Is it possible to overcome anxiety?
Yes it is possible to overcome anxiety here is how I recommend you to cope with anxiety
1. Shout it out
Talking to a trusted friend is one way to cope with anxiety. But there’s something even better than talking: screaming at the top of your lungs. As a kid, you were probably taught not to shout and told to use your “inside voice.” But as an adult, you can make your own rules. So if you’re dealing with pent-up frustrations and anxiety, let it out.
2. Get moving
Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when your mind’s in overdrive. You may worry about post-workout soreness and being unable to walk or sit for the next two days. Or your mind might go to the worst-case scenario and you fear overexerting yourself and having a heart attack. But in reality, exercise is one of the best natural ant anxiety solutions.
3. Give yourself a bedtime
With your busy schedule, there’s no time for sleep, right? Some workaholics brag about only needing three or four hours of sleep a night, as if to say, “I’m more determined and committed than everyone else.” But no matter what you might tell yourself, you’re not a robot. Humans need sleep to function properly, so unless you beamed in from some nearby planet, this also applies to you.
Whether you deal with insomnia, purposely limit your amount of sleep, or you’re a self-professed night owl, chronic sleep deprivation makes you susceptible to anxiety. Do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Develop a bedtime routine to read a book or do something relaxing before bed. The better prepared you are to get a good night’s sleep, the better quality of sleep you’ll have, which leads to a better morning as well.
4. Feel OK saying no
Your plate is only so big, and if you overwhelm yourself with everyone else’s personal problems, your anxiety will also worsen. We’ve all heard the adage, “There’s more happiness in giving than receiving.” But nowhere in this sentence does it say you should sit back and let others infringe on your time.
5.Don’t skip meals
If anxiety causes nausea, the thought of eating food is as appealing as eating dirt. But skipping meals can make anxiety worse. Your blood sugar drops when you don’t eat, which causes the release of a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can help you perform better under pressure, but it can also make you feel worse if you’re already prone to anxiety.
6. Give yourself an exit strategy
Sometimes, anxiety is due to feeling out of control. You can’t always be in the driver seat of your life, but you can take steps to identify your triggers and cope with circumstances that cause anxiety.
7. Live in the moment
Other than the words on this page, what are you thinking about right now? Are you worried about a meeting you have next week? Are you stressed about meeting your financial goals? Or maybe you’re obsessing over whether you’ll be a good parent — although you have zero kids and have no plans to conceive in the near future.
Anxiety is a beast, but it is possible to win the battle without medication. Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying your behavior, thoughts, and lifestyle. You can start with a drug-free approach, and then speak with a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen. These drug-free, anti-anxiety tactics can even help you complement your medication regimen. Do what works for you, and know that anxiety does not control your life.
With medication? Yes. Without it? In my personal experience, no, not really.
Here’s the thing. There are a million coping methods and strategies you can use to appear mostly functional if you have crippling anxiety. They can work. You will need to employ one or several of them almost constantly in order to accomplish mundane tasks.
While you tally up those daily victories, you still won’t look or act normal. You will appear more hesitant, ineffective, and lazy. Why? Because ordinary tasks take 10x the mental processing and at least 5x the willpower most people need to perform those same actions.
People notice the added time and thought required for you to do what they do, but as they can’t see the contents of your mind, they do not know that you are fighting a constant struggle to accomplish tasks that, for them, do not require any struggle at all. To some, it will appear as if you are deliberately being difficult, or even attempting to cause them pain with your ineffectual flailing.
On top of the fact that life will involve a constant struggle, if you choose to pursue a full life with an anxiety disorder you will suffer from substantially more anxiety than those who choose to minimize their life to solve the problem, because you will have trained yourself not to flee from things that trigger your anxiety.
Do individual triggers become easier to manage with exposure? Yes. But without medication, I never found any of them went away. The only way to actually avoid anxiety, and the sometimes frightening physical effects of that anxiety, was to avoid life.
Medication really did change everything. Do I still feel anxiety? Yes. Do I still have bad days? Absolutely. But now I can employ the same techniques I used constantly before medication, and they actually work in a relatively short period of time. My heart may still race, my hands may still shake, but I can do what I do and smile, because it’s not hard anymore. I just swallow my fear, talk myself down, and go ahead.
