Prevention of Anxiety and its disorders involves us taking simple, incremental and consistent efforts towards eliminating them. Here are some steps to help combat the same.
- First and foremost, we are what we eat. So it is important to concentrate on the type, variety, nutrient value and the amount of food that we intake. A healthy diet must include a daily intake of balanced proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits and diary. Eating foods rich in phosphorus, magnesium and calcium helps us avoid stress. Vitamin B rich food (green vegetables, egg, meat, yolk, grains, fish, etc) will also help to battle with anxiety disorders. Sugary and fatty substances such as caffeinated beverages induce anxiety symptoms leading to sleeping troubles and hence their intake must be limited.
- Secondly many men and women try fighting stress at work or relationships by consuming alcohol/tobacco in the form of drinking/smoking/drug usage. Each stress situation addicts them to the habit of burning a cigar or taking to drinks. With or without their understanding the nicotine and tobacco consumed are constricting their blood vessels, burning their lungs and making their hearts pump harder leading to cardiac ailments. Saying NO to drugs, quitting smoking and alcohol can keep the body hale, healthy and stress free.
- Exercise: Staying alert, active and present is the best way to keep the worries at bay. Simple, light and daily routine of exercises helps us do so. Fitness exercises such as a brisk early morning walk/jog, gardening, playing with kids, dancing, biking, swimming burns the extra calories and helps manage our weight. Keeping fit keeps the body and mind more focussed and sharp, makes us feel better, rejuvenated and gives the energy for work and leisure. The better we maintain our body, longer it lasts.
- Relaxation techniques: Mediation, deep breathing, listening to some good music and reading a good book can relax our muscles, nerves and cool your head.
- Positive thinking: Anxiety and worries happen because of fear of unknowns, or concern about things that most often is out of our control. It is best to replace any such negative thoughts of fear, worry, and apprehension with positive notes. Brain controls most of our thought process but it is important to recognize/distinguish that it is also another organ that needs control to avoid vicious, monotonous thought processes from affecting us. Every thought process in turn causes chemical imbalances within our body leading to stress. It is important to instruct the brain to suppress the negative thoughts and replace them with happy ones.
- Medication and therapy: Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications can help restore chemical imbalances that cause symptoms of anxiety. It is quite effective when combined with psychotherapy.
Cognitive Therapy: This therapy helps the person observe his/her feelings towards things and to separate realistic thoughts from unrealistic ones.
Behaviour Therapy: The client is exposed to anxiety-producing stimuli one small step at a time, gradually increasing his or her tolerance to situations that have produced disabling anxiety.
Aromatherapy/acupressure techniques have also found relaxing effects in human body.
- Writing a journal. Keeping track of our personal life can help us and our mental health provider identify the reason for our stress and what causes the most stress. Also writing our worries/stressors down on a paper can help to identify that what we spend most of our time (80% of the time) worrying about things that will never occur (can be seen in retrospection) or those that are out of our control or are very small/insignificant and are consuming a lot of our active time and energy.
- Sex when practiced correctly can be one of the most wonderful stress & anxiety management techniques. Most people feel happy after having sex. Studies have proven that sex and orgasms boost mood and reduce stress levels.