What Is Anxiety?
There are several different types of anxiety, but this article focuses on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). According to the DSM-5 TM, GAD is “excessive worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).” At least 3 of the following symptoms must be present:
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge;
- Being easily fatigued;
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank;
- Muscle tension;
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).
A good place to start helping yourself is to read When Panic Attacks by David Burns, MD who uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help readers feel better. Another choice is The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, PhD. Dr. Bourne uses cognitive behavioral therapy as well as other techniques to help.
Since stress increases cortisol in your body which leads to anxiety, adding exercise is beneficial. When you exercise, your cortisol levels come down. In addition, yoga relaxes muscle tension, a symptom of anxiety. See my blog article Better Health is Easier Than You Think published January 9, 2017. And don’t be shy about crying. Your tears contain cortisol which explains why you feel better after a good cry. You should cut out all caffeine until you feel better. Caffeine is a mood altering stimulant that you don’t need when you are not feeling well. You could also consider seeing your doctor for a medication evaluation.
In addition, counseling can be very beneficial to helping you feel better. I can work with you using cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy, and psycho-education to help you get back on track. Together we can decrease your anxiety and improve your quality of life. Call me at 636-288-1997 to schedule an appointment.