Sometimes I don’t even need to talk myself down these days, which is even more shocking, as it’s not something I ever recall experiencing. Just a few days ago, I found myself initiating a conversation with a stranger. I didn’t think, as I often used to do, “I should talk to this person.” I just saw them, had something to say, and said it.
No coping skill allowed that. No amount of practice or internal rehearsals taught me the skills I needed. I just had something to say, and my anxiety never popped up to tell me to keep quiet. Thanks to medication, it never occurred to me not to speak.
That’s much better than having to struggle. That’s normal.
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I was diagnosed with GAD a little over a year ago. My psychiatrist prescribed a medication and when I took it, I lost it even more. I was hyper sensitive and had bouts of anger that were incredibly intense. I went back to my doctor who told me that anger was often expressed because of repressed emotions; hence depression and anger are expressions of the same thing. I told him I didn’t care what was causing it, I needed a change and that this was a common occurrence any time I took any synthetic medications.
Shockingly, he printed out a list of vitamins that were commonly low in individuals with anxiety. There was a large focus on Vitamins, B, C, and D as well is folates, magnesium and other minerals, and probiotics. I felt it was worth a shot.
I researched the hell out of it. Everything I can find in peer reviewed scholarly sources suggests that we get enough vitamins and minerals if we eat a balanced diet. Fair enough! Eat more fruits, vegetables, and meats or proteins and you should be fairly stable on your vitamin levels. We did labs on my vitamins and sure enough, all of my vitamins were within a normal range, so I didn’t have a vitamin deficiency—though I still take vitamins B, D and minerals daily to make sure J
With my vitamins in check, I decided to keep researching and found a ton of information on the gut brain axis and how the gut microbiota could influence anxiety. I read a research article about mice that were bread without certain gut bacteria. When researchers took gut bacteria from anxious mice and placed it in the specially bred non-anxious mice, the non-anxious mice developed anxiety. Other research showed that anxious mice, when given certain strains of probiotics, experienced lower levels of anxiety. Voila! This could be the solution to my issue. So, I started focusing on my gut. I cut out caffeine, dairy, and breads and replaced my regular eating habits with decaf coffee, rice flour cookies—which are surprisingly good, by the way, and other healthy options. I also started taking a probiotic; particularly the strains Lactobacillus Helveticus Rosell-52ND and Bifidobacterium Longum Rosell-175. I experienced a significant drop in my anxiety using a combination of diet, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics.
Now, I also take Kratom – a legal plant based drug that can be purchased at smoke shops in most states, which is on the line to become a Schedule 1 drug if the DEA and FDA get their way, but I have to tell you, nothing has impacted my anxiety levels the way Kratom has. Just so you don’t freak out too bad, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and I believe it has medicinal value. I just can’t do marijuana because it gives me severe paranoia. Anyway, Kratom calms me down, but I have to say that if you take it, do so of your own accord.
In addition to these things, I use mindfulness. I take frequent breaks at work to go outside and take a walk. I notice all of the details I can in one thing I can see, one thing I can hear, one thing I can feel, one thing I can smell, and one thing I can taste. By listing out every detail in each of those areas, I step out of the mind loop. I also listen to audio books, meditations, and watch videos on my illness.
By no means does my anxiety go away, but it is manageable and that is often all I need. I don’t think anxiety is all bad. It’s not black and white. If we didn’t have anxiety, we wouldn’t get much done. It’s the amount of anxiety that’s the issue. What I struggle the most with are the monster moments, when my inner monster comes out. I feel like the Incredible Hulk, smashing and destroying everything in my path. It’s hard to do work when I am in my monster self, so I use DBT techniques to try and survive the episodes. When I come out of monster mode is when I process and work on myself. I try and build behaviors when I feel good so that my monster smashes are less severe.
I hope that helps! This shit can feel pretty overwhelming
Pretty much anytime you are dealing with a “not otherwise specified” (NOS) diagnosis, it’s because the person clearly falls into the particular category but for whatever reason does not meet the “textbook” criteria for a more specific diagnosis. Treatment would be more or less the same as for any other diagnosis in that same category, tailored to the individual’s needs.
For example, where anxiety is concerned, you may have a client who clearly has abnormal symptoms that line up with an anxiety disorder, but that client does not fall neatly into one of the set types. They don’t have enough obsessive-compulsive behaviors to qualify for a diagnosis of OCD, they don’t have panic attacks or any certain phobia, they don’t have PTSD, etc. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may seem like an obvious choice for someone who doesn’t meet the criteria for another type of anxiety disorder, but it’s not always that simple. GAD criteria require symptoms to be present consistently for at least 6 months. The anxiety should also be excessive in relation to the actual threat.
