Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Anxiety?

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may need professional help. See your doctor for a referral to a mental health specialist.

Though not a treatment for anxiety disorders, the following tips can help reduce symptoms of anxiety:

  • Take care of your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Include a multivitamin when you can't always eat right.
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption.
  • Take time out for yourself every day. Even 20 minutes of relaxation or doing something pleasurable for yourself can be restorative and decrease your overall anxiety level.
  • Trim a hectic schedule to its most essential items, and do your best to avoid activities you don't find relaxing.
  • Keep an anxiety journal. Rank your anxiety on a 1-to-10 scale. Note the events during which you felt anxious and the thoughts going through your mind before and during the anxiety. Keep track of things that make you more anxious or less anxious.
  • Interrupt hyperventilation. If you begin to hyperventilate, exhale into a paper bag and inhale the air within the bag. This increases the amount of carbon dioxide you are inhaling, which can reduce the urge to hyperventilate. Inhaling from a bag will help relieve any dizziness or tingling you might feel.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 11, 2017

Sources

SOURCES: 

Starcevic, V. Anxiety Disorders in Adults: A Clinical Guide, Oxford University Press, 2005. 

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders4th Edition, 2000. 

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, New Perspectives for Treating GAD, 2004.

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