Having anxiety is not a sign of weakness, in fact reaching out for help shows enormous strength and courage.
You may never have spoken to anyone about what you are going through, so it can be daunting to reach out for help and might make you feel exposed and vulnerable. Ironically making that call for help might even trigger your anxiety. This is completely normal.
There are different types of anxiety disorders and your treatment will depend on how you experience anxiety.
These are five of the most common types of anxiety that people experience.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
There are a variety of treatments for anxiety and the best course of action might vary from person to person. Some of the treatments may include psychotherapy; various lifestyle interventions and sometimes medication may be needed. Quite often it is a combination of these that is the best approach.
How to ease anxiety:
There are a few techniques that may help you when you feel you are in a state of heightened anxiety. One helpful and immediate calming technique is known as Grounding. This technique is not a cure, but with practice can help reduce the intensity of panic and can help prevent an attack coming on.
Take deep breaths in through your nose and out slowly through your nose.
(Breathing in and out through your mouth may make you hyperventilate.)
Say (in your head or out loud) your name, your age and your address. Tell yourself you are safe.
Look around and find:
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell or think of two things you like the smell of
1 emotion you feel.
Repeat if necessary.
This is known as Grounding.
Because we are all different, this technique may not suit you but it is definitely worth trying it a few times to see if it does help you. Sometimes it is about practicing it just like you would with any new skill.
If you are having a panic attack feel reassured that no matter how awful and scary it is it will not harm you and it will pass.
Ginette Lenham © 2018