So, if someone began to experience extreme and unrealistic anxiety only 3 months ago, they would not have suffered from it long enough to be diagnosed with GAD. Or, if someone has uncontrollable anxiety over the possibility that he may lose his job due to manufacturing plant closures, the anxiety that he and his family may end up without an income or a place to live is a very real and serious threat if the company really has announced plans to downsize. Further, if someone only experiences excessive anxiety during episodes of severe depression, they would not fit into any of the categories for a specific anxiety disorder but the diagnosis of depression would not be sufficient to address the level of anxiety. When you also consider that most insurance companies require a diagnostic code before they will cover therapy or prescription medications, you can see why the NOS classification is an often frustrating but necessary option.
If I can use an analogy, anxiety is a bit like a cat faced with a moving object. The more the object moves to try and ‘get away’ from the cat the more the cat reacts and tries to catch it.
So the worst thing you can do is try to control or become the boss of anxiety. Remember anxiety is a protective response, and some of us will have an over-developed protective response (variation in evolutionary theory).
So what to do. The best approach is to stop fighting it or pushing it down. Easier said than done, I suspect you a telling me!
The approach I would suggest you try is this.
Set aside 20 mins a day to become more aware of your gagging.
Find a comfortable safe private place and simply focus all you attention on the feelings of gagging that strongest and as you become fully aware of it, allow your mind to pick a colour that best represents this feeling in your throat. Now simply focus all you attention on this feeling and colour and observe does it increase before it decreases, does it stay the same, does it spread or does it contract. Just having the courage to allow and observe the changes or not that occur. Stop after 20 minutes (or when you are losing your ability to concentrate fully on the task).
If you find it difficult to stop trying to exert control then one thing you can try is to actively increase the feeling, consciously making it stronger, before going back to observing for the remainder of the session.
Set yourself a realistic goal of trying this regularly, maybe 2 or 3 times per week, and after each session find something completely different to do: go for walk, read a book or watch a movie etc.
Research has shown very clearly that avoiding and trying to suppress a feeling leads to it strengthening. Has this been your main approach up to now? The above is one approach to change your balance to this problem, giving you a small, but new and positive strategy.
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Thanks for A2A Deepika Dixit .
Daily anxiety for no reason can be a part of GAD (Generalized anxiety disorder).
Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is the most common and widespread type of anxiety. GAD affect tens of millions of people throughout the world.
GAD is best described as an ongoing state of mental and/or physical tension and nervousness, either without a specific cause or without the ability to take a break from the anxiety.
In other words, if you feel yourself constantly on edge, worried, anxious, or stressed (either physically or mentally) and it’s disrupting your life, you may have generalized anxiety disorder. Remember, some anxiety is a natural part of life, and some degree of anxiety is normal to feel occasionally. But when that anxiety appears to occur for no reason or for reasons that shouldn’t be causing that degree of anxiousness, you may have generalized anxiety disorder.
The following are the most common problems associated with GAD:
- Constant restlessness, irritation, edginess, or a feeling of being without control.
- Fatigue, lethargy, or generally low energy levels (feeling drained).
- Tense muscles, especially on the back, neck, and shoulders.
- Trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks or activities.
- Obsessing over negative and anxiety causing thoughts – “Disaster Thinking.”
When we’re anxious but can’t explain why, either to ourselves or to others, we feel even worse. Sometimes, as we wrack our brains for a reason for our anxiety, our anxiety increases. When this happens, it’s not uncommon to shut down even further, nearly becoming paralyzed by anxiety and our struggle to explain it.
Let Go of Needing to Know the Cause of Anxiety
A reason anxiety increases when we struggle to answer the elusive question “why” is because in searching for that answer, we become caught up in anxiety. We expend a whole lot of time and negative energy fighting.
Even more important, when we are consumed in trying to find an anxiety cause we are anxious, we become hyper-focused on anxiety.
When we hold on to the need to know why we are holding onto anxiety itself because that is what we are thinking about. Chances are, those thoughts are not peaceful. To reduce the grip of this vague (but strong) anxiety, it’s important to let go of the need to know the anxiety cause. We don’t have to enjoy anxiety, but we can be at peace with the fact that there’s no apparent cause for it.
