Anxiety should not be confused with fear which is our body’s response to a real or perceived threat, whereas anxiety is best described as the expectation of a future threat.
However you wish to describe the symptoms of anxiety, it can be physically and mentally debilitating and a prolonged episode may eventually lead to an anxiety disorder.
There are three main keys for controlling the fear and panic that you may be experiencing and in addition to self-help by addressing fundamental aspects like diet, exercise and rest, you may also need to consider seeking trained help.
One of the issues that you may be experiencing as you contend with anxiety is alcohol or drug addiction and non 12step-drugrehabs.org is one organization that offers a positive alternative to traditional rehab programs.
Feeding your brain
Diet is an important aspect of your wellbeing in both a physical and mental health perspective. The brain is responsible for our thoughts and emotional responses and needs to be properly nourished in order to function healthily. If you are suffering from anxiety, it is advisable to try and avoid certain things in your diet like caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
Caffeine is a stimulant and a high intake through regular drinking of coffee, tea or cola for example, increases your mental and physical functioning. You might think that this boost of energy will get you through the day more easily, but caffeine can also increase your anxiety levels as well.
Alcohol is sometimes perceived by some as a short-term solution to relieve them from their feelings of anxiety. As it is a depressant, alcohol will decrease your mental and physical functionality and therefore may temporarily reduce your feelings of anxiety.
The short term benefits are far outweighed by the long term issues with alcohol dependency and you should definitely try to avoid drinking or seek help if you have an addiction problem.
A fitter mind
Regular exercise is a proven strategy to help you fight the effects of anxiety and depression.
One of the key responses from people suffering from anxiety is that experience a feeling of not being in control of their body and mind. Exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream and can help you feel like you are taking back control and generally make you feel happier and more able to cope with what life is throwing at you.
The perfect antidote
In addition to diet and exercise, the third key antidote to anxiety is relaxation.
If you are anxious, your muscles will be tense. Practicing some regular relaxation routines and learning to train your body and mind to feel more calm and relaxed will help you to banish feelings of anxiety and panic.
If you take these positive self-help steps and also seek outside professional help where you need it, you can banish that inner turmoil and beat anxiety.
Steve Tucker is a psychology researcher and consultant. Through research and conducting years of counselling, he often blogs about his insights into taking control of one's mind, from habitual behaviour to emotional responses.