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Friday, July 15, 2016

7 Ways to Ease Anxiety

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of overlap between addiction and anxiety disorders. About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder (like depression) have an alcohol or substance use disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). And it works the other way, too: About 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder. 

In an effort to cope with symptoms of anxiety, many individuals try to self-medicate and alleviate symptoms. This attempt, however, backfires as drugs and alcohol actually worsen the symptoms of anxiety. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help yourself cope with anxiety and feel better. 

Try these calming strategies adopted from the ADAA.
  • Write down your anxiety triggers. Is it work, family, school, or something specific you can identify? Keep a record of the times you’re feeling anxious, and then try to identify any patterns.
  • Find your Zen. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or go for a hike. Figure out what helps you clear your head and keep calm.
  • Put stress in perspective. Ask yourself, “Is it really as bad as I think?”
  • Let yourself laugh. A good guffaw has a lot of healing power and even the mere anticipation of a humorous event can help reduce your body’s stress hormones.
  • Focus on your breath. Sit with your eyes closed and turn your attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly. 
  • Cut back on sugar and caffeine, which have both been shown to trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Don't hold it in. Tell friends and family you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, or seek professional help.
Do You Need Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?
Co-occurring conditions like anxiety may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.
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