55 Tips To Help You Deal With Anxiety, Based On Science

55 Tips To Help You Deal With Anxiety, Based On Science

This article is for informational purposes only. None of the information here should be taken as medical advice. If you suspect you may have an anxiety disorder, seek medical help. You may try the complementary approaches listed below if you and your doctor determine that they could be appropriate for you. Discuss the strategies listed here with your doctor. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can improve anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia, especially if combined with medication [ 1 ].

Different forms of behavioral therapy, such as in-person, internet-based, and self-guided, are a part of standard care for anxiety — consult with a healthcare professional about your options [ 2 , 3 ].

Research suggests that mindfulness is the only form of meditation that reliably improves anxiety [ 4 ].

Mindfulness meditation reduced stress and anxiety with similar effectiveness to cognitive-behavioral therapy in several studies [ 5 ]. Applied Relaxation

Applied relaxation techniques can reduce general anxiety, excessive worry, and tension. The improvements may be maintained for up to one year after initial treatment [ 6 , 7 , 8 ].

A study reported that computer-delivered applied relaxation can be as effective as therapist-guided applied relaxation in reducing emotional stress and improving relaxation [ 9 ].

A large body of evidence supports the benefits of yoga in reducing anxiety [ 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ].

People who exercise regularly experience lower levels of neuroticism, anxiety, and depression, while lack of regular physical activity has been associated with an increased risk of anxiety [ 14 , 15 ].

Aerobic exercise may be most effective at reducing anxiety in both healthy people and those diagnosed with disorders such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and PTSD [ 16 , 17 , 18 ].

A lower heart rate variability from a normal “baseline” heart rate indicates a dominance of the “fight-or-flight” ( sympathetic ) nervous system, which is associated with increased stress and many forms of anxiety [ 19 , 20 ].

A handful of studies have shown that heart rate variability biofeedback training can reduce overall anxiety and perceived stress [ 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 ]. HTR2A variants may influence your anxiety levels as it encodes serotonin receptors.

Do you have the “bad” variants? If you do, eating past 10pm can increase your anxiety and cortisol levels, aggravating your symptoms!

Find out more in the Anxiety DNA Report. I’M READY TO TAME MY GENES HTR2A variants may influence your anxiety levels as it encodes serotonin receptors.

Do you have the “bad” variants? If you do, eating past 10pm can increase your anxiety and cortisol levels, aggravating your symptoms!

Find out more in the Anxiety DNA Report. I’M READY TO TAME MY GENES People with anxiety issues tend to preferentially pay attention to threatening information, interpret emotionally ambiguous information as threatening, and store and retrieve threatening information more often than positive or neutral information [ 25 ].

Cognitive bias modification is the practice of “re-training” the above biases. Limited research shows it may lower anxious behavior and decrease negative automatic thoughts [ 26 , 27 ].

A review of 10 clinical trials concluded that massage may reduce anxiety associated with postoperative recovery [ 28 ].

Similarly, Swedish massage reduced anxiety in a small trial on ICU patients [ 29 ].

Massage seems to reduce anxiety and stress by lowering the levels of hormones that increase heart rate, breathing, and sweating ( norepinephrine and ACTH ) [ 30 ].

In a study of people with generalized anxiety disorder, massage was as effective as thermotherapy or relaxing room therapy in alleviating anxiety [ 31 ].

Multiple studies have associated the practice of Tai Chi with improvements in overall well-being, including stress, anxiety, and depression [ 32 , 33 , 34 ].

Tai Chi may also help with anxiety from conditions such as coronary heart disease, cancer, COPD, and AIDS [ 35 , 36 , 37 , 38 ].

Anxiety issues appear to follow a strong seasonal pattern, being the symptoms worse in winter compared to any other time of the year [ 39 ].

Sunlight exposure may reduce anxiety and depression, possibly by increasing serotonin levels and stimulating the growth and development of new neurons in the brain [ 40 , 41 ].

Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D , and the lack of sun exposure is the biggest risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. Most experts suggest you need 15-30 mins of daily sun exposure to produce sufficient vitamin D levels [ 42 , 43 ].In a small trial on people with generalized anxiety disorder, those who took supplementary vitamin D as an add-on to conventional medication experienced greater anxiety reduction [ 44 ].Several, low-quality studies show that a single session of pet therapy can improve self-reported stress and anxiety [ 45 ].In a clinical trial on patients with scleroderma, 20 weekly sessions of dog-assisted therapy reduced anxiety better than standard treatments alone [ 46 ].Preliminary research in humans shows that aromatherapy may help reduce anxiety and tension [ 47 ].The most effective essential oils used in aromatherapy for stress reduction are those of lavender and sweet orange [ 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 , 52 ].A review of 10 clinical trials found that both foot and hand reflexology may reduce anxiety in people undergoing heart surgery [ 53 ].According to limited clinical evidence, far- infrared sauna can lower anxiety and improve emotional and psychological status [ 54 , 55 ].Art therapy has been mainly investigated in cancer patients. Research suggests it may help improve cancer-related anxiety and depression [ 56 , 57 ].Art therapy seems to reduce anxiety by improving executive function [ 58 ].Preliminary research in animals suggests that sexual activity counteracts the negative effects of chronic stress on brain function [ 59 ]. Diet Tryptophan deficiency has been associated with anxiety in healthy people [ 60 , 61 ].A study of patients with panic disorder associated tryptophan deficiency with increased anxiety and frequency of panic attacks [ 62 ].Dietary tryptophan reduced anxiety in both healthy people and patients […]

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