There are many ways to overcome anxiety issues without taking medication. I am mentioning some of the primary ones below (Related to lifestyle):
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, or learn relaxation techniques like JPMR. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humour. A good laugh goes a long way.
Finally, a major step of effective coping is finding professional help. Some styles of therapy will teach you how to apply specific relaxation techniques to your life and others will focus on understanding what makes you anxious and why. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular treatment approaches to GAD.
Hope this answer was helpful. Get in touch for any further assistance (website link in profile). Take care 🙂
It is very common to have severe anxiety symptoms without knowing what is causing them When this happens, it is usually due to your unconscious mind attempting to take care of you.
When what you fear is not really what you are anxious about:
The way this works is that at some level, what you are truly anxious about is experienced as too terrible to recognize or as something you do not believe you can do anything about. The way your mind handles this is to bury the real source of your discomfort deep in the unconscious part of your mind and give you neurotic symptoms instead.
- Substitute Anxieties
You may get “free floating” anxiety, first it is about this, then about that, but never about the real underlying issue. Or you might get a phobia that is a metaphor for what you are anxious about. Or you may have intrusive scary thoughts. There are lots of permutations on what type of substitute anxiety someone might experience.
- Driving Phobias & Dependency Issues
For example, a number of my female clients who were unhappily married developed driving phobias that literally prevented them from leaving home. The worse the phobia, the more they started to depend on their husband for everything. It was only when they worked on their underlying fears about being independent and alone that the phobias diminished and they could make an intelligent decision about whether to stay in their marriage or get divorced.
- Intrusive Scary Thoughts
Many of my clients were badly treated or neglected as children. As adults, when things are going well for them, they secretly feel undeserving of this good fortune. There is cognitive dissonance between their childhood of themselves as worthless, stupid, ugly, or unlovable and their current happy circumstances.
They are often tortured by fears that somebody close to them will die in a plane crash or a car accident. They are afraid to trust that they can have a good life. In therapy, we work on the buried childhood self-image as undeserving that now conflicts with them relaxing and enjoying their life.
Punchline: Many severe anxiety symptoms begin their life as our mind’s best attempt to protect us from something that was once unsolvable ored as insurmountable. Now it continues as an unconscious habitual response.
The essence of Sigmund’s Freud’s discovery of his “talking cure” for neurotic anxiety was to have his patients say literally everything that came to mind. Eventually the unconscious material creating the problem would show up in awareness where it could be worked on in psychoanalysis. He called this method “Free Association.” Its essential principle is still valid today.
Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP
In private practice in NYC and the author of the book: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations.
42A. Fear Is anxiety. which can be of help in small doses. Overcoming fear is dependent on what it is and if it’s in your best interest to overcome it. Many people who do get anxiety are empaths. They Absorb What’s the General vibe of others easily. What’s challenging is learning to acknowledge it’s there but not allowing it to overwhelm and burden You. Setting personal boundaries and when the time is appropriate if at all ( may not be your problem to solve) Needs to be addressed. As well as having a imaginary switch. Turn off the static in your mind. Tell yourself you’ll address it at a better time. Best done at home in safe quiet environment. Just say to yourself later not now”. Procrastination of fear/ problem solving is one way. When reviewing after you’ve procrastinated your fear/ issue, you’ll probably have a different perception. One that may seem to be less then originally perceived. Perception is key. Change your perceptions and change your life. Love yourself. Be there for yourself. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Don’t badger yourself. Catch yourself when you do. Be your own best friend. Sounds cliche I know. Focus on nature and beauty. Get out of your own head space and distract. Establish healthy habits and hobbies. Visual imagery while taking a nap. Get one with nature, garden, hike, camp etc.. Deep breathing exercises help as well. 5 HTP from over the counter. Prozac at low dose. Avoid the addictive anxiety meds called benzodiazepines. Such as Xanax. A true anxiety disorder requires diligence on your part. Avoid toxic people/ friends/ family. Slow down, way down! Know your limits and give yourself what you need. Which is probably alone time.
I hope I understand this correctly. If not, please correct me.
