxation Techniques. Learn about some commonly recommended techniques to help you remain calm. Your doctor may have some suggestions. Then at moments when your mind becomes clouded with anxious thoughts, use these relaxation techniques—some of which include muscle relaxation and relaxed breathing.
3. Rest and Exercise. Try your best to get a good night’s sleep. That way you’ll be rested and ready to better handle life’s ups and downs. Daily exercise is also highly recommended. Go for a brisk walk or a jog to help clear your mind.
4. Be Involved. Try not to isolate yourself at home. Sign up to volunteer in your community or find a sports team or club you can join. This will give you a much-needed break from the everyday stress you deal with.
5. Medication. In some cases, medication will be used in the treatment of anxiety. Of course, that isn’t for me to decide. A doctor, often in conjunction with a therapist or counselor, will be the one who makes that decision.
If you think you are struggling with anxiety, please remember that you are not alone in this battle and that there is hope.
Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.
Have you struggled with anxiety? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic and what helped, or what is helping, you to overcome it.