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How to Treat Anxiety

a person comfort another by holding their hands and offering to find help for how to treat anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults. Know that you’re not alone and there are many effective treatment options available. Mental health professionals, like those at Northpoint Washington, know how to treat anxiety effectively. You can find help in an anxiety treatment program by calling 888.450.2153 now.

Managing Anxiety Through Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle adjustments can go a long way toward controlling anxiety. Here are some simple changes you can implement that will provide immediate and long-term anxiety relief:

  • Exercise regularly – Aerobic exercise like walking, cycling, or jogging a few times per week for 30 minutes has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. Weight training also boosts mood.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet – Limit caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods, and processed carbs, which can exacerbate anxiety. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods rich in vitamins B and D, minerals like magnesium, and probiotics. Staying well-hydrated is also important.
  • Get enough quality sleep – Lack of sleep compounds anxiety issues. Adults should aim for seven to nine hours nightly. Having a consistent sleep schedule and limiting screen time before bed helps.
  • Reduce stimulant intake – Caffeine, nicotine, and recreational drugs can trigger anxiety. Cut back or eliminate intake of these stimulants to notice anxiety relief.
  • Try relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness have all been shown to decrease anxiety. There are several online resources for guided meditation.

Making one or two of these lifestyle modifications can significantly improve your anxiety levels, especially when combined with other treatment methods, such as help from professionals who know how to treat anxiety.

Learning How to Cope with Therapy for Anxiety

Therapy is often a core component of treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is usually the first-line approach, sometimes used alongside medications. Other proven therapeutic techniques include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT helps identify unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to excessive worrying and anxiety. It also teaches coping skills to change those anxiety-inducing thoughts and responses. CBT can be done individually or in a group setting.
  • Exposure therapy – This involves gradually exposing you to a feared object, situation, or activity in a controlled, safe environment. The goal is to desensitize you to triggers and teach you that a fear response is not necessary. This is often used to treat phobias and PTSD.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – ACT focuses on accepting difficult thoughts and feelings while committing to actions that align with your values and goals. The aim is to foster psychological flexibility to handle anxiety.

It’s important to find a licensed mental health professional who knows how to treat anxiety when considering therapy. Ask about their training and experience in treating anxiety specifically. Many therapists offer virtual sessions in addition to traditional in-office therapy.

Medication Options for Anxiety Relief

Medications are often prescribed alongside therapy to provide anxiety symptom relief. Some of the most commonly used medications include:

  • SSRIs – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac are usually the first medications tried for anxiety disorders. They increase serotonin levels for a calming effect and take two to four weeks to work.
  • SNRIs – Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Cymbalta and Effexor also boost serotonin while blocking norepinephrine reabsorption.
  • Benzodiazepines – Fast-acting anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan calm nervous system activity. Because they can be habit-forming, they’re prescribed cautiously and typically for short-term use.
  • Beta blockers – These medications like Inderal and Tenormin block adrenaline’s action in the body to control physical anxiety symptoms like rapid heart rate.

All medications have potential risks, like side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Work closely with a psychiatrist when starting anxiety medications and never abruptly stop taking any prescribed medication. Many people with anxiety disorders benefit greatly from medication management when used correctly under medical supervision.

Call Northpoint Washington for Anxiety Treatment

If you’re struggling with anxiety, help is a phone call away. The compassionate team at Northpoint Washington offers cutting-edge treatments to manage and overcome anxiety. Call today to learn more about our personalized treatment programs that incorporate therapy, lifestyle changes, and medication management when necessary. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety any longer—take the first step towards relief by calling 888.450.2153 or contacting Northpoint Washington online.