10 Keys To Deal With Anxiety

Keys to deal with anxiety

Anxiety is a powerful physiological and emotional response that appears when we feel that we are facing a threat. It is therefore normal that we feel it in certain more or less stressful situations. On the other hand, we say that anxiety is pathological when it appears without justified cause.

The limit between normal and pathological anxiety

Non-pathological anxiety, in addition to being normal, is even beneficial. The Yerkes-Dobson Law (1908) describes the relationship between anxiety and performance. According to this law, a certain level of anxiety increases performance, and therefore the chances of success in any action we try, be it an exam, a job, etc. When we exceed this anxiety limit, performance begins to decline, because our ability to pay attention and concentrate, and therefore the recovery of information, decreases.

When anxiety appears suddenly and for no apparent reason, that is when we begin to worry and fear that the symptoms will recur. When this happens we run the risk of becoming too alarmed and constantly anticipating its appearance which over time will make the state of alertness so high that anxiety inevitably becomes implanted in our lives.

When we go to therapy we do so without understanding what is happening to us, and with an enormous fear of not recovering our lives, thoughts like “I have gone crazy”, “I will never be the same person again” and similar thoughts occupy our minds. at all times. It generates a state of helplessness and helplessness the feeling of “not controlling our reactions.”

At Avance Psychologists we are aware of the impact this has on the life and environment of the person who suffers from anxiety, which is why we consider it essential in therapy. that the person understands what anxiety is, so that they can begin to deal with it being aware that it is an alarm response that is telling us that there is something to review in our lives, which can be tremendously beneficial in our personal development in the medium term.

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Psychotherapy treatment

Currently, the treatment of anxiety from cognitive-behavioral psychology and Third Generation therapies It is giving more than proven results.

Through progressive exposure to the stimulus that generates alertness and the development of coping skills and unlearning of anxiety, with techniques developed over years throughout research in psychology, in addition to the commitment and acceptance of anxiety as a fundamental part After recovery, a recovery in quality of life can occur.

These techniques are learned during therapy, so that the person with anxiety can use them in their daily life, regaining a sense of control over your body and emotional state

Humanistic orientations of psychology, such as Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy, Rogers’s Client-Centered Therapy and Perls’s Gestalt Therapy, are used in Avance Psychologists during the therapy in parallel, with the clear objective of complementing and deepening the the emotional variables that are behind anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety-type problems

The symptoms that should make us consider that our anxiety is disproportionate and that we must start working on it, manifest themselves at different levels. They are the following.

Cognitive symptoms

The fear of anxiety causing constant thoughts of anticipation that maintain alert levels. There are also thoughts of fear of failure or fear of suffering.

Furthermore, we have a greater tendency to think in a distorted and negative way, and to present catastrophic thoughts, which generates a feeling of anguish and discomfort that leads to a decrease in our attention and concentration abilities.

Physical symptoms

In our body, anxiety manifests itself with symptoms such as tachycardia, sweating, tremors, feeling like it’s hard to breathe, muscle tension tingling or swelling of the skin, tension in the stomach, pressure in the chest, insomnia, eating disorders, etc.

Behavioral symptoms

When anxiety generates the feeling of helplessness and lack of control over our body and behavior, self-esteem and mood can be seriously damaged when a feeling of helplessness and lack of control of our lives appears.

Negative and maladjusted thoughts and avoidance behaviors for fear that anxiety will appear, reaffirm the feeling of helplessness and lack of control, so our self-esteem can be seriously damaged, leading us to continue avoiding elements in our environment and maintaining this vicious circle. Some of the avoidances that over time can damage self-esteem, since they imply a loss of autonomy, are: avoiding social relationships, avoiding going out, taking transportation, etc.

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There is also a checking tendency pretending that anxiety does not appear, which can lead to compulsive behaviors such as frequently going to the doctor, visiting Internet pages to check symptoms, establishing rather superstitious rules or rituals, with the idea that in this way we control its appearance. This leads to a huge loss of energy and actually maintains and increases anxiety.

Keys to deal with anxiety

These are some guidelines to follow to combat anxiety.

1. Check the possible causes

Try to determine what events are unfolding at your current moment that may be generating this state of alert. If there is no reason, check what may have happened recently and why you have not paid enough attention; It could be that you are avoiding facing something, making a decision, not having resolved a significant grief or loss, or that you are keeping something in your life that you need to change

2. Adjust your thinking

What is your way of interpreting what happens to you? Misaligned or overly negative thoughts may be causing your body to overreact and maintain a high level of stress at the end of the day.

3. Adjust your expectations

Are your expectations adjusted? If you are very demanding with yourself and with others, you can enter a loop of dissatisfaction with constant frustrations. Check that your expectations are adjusted and set small objectives with realistic and progressive goals.

4. Train assertiveness

How are you communicating with others? If you find it difficult to say no, ask for favors, delegate or be assertive It is very likely that you are burdening yourself with too many things that you cannot handle alone

5. Secure moments for yourself

Do you have enough space for your personal life? If you lack moments of leisure, solitude, or your social life has been reduced, it is possible that the anxiety alarm is trying to make you think about this to change it and recover spaces for personal development.

6. Check your self-esteem

Are you undervaluing yourself or do you feel that your self-esteem is low? In that case, It is more than possible that you feel overwhelmed by the events of your day to day life by believing that you cannot cope or that you do not have sufficient abilities or skills to function in your environment and in your relationship with others.

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7. Face progressively what you fear

Since you feel anxiety, have you been avoiding going out, meeting friends and family, taking the car or other means of transportation?

When you avoid, your body learn to interpret that these spaces are potentially dangerous, so your symptoms may increase each time. Try to gradually expose yourself to these situations and try not to leave the place you are in if the symptoms begin to appear, so that the body verifies that they are not dangerous.

8. Don’t check

Do you constantly seek information about your symptoms, or are you starting to have manias so that anxiety does not appear? If so, think that this reinforces the idea that there is a potential danger, so
your body will keep the alarm

Checking the gas tap too many times, washing your hands for fear of contracting diseases, constant visits to the doctor, etc., are checks that maintain your anxiety.

9. Exercise

Have you forgotten your body? Remember that Moderate exercise has a positive response on anxiety symptoms and improves mood.

The increase in the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters directly related to mood and decreased alertness, occur when we exercise periodically, while the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases, and the well-being hormones, endorphins increase in our body.

10. Take care of your diet

How you eat? About anxiety indirectly influences what we eat and also how we eat

A healthy diet, without excess carbohydrates, fats and sugars, indirectly helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety. A relationship has also been found between a lack of alpha-linoleic acid and the appearance of anxiety attacks, just as a magnesium deficiency may be related to an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

We cannot forget how we eat either; respect schedules, eat sitting down, avoid glucose spikes Eating several meals a day with moderate quantities, chewing well and slowly, and having a varied diet will help us absorb all the nutrients and have good digestion.

Consider psychotherapy

Sometimes, when we want to start working on anxiety, it is deep-rooted enough that it is difficult for us to face it without the support of therapy. Although psychotropic drugs do their job and reduce the symptom, they are very useful in cases in which anxiety is very established, Psychotherapy delves into the root of anxiety and guides with the idea of ​​taking advantage of its appearance, as an opportunity for self-knowledge and improvement in our lives.