How to Overcome Anxiety

overcome anxiety

Constant and unshakeable fear. Inability to sleep normally. Persistent aches all over the body. An overarching sense of restlessness and irritability. The symptoms of anxiety are no walk in the park, and they plague tens of millions of Americans every year. 

Despite how pervasive and how difficult these symptoms are, a shockingly low proportion of anxiety sufferers seek help for their disorders. Even those who are simply averse to the idea of taking medication are often woefully undereducated on the best ways to manage anxiety on their own. 

While there are many effective means of treating anxiety with professional assistance, there are also some personal efforts that can be enlisted to help those struggling with how to overcome anxiety.

The Pervasive Nature of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect around 40 million adults in the U.S. every year, meaning that around 18% of the country’s population over the age of 18 struggles with one of these disorders. Striking as this statistic may be, it’s hardly the most troubling one related to anxiety. 

Less than 37% of adults grappling with anxiety will seek professional help for their disorders, regardless of the severity. Despite this, people with anxiety are about 6 times more likely to be hospitalized due to a psychiatric issue than those who do not experience anxiety, which speaks to the importance of receiving care as soon as anxiety symptoms develop.

Unfortunately, anxiety disorders often co-occur with depression (among other issues), making the lives of those dealing with these disorders even more difficult. This ultimately leads to relatively high incidences of self-medication. What’s more, it usually takes anxiety sufferers at least a decade of experiencing symptoms before they are ready to get help. 

Because of this reluctance to seek professional help, many people are inclined to try and overcome anxiety on their own. This attitude is especially common among the subsets of the population most likely to experience anxiety.

Those at The Highest Risk for Anxiety Disorders

It’s hard to pinpoint a singular cause of anxiety, which means it can be difficult to know for sure whether a person is going to struggle with one of these disorders. Still, certain groups are statistically more likely to deal with anxiety disorders, due in large part to the fact that they commonly experience chronic stress.

One of the most obvious groups to fall within this category is college students. More than 60% of college students report feeling overwhelming anxiety at some point in the previous year, and 23% stated that they had been diagnosed and treated by a health care professional at some point in the same time frame. 

This proportion of college students dealing with anxiety is significantly higher than the general population, which speaks to the fact that untreated stress can (and quite often does) spiral into anxiety over a period of time.

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Self-Help Solutions for Anxiety

It’s clear that, for whatever reason, many people struggling with anxiety aren’t keen on the idea of seeking professional help. Because of this, it’s important to know which holistic solutions have demonstrated efficacy at curbing symptoms of anxiety. 

To boil all of the most trusted advice down into a single recommendation, the best way to overcome anxiety on one’s own is to simply adopt healthier lifestyle habits in every aspect. This means working on things like:

  • Waking up, eating, and going to bed on a regular and consistent schedule
  • Taking time to exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week (whether this means going for a walk, practicing yoga, or simply dancing around the living room)
  • Avoiding, or at least cutting down on caffeine and alcohol as much as possible
  • Stepping back from stressors by cutting out some responsibilities if necessary
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All of this might seem like fairly standard advice, but few people with anxiety realize just how much these healthy habits can impact their symptoms. The reality is that if a person wants to effectively overcome anxiety on their own, they have to be willing to make some pretty large lifestyle changes. 

Even the most dedicated of anxiety sufferers looking to manage symptoms on their own may find that, despite their best efforts, they just can’t shake the affliction. There’s no shame in seeking professional help, and at that point, it may be the only option.

How to Overcome Anxiety with Professional Treatment

If one’s own methods prove unsuccessful in curbing someone’s anxiety symptoms, treatment with trained professionals can still prove highly effective.

Generally speaking, the first line of defense against anxiety (depending on the severity and the specific disorder) will be some sort of therapy. People with anxiety, particularly those who have been struggling with a disorder for many years, tend to develop their own unhealthy coping mechanisms. A therapist will be able to help an anxiety sufferer identify their unhealthy strategies, and replace them with better ones. There are some great therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that have proven to be highly effective.

Of course, therapy isn’t always enough to eliminate anxiety. Medication is sometimes necessary to truly mitigate symptoms of anxiety; SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SNRIs (Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), Benzodiazepines, and Beta Blockers are some of the most common medications prescribed for anxiety, but these can become addictive.

Anxiety is different for every individual; even two people experiencing the same anxiety disorder are likely to have slightly different symptoms. This is, perhaps, the reason that mental health professionals are so instrumental in treating anxiety: they can offer a personalized course of treatment to those who haven’t had success overcoming anxiety on their own. 

Anyone who has been attempting to treat symptoms on their own but is still wondering how to overcome anxiety more effectively can contact Mission Harbor Behavioral Health to receive a comprehensive and custom-tailored plan of attack on their anxiety disorder.

The facilities at Mission Harbor are staffed with trained experts to best assist patients with their mental health issues. We are capable of dealing with any and all cases with a licensed staff, equipment, and approved techniques. Our mission is to help those who want to help themselves, and we support your decision in seeking help.

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