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Almost everyone suffers from some level of anxiety at one time or another. That’s normal because anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress or threats. An anxiety disorder, however, is another matter. It can actually become chronic and affect daily life.
A lot of people have developed increased anxiety over the last year because they perceived the pandemic as a threat, and as the months went by it was apparent that it wasn’t going to go away soon. Fortunately, that is changing as Covid cases decrease and more people are vaccinated. If the threat is diminishing, though, and you’re still feeling anxiety, it’s time to assess your situation.
First, be aware of the options for treatment of anxiety. Healthline.com offers a nice overview of treatment options, which include:
- Behavioral therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and relaxation techniques
- Talk therapy, during which you work with a therapist
- Medicines, including serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNIRs), tricyclic antidepressants and others
Unless you’re battling anxiety and feel like you need professional help immediately, there are self-help techniques you may want to try first. According to Healthline, these include:
- “Reach out to someone you trust. Sometimes, talking things through can help you gain calm and relieve anxious thoughts.
- “Say no if you’ve got too much on your plate and more is expected.
- “Go for a walk. Try to be mindful of your surroundings and take long, deep breaths.
- “Meditate, do some yoga exercises, practice deep breathing or do other activities that have helped you to feel calm or centered before.
- “Do something that helps you relax physically, such as soaking in a warm bath, playing soothing music, or enjoying aromatherapy.”
Over the long term, there are lifestyle changes that can also help, such as:
- Getting regular exercise
- Learning mindfulness and meditation
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Eating well
- Staying socially engaged and getting support