Anxiety is a relatively common mental health disorder in the United States. We all experience anxiety, and for most, it’s a quick experience that some may or may not notice. However, it can be debilitating for others who encounter it more intensely and frequently. It can hold people back from living their lives fully.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s way of dealing with stress. It’s the feeling of fear of what’s to come and sometimes leaves people feeling like their death is imminent or the sense of impending doom. Anxiety can occur with other forms of mental illnesses, but there are four common types in adults and children.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about many different things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their worry. They may worry more than seems warranted about actual events or may expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern.
Social Anxiety: A person has an intense fear of being criticized, embarrassed, or humiliated, even in everyday situations, such as speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work, or making small talk.
Specific Phobias: Phobias exist when a person feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it. For example, having an injection or traveling on a plane are pretty common phobias people live with. There are many different types of phobias.
Panic Disorder: A person has panic attacks, which are intense, overwhelming, and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms. Someone having a panic attack may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and excessive perspiration. Sometimes, people experiencing a panic attack think they will have a heart attack or are about to die. If a person has recurrent panic attacks or persistently fears having one for more than a month, they’re said to have Panic Disorder.
What you can do to calm your anxiety
First and foremost, it’s important not to diagnose yourself via the internet. If you feel your symptoms are lining up with one of the four anxiety disorders we listed, we recommend you sit down with your doctor and discuss your symptoms and experiences with them. Here are some things you can do to help calm down during an anxiety attack. You learn more in-depth about these exercises here.
Find a comfortable place to sit down, sitting upright. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, filling your lungs through your mouth. There are many breathing exercises you can do like:
- Abdomen Breathing
- Breath focus
- Resonant breathing
- Yogic Breathings
- Lions Breath
Many people find that going for a 30-minute walk or doing some kind of exercise helped calm them down during an anxiety attack. Some other things you can do include riding a bike, dancing, and yoga.
A lot of people use meditation to overcome their anxiety. It helps clear the mind, regain focus, and helps us live in the moment. You can find some great apps like Calm or Headspace to guide you when you’re just starting out. Once you’re comfortable leading yourself in meditation, you can use it as a tool to calm down when you’re feeling anxious.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the US. Knowing that you shouldn’t feel so alone. You can, and you will overcome whatever is making you anxious. Talk to your doctor or therapist to help narrow down the source or triggers of your anxiety. Work through some of the listed techniques to help you calm down and feel better!
At Mountain Vista Psychology we can help you work through your anxiety and teach you how to overcome it. Our therapists are ready to talk. For a FREE consult email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 720-583-9339.
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!