Beyond formal treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), such as psychotherapy and medication (click here for the Anxiety Treatment Guide), there are a large number of things we can do to minimize the negative effects of anxiety. The following sections should be used as a guide to help improve your life starting today.
1. Exercise: regular physical exercise can also improve your mood, make it easier to get regular sleep and give you more energy for dealing with daily stress.
2. Sleep: getting quality sleep can not only improve your mood, but it can also improve your ability to cope with daily stress, which can activate anxiety. Read How to Get More Sleep.
3. Substance Use: staying away from alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and other substances is essential since they can interfere with judgment, physiological processes and decision making. Specifically, caffeine and other stimulants can increase anxiety, making it more difficult to relax during an anxiety-provoking situation. Read more on Alcohol and Anxiety, Marijuana and Anxiety and Smoking and Anxiety.
4. Social Support: allowing friends, family and your community to help you overcome GAD can be an invaluable part of recovery. Letting some close friends and other people that you trust provide support when you most need it can be an excellent anxiety buffer.
5. Relaxation: taking time out to relax, focus on something peaceful and unwind after the day can dramatically improve your ability to cope and put anxiety-provoking situations into perspective.
6. Find Meaning: engaging in meaningful work can aid in putting anxiety-provoking situations into perspective. If your school or job are not meeting your needs, finding another activity (without overdoing it) to put your energy toward can make a significant difference.