What are the Best Methods for Controlling Anxiety?

A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
Yoga classes might help relieve anxiety.
Yoga classes might help relieve anxiety.

Several methods are very effective at controlling anxiety. Anxiety can mean many different things to different people, and the best method for controlling anxiety will be structured around each person's condition. While some people have mild cases of anxiety that can be controlled through self help, other people may need to work with a therapist. In other cases, a person may need medication to treat anxiety.

Making positive changes in life may help control anxiety.
Making positive changes in life may help control anxiety.

A person can suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, in which a feeling of stress and worry can interfere with day-to-day life. Someone can also suffer from panic or anxiety attacks. A person with panic attacks will experience episodes of intense worry. Symptoms of a panic attack include chest pain and a racing heart, a choking feeling, and dizziness. The attacks usually last for less than half an hour and can occur during a tense time, such as right before meeting with a big client or when someone is trapped in an unpleasant situation. Other types of anxiety include phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Overcoming anxiety sometimes involves confronting the fears that were avoided in the past, such as a fear of heights.
Overcoming anxiety sometimes involves confronting the fears that were avoided in the past, such as a fear of heights.

One method for controlling anxiety is to try to make positive changes in a person's life. In some cases, anxiety is caused not by an underlying disorder but simply because someone has taken on too much responsibility. Some people may find that they can control their anxiety by learning to relax, such as by taking yoga classes or meditating. Other learn that controlling anxiety means cutting back on work or activities and avoiding certain chemicals such as caffeine or alcohol.

Reading a book can help reduce anxiety.
Reading a book can help reduce anxiety.

If self help does not lessen someone's anxiety, he should see his doctor for help controlling anxiety. Some people benefit from psychotherapy such as cognitive behavior therapy. When someone undergoes cognitive behavioral therapy, she learns to re-evaluate the things that cause her stress and anxiety and to change her reactions during anxiety-provoking situations.

Panic attacks can lead to episodes of extreme worrying.
Panic attacks can lead to episodes of extreme worrying.

Exposure therapy is often an effective method for controlling anxiety caused by a phobia. During exposure therapy, a person confronts the feared object or situation, but in a safe environment. Usually, exposure is a gradual process. For instance, a person who experiences anxiety in response to spiders may first be shown a picture of a spider, then a film about spiders, and finally a spider in a cage.

A relaxing bath can help a person dealing with anxiety.
A relaxing bath can help a person dealing with anxiety.

Some people need medication to control anxiety or a combination of medication and therapy. In some cases, antidepressants are the best method for controlling anxiety. A few people may take medications designed to deal with anxiety specifically, but these medications are often habit forming and so are usually used for short periods of time.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

@talentryto- I agree with you completely, because I have many family members and friends that have struggled with anxiety. Many of them have tried to self-treat, which almost never works.

Talentryto

Though natural treatments help many people manage anxiety, some people need a little extra help. Family doctors are trained to help people identify and treat many forms of anxiety. Anyone who feels that anxiety is controlling his or her life should seek medical advice for the best treatment options available. There is no reason to live with the overwhelming feelings that go along with anxiety when help is available.

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    • Yoga classes might help relieve anxiety.
      Yoga classes might help relieve anxiety.
    • Making positive changes in life may help control anxiety.
      Making positive changes in life may help control anxiety.
    • Overcoming anxiety sometimes involves confronting the fears that were avoided in the past, such as a fear of heights.
      Overcoming anxiety sometimes involves confronting the fears that were avoided in the past, such as a fear of heights.
    • Reading a book can help reduce anxiety.
      Reading a book can help reduce anxiety.
    • Panic attacks can lead to episodes of extreme worrying.
      Panic attacks can lead to episodes of extreme worrying.
    • A relaxing bath can help a person dealing with anxiety.
      A relaxing bath can help a person dealing with anxiety.
    • Medication may be used to treat individuals suffering from severe anxiety.
      Medication may be used to treat individuals suffering from severe anxiety.
    • It's important to take time to enjoy simple things so anxiety doesn't become overwhelming.
      It's important to take time to enjoy simple things so anxiety doesn't become overwhelming.
    • Treatment for generalized anxiety disorders may include learning relaxations tips for when an anxiety attack is triggered.
      Treatment for generalized anxiety disorders may include learning relaxations tips for when an anxiety attack is triggered.
    • Someone with anxiety may have difficulty getting out of bed.
      Someone with anxiety may have difficulty getting out of bed.
    • Panic attacks may occur at any time, without warning.
      Panic attacks may occur at any time, without warning.
    • Talking through issues with a close friend can help a person manage anxiety.
      Talking through issues with a close friend can help a person manage anxiety.
    • Getting proper rest can help someone dealing with anxiety.
      Getting proper rest can help someone dealing with anxiety.
    • Using different aromatherapy treatments can help a person deal with anxiety.
      Using different aromatherapy treatments can help a person deal with anxiety.