The tricky thing about anxiety is that it can be paired with normal things. So you feel anxious, you play your favorite song to calm down, then the anxiety gets paired to the song so that when you play the song now it provokes anxiety. This actually happened to me when I was going through something very stressful in my life. I got angry and was determined that the anxiety wasn’t going to steal this song from me, so I made a point of playing the song when I was calm, over and over until the anxiety was disconnected from the song. I then had the song back – without the anxiety. Sometimes you just have to get mad and fight back.
I think the same thing could happen with the reality checking. Make a point of doing it, just for a very short time, when you’re calm. The anxiety will flare up, but wait until you return to calm, then do it again. Keep doing it until the anxiety is unpaired from the reality checking.
I hope this makes sense. I’d love to know how it goes.
Here are some thoughts on overcoming anxiety based on my experiences…
“The pain and disappointment you suffered in the past helped grow the fears and vulnerabilities that shape your thoughts today.”
For me, “fears and vulnerabilities” are another way to describe anxiety. Unfortunately, I can’t attribute this quote to a particular source. I came across it in one of the oh-so-many professional development books I’ve either read or read summaries of on getAbstract.
The pain and disappointment I suffered in the past wasn’t a “one and done” event.
It was lasting and ongoing. Here are some key themes from my past:
- My mom’s unpredictable transitions from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde … my dad not standing up to my mom and protecting me from her wrath … my grandma for not acknowledging my mom’s dark side and telling me I’m too sensitive
- My junior high friends shutting me out of the clique, and then having this scenario replay in high school … in college … at work
These themes fed my anxiety.
A need for approval lurked beneath most every thought. I worried constantly about people liking me, or more specifically, not disliking me. I feared disapproval from anyone. Any less-than-positive feedback triggered a swirl of anxiety, and criticism shook me. Conflict made me uncomfortable. Confrontation made me crumble. Rather than putting in the effort to fix these things, I avoided situations involving conflict or confrontation.
I coped by trying to prove to the world that I had value.
That I mattered. Although this helped in some ways (I mastered some skills and developed confidence in some areas), it hurt in others. For example, I got stomach aches days before annual performance reviews at work. Worse, I frequently seemed to be a target for workplace bullies.
These issues created obstacles in my work and personal life.
Eventually, I could no longer work around or avoid these obstacles. To grow personally and professionally, I realized I had to do something about my anxiety. I had to get to the root cause of my need for approval and try to understand it. That meant revisiting painful memories and re-experiencing horrible feelings.
I read countless self-improvement books.
Many of these books suggested that returning to the pain and disappointment I suffered in the past would enable me to understand the “me” beneath those negative thoughts. That it would help me see what’s most important to me, and who I could be with the anxiety out of the way. That is, this was supposed to show me the person I could be if no obstacles stood in my way.
What I experienced.
I don’t know if that’s an accurate assessment of what this process did for me. For a while, it mostly made me feel sad. At times I felt angry with some of the people from my past, but I mostly felt angry with myself for being so weak. For not being courageous and fighting back against the mean people. That was followed by disappointment. I suppose this is what therapists call “processing” your past. It wasn’t any fun at all.
Calm replaced anxiety.
While slogging through the darkness I noticed my every-present anxiety fading away. It wasn’t replaced with sunshine and unicorns like those self-improvement books kind of had me expecting. It was replaced with nothing – something in the space between bored and relaxed. At first I thought this ‘nothing’ might be depression, but this was because I had no idea what it was like to not feel anxiety. Finally it dawned on me that this ‘nothing’ was what ‘calm’ feels like.
Keep on keepin’ on.
I’d hoped that dealing with the pain and disappointment suffered in my past would be a one-and-done thing, but that hasn’t exactly been accurate for me. It’s been more of an incremental process, but thankfully the process continues moving me in a lighter, calmer direction.
Yes, and no. We each share out life stories to help others, and yours is that you grew out of it, which is entirely possible if the anxiety either came from extreme hormone fluctuations, the normal failures that being either a teenager and/or young adult bring up or something similar.
HOWEVER, your roommate’s anxiety could stem from a chemical imbalance in the the brain; severe abuse in early childhood that you know nothing about and/or some other reason over which there is little to no control. Telling that person to just “buck up” would invalidate their reality and cannot be helpful at all.
I find that just actively listening to what another person has to say about what’s going on for them, asking questions like “Why do you feel that way?” or “What steps have you take to deal with this issue?” or “How would you like your life to be different?” can help them to start thinking about the matter in a more open, hopeful and rational manner. Most people need an ear, not a solution.