Overcoming anxiety is one of the most challenging and personal journeys you can embark on.
Defining success when challenging anxiety is not wildly diverse, though. For most, success means taking back control and overcoming their anxiety.
Anxiety isn’t something that can be cured overnight. And many anxiety sufferers have combatted anxiety for many years, even some for most of their adult lives before they finally overcome it.
Just over 18% of the adult US population suffer from a type of anxiety – costing the US over $42 billion a year, almost a third of the entire total US mental health bill.
In Northern America, prescriptions for mood-altering conditions shows us the extent of use with 43% of the North Americans taking these on a daily basis.
And according to leading healthcare organization, NICE, in the UK alone, anxiety and depression affect 7,8% of people. Further NHS research also states that that 1/5th of days in the UK are lost due to anxiety and depression.
So what can we do to combat and overcome anxiety?
How to Treat Anxiety
The great news when it comes to overcoming anxiety is that there are millions of successful case studies and roads to success.
Planning your first moves
Overcoming anxiety often multiple tiered approaches, using a range of mindfulness practices and much more.
A three step approach like the below could be a good place to start:
- Speak with a doctor: You should consult a doctor or GP to measure and quantify the type of anxiety you might be suffering from. From this diagnosis, you’ll have a more defined state of your anxiety with recommendations from a healthcare professional about how to control, manage and suppress your anxiety.
- Try a range of treatments: You’ll need to spend time with a range of treatments to find out what works best. From here you’ll be able to define the most effective treatments for you and the least effective. Remember that there will not be a single recipe that works for everyone. Check out some ways to overcome anxiety below.
- Weekly review: Set a time at the end of each week to discuss your progress. Spend some time looking back at the week. This simple process will provide you with a recall to your anxiety, progress you’ve made and help you set a course for the next week to which treatments to double down on or alleviate.
Overcoming Anxiety: 5 Treatments to Help You
Treatment 1: Herbal Methods
Herbal remedies won’t fix the problems overnight, but they can contribute to the big picture by providing a treatment method that avoids standard medicine.
Using herbal methods or medications to reduce the feelings of anxiety is a traditional way to use outside of mainstream medicine.
As natural remedies, there is a broad selection of teas, sprays, flowers, vitamins that can help assist your everyday efforts to curb your anxiety.
A few popular suggestions include;
- Chamomile Tea – This popular brew has been noted for its health benefits. From soothing an upset stomach to reducing blotches on your skin. The tea not only reduces stress and anxiety but plays a major role in controlling your sleep, and sleep is a big factor when it comes to taking control of anxiety.
- Lemon Balm – This calming herb is part of the mint family. The balm retains its classic mint flavor with a hint of lemon. Lemon balm is used to reduce the stress cortisol levels and brings relaxation in your body without drowsiness. Lemon balm is also used to help bring your mood up as well to combat your anxiety all round.
- Green Tea – You may have heard of Green Tea and its benefits of weight loss. Well, Green Tea is a source of L-theanine, perfect for creating calming effects and relaxing your mind and body.
- Valerian – Valerian Root, in small dosages, can be an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress. The remedy has been used for centuries, even in the Ancient Roman and Greek era, to help with stress, nervousness, insomnia and lots more.
- St John’s Wort – With the botanical name, Hypericum perforatum, St John’s Wort is an over the counter remedy for anxiety, sleep issues and depressions. By increasing brain chemicals like serotonin and noradrenaline, the brain activity can react and regulates your mood.
- Common Lavender – A simple one, for women, this can act as sleep inducer helping young people and females get to REM sleep and stage 2 sleep. According to research, the effects are reversed for men. Lucky for some.
Many of these remedies have been used for centuries as a way to naturally counteract our stresses like anxiety, sleep, and depression.
According to research, herbal medicine is the most popular complementary therapy, with the UK 34% of all of complementary medicine users turning to herbal treatments (Ernst & White, 2000).
These natural solutions can provide an individual combatting anxiety with some control of their feelings and emotions by taking them with a small break away from the noise.
Treatment 2: Meditation
Meditation has a multitude of benefits.
