Anxiety is an affliction that can control someone’s perception of the world around them. Feelings of high anxiety can take seemingly safe, innocuous situations and present them to a person with a dangerous, threatening spin. The fear that anxiety can instill in a person often shapes how they view and address the world around them, even when not in a panicked state.
It drives someone to want to be away from their own thoughts and can create its own cycle that makes fear a constant in almost any situation. In some cases, the “precautions” that someone may be taking to avoid anxious situations can be the very things that are hindering their overall recovery. Recognizing the different ways that anxiety can attack a person’s state of mind and impact their daily habits can drastically change the outline for their recovery and coping mechanisms.
Watch Your Diet
Anxiety can cause symptoms like elevated heart rate, hyper-vigilance, and insomnia. Having in-place coping mechanisms to deal with these physical symptoms is important, but the effects of these symptoms can be exacerbated by a person’s diet and exercise routine.
For example, consuming drinks with caffeine — such as coffee and most sodas — or alcohol in any form can make already-present symptoms worse. There is already a plethora of ways that anxiety can manifest and adjust a person’s outlook on the world.
Adding to these symptoms only perpetuates the feelings of fear that accompany anxiety on a daily basis. Maintaining a healthy diet devoid of caffeine and alcohol and exercising regularly to relieve stress can mitigate some of these biological symptoms, making it easier to manage the mental aspect of anxiety than it otherwise would be.
Don’t Worry Yourself Out of Freedoms
Because of the fear that a person experiences during anxiety or panic, planning an outing or attending a social event can bring its own challenges. Making plans from a fearful perspective from the outset can lead a person to be reluctant to attend gatherings of any sort, or leave them feeling isolated while they are there.
It can become very easy for someone to deny themselves many healthy practices out of this fear. While overcoming the anxieties that surround a person on a daily basis can be extraordinarily difficult, working to create safe spaces and make contingency plans is an effective way to begin breaking down the barriers that fear has constructed.
When someone begins to deny themselves the ability to go out or experience social interactions due to fear of the situation — or even potential fear of the world around them — anxiety’s hold on their life grows even tighter. Having an in-place support system that is ready to react during a social situation if things go awry can be the safety net that a person needs to begin breaking down the walls themselves.
Don’t Use Isolation as a Defense Mechanism
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of isolation. After all, if someone is alone and cut off, the world can’t get to them, right? However, this defensive technique often leaves people alone in dealing with anxieties that are still going to be present and denies them the outlets they need in order to process their anxieties as a whole.
Isolation can lead to practices of self-medication and even destructive tendencies like turning to drugs or alcohol to numb the anxiety. Breaking this isolation is key for someone to begin understanding and processing the world around them from a therapeutic sense.
Get to Bed!
Insomnia is already a difficult symptom of anxiety to deal with. When someone is trying to get to sleep, their mind can wander to dangerous places. For a person who suffers from anxiety, being alone with their thoughts can be quite scary, as the thoughts are rarely pleasant and peaceful.
As a result, they may turn to using electronics — such as playing video games, watching television shows, or using their phones to surf the web — to create a way of drowning out these otherwise unpleasant thoughts. However, this constant stimulus to the eyes and brain can add to the already-difficult insomnia that anxiety brings with it.
Getting enough sleep involves setting a schedule and abiding by it, rather than waiting until the person is tired. Setting a schedule and programming the body to be tired by a certain point is important, even if the adjustment takes time.
Being well-rested allows a person to effectively consume and utilize all of the other coping techniques they may employ throughout the day, and helps them make the most out of their therapy sessions and daily rituals.
Break the Cycle
Anxiety typically breeds a large degree of fear and panic, which often births a world view that is perpetuated by disaster and worst-case scenarios. It’s a vicious cycle that can leave the person with anxiety feeling all alone in a hostile world.
Understanding the basics of how anxiety affects a person can help them learn the necessary precautions to break down the walls that anxiety keeps enticing them to put up and is an important part of the recovery process.
While some discomfort is going to be confronted in the path of healing, that discomfort is an opportunity to prove to oneself the reality of the world around them — so they can finally see the world through a lens that isn’t tainted by fear.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the effects of anxiety or self-medicating with drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, Achieve Medical is here to help. We have created a program that specifically hones in and addresses the intricacies of anxiety and its detriments, so you can live a life that’s no longer ruled by fear. No part of recovery is easy, but the mental and physical holistic approach used by Achieve Medical focuses on your own goals and accomplishments. We’ll work alongside you to develop a plan for the future and help make it happen. To learn more, call us today at (858) 221-0344.