The effects of meditation on stress and anxiety have been documented over the last 20 years and is shown to be one of the most effective treatments for combatting anxiety.
Last year, a study from John Hopkins looked into the relationships between stress and meditation practices. The results uncovered that meditation could play a fundamental role in reducing the emotional effects of anxiety, stress, and depression. This study stands alongside many others that indicate the positive effect meditation has on mood and anxiety.
From extensive surveys of those who meditate and also suffered from anxiety, 60% of anxiety prone individuals after 6-9 months of meditation showcased notable improvements in their anxiety and stress levels.
As you can imagine, meditation won’t solely cure your anxiety but provides a sustainable way to help improve your mood, well being and stress levels.
Here’s how you can get started:
Try a 5-minute session
Starting with something simple like a 5-minute mindfulness exercise for anxiety can be an excellent way to get started. Find a place in your house, flat or somewhere quiet, and sit in a comfortable pose with a good posture. Set a timer for 5-minutes on your smartphone and attempt to blank your mind best you can. This easy 5-minutes will be a starting pillar to control your morning and evening routines. To enhance your meditations you could also try listening to some meditation music.
Attend a local practice
Your local area will typically have some form of meditation practice running, whether it is a community-run event or in your local Buddhist center, attending might be a nice step forward for your meditation. Being around others who want to improve themselves and escape anxiety might help you overcome your fears by listening to others. Try using an application like Meetup or Eventbrite to find all your local events.
Download a meditation app
Try a meditation application like Therachat (free), Headspace, Mindfulness, Aura or Calm to get started with a guided meditation. Guided meditations can help beginners get started with a simple meditation practice and help divert their attention during the meditation to something positive, further toning down feelings of anxiety.
Treatment 3: Yoga
Yoga is one of the fastest growing trends in the US and around the world as people are beginning to see the benefits for their everyday well being.
For anxiety, practicing Yoga on a weekly basis can help you to detox and improve your mental and physical strength.
Yoga is beneficial for those overcoming anxiety. For example it:
- Helps to regulate your breathing
- Reduces tension with from the body
- Distracts our attention from concerns
- Allows us to accept discomfort with our bodies
- Detoxes the mind by following a set routine
The great thing about Yoga is that is easy to get started with. You can try downloading an app to help or even grab an older Yoga poses book from a charity shop, totally up to you.
According to a study in the US, 43% of those who do Yoga practice at home (US) and the other 40% attending Yoga studios with a trainer.
Thankfully Yoga is a very open experience and easy to get going.
Treatment 4: Counseling
Counseling is one of the best forms of support for those suffering from a combination of anxiety and depression.
Speaking with others provides an outlet to express emotions, worries, concerns, situations, and ruts that you may be in. “Talking therapy” as it’s known in the healthcare space can help to reduce feelings and the pressures of anxiety.
If you’re struggling with any of the following, talking therapy is recommended;
- An eating disorder
Whether the counseling session is a family member or with a healthcare professional specialized in this form of therapy, providing this feedback helps to uncover hidden issues and speed up the rate of success, overcoming your anxiety.
Apps like Therachat go further with supporting the emotion tracking between psychologist and patient by providing a comprehensive app to track progress between each meeting to improve diagnosis, reporting, and treatments.
If you’re looking for progressive apps to help you with your anxiety management, try of these ten app recommendations.
Treatment 5: Reading
Like taking therapy, hearing other people’s experiences can provide you with a safe haven when suffering from anxiety.
Hearing that someone successful suffered from anxiety and managed to make it through might be an inspiration to you as you begin your journey.
Reading can be a great way to find these stories and help benchmark your emotional state and intensity of anxiety against the experience of others. Find biographies, self-help books and even health specific ones to kick start your insight into control.
Here are a few recommendations from the health care community;
- Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety
- Monkey Mind: A memoir of Anxiety
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book of Horrible Things
- My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope and Peace of Mind
- Feeling Good: The new Mood Therapy
We wish you all the very best as you get starting combating and treating your anxiety.
CEO & Co-founder of Therachat