How to deal with general anxiety disorder

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How to deal with general anxiety disorder
How to deal with general anxiety disorder

People tend to be anxious, but if your anxiety becomes excessive, obsessive, persistent, and tiring, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Symptoms include emotional, behavioral and physical aspects that are fickle and intensify during times of stress. Use practical advice, learn the essence of the problem and seek help from a specialist to better control yourself and find peace of mind. Attention: the information in this article is for informational purposes only. Check with your healthcare professional before using any medication.


Method 1 of 3: How to respond to symptoms

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 1
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 1

Step 1. Distinguish the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder

People with GAD always live with a sense of stress. Frustration turns any minor anxiety into intolerable difficulties and interferes with daily life. GAD can develop slowly over time, and sometimes the disorder is genetic and can affect multiple family members. Symptoms can get worse and worse, so it's important to learn healthy ways to control. Possible symptoms:

  • anxiety is out of control, and the person only thinks about what causes anxiety;
  • the person cannot relax or remain alone;
  • sleep disorders due to anxiety;
  • a person experiences a constant feeling of fear;
  • anxiety negatively affects work and social life;
  • a person needs to have a plan and know what will happen in the future in order to relax;
  • a person constantly experiences irritation and nervous excitement.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 2
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 2

Step 2. Visit calm, relaxing places

People with GAD have increased activity in the part of the brain that is responsible for the feeling of fear. Peaceful places usually help you relax. For example, walking in nature will bring many health benefits and reduce anxiety and stress levels.

  • Sometimes a change of scene can help ease the symptoms of GAD. For example, if you've spent the entire day at home worrying about unpaid bills, taking a walk around your block in the evening can help your mind switch to something else.
  • Choose an area in the apartment where you can sit down and relax. Place items in the room that give a sense of calmness (candles with a soothing scent, soothing photographs, paintings, posters).
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 3
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 3

Step 3. Listen to music or sing

This is a good way to forget about the excitement for a while. If you listen to music or focus on singing, excitement and anxiety will recede into the background - it is very difficult to sing and worry at the same time. When a person listens to music, the brain sends signals to the ears and is distracted from disturbing thoughts. Singing reduces stress levels and allows difficult and problematic emotions to be released along with the voice coming out through the larynx.

In any exciting situation, try humming a melody to yourself. This tactic will help you in different circumstances, although it will not work in a situation where complete silence is required

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 4
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 4

Step 4. Breathe in fresh air

Smell helps create memories. Use your sense of smell to remember new calm and pleasant moments. Deep cleansing breaths can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and have a beneficial effect on overall health.

In moments of anxiety, try to focus on the inhalation for a few seconds. Hold your breath and exhale slowly. Tell yourself that you are filling your body with peaceful, healthy air, and then exhale all the anxiety and stress

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 5
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 5

Step 5. Enjoy delicious food

A tasty, unhurried meal can become a kind of peaceful ritual. Take your time and enjoy all the dishes: cold appetizers, main course and then dessert. Savor every bite of your food and feel grateful for everything you have. Eating slowly can help reduce stress.

Think only of the present moment and appreciate the energy you get from eating. It is required to focus on the meal itself, in order to forget about experiences and not overeat due to inattention. It is important not to drown in your thoughts so as not to eat too much. This behavior can lead to excess weight and health problems

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 6
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 6

Step 6. Touch something pleasant

Feeling helps you deal with anxiety. Smooth, soft, cool, warm - any texture and temperature may be appropriate to give you a sense of calm.

  • If you're cold, wrap yourself in a soft and cozy blanket. Try stroking the blanket with your hand like a pet to reduce anxiety and stress.
  • If it's warm outside, head to the beach for a touch of warm sand. It will bring you a sense of calmness and peace.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 7
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 7

Step 7. Move

Use energy to calm your anxiety. If you sit in one place, then emotions can intensify. It's important to vent your feelings, and exercise is incredibly beneficial to your health.

  • Do strenuous activities like walking and running that release endorphins. These hormones have positive calming effects.
  • Dancing is also good for dealing with anxiety. If you sign up for classes, you will need to monitor your every move. This will allow you to forget about anxiety and take a mental break.
  • Find other activities that require your full concentration. For example, start participating in a variety of school, work, or home projects that require increased mindfulness. Don't take too much on yourself to avoid increasing tension and anxiety. Listen to your intuition. If you find it difficult, take a step back and find an easier degree of participation in the case.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 8
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 8

Step 8. Learn relaxation techniques

Some people find it very difficult to relax. If you have the same problem, it is important to understand that it is quite possible to relax, but it needs to be learned. Like any skill, you need to gather information, follow instructions, and monitor results.

  • Use progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet place and get comfortable. Move from the legs up or from the head down: begin to alternately tense and relax the different muscle groups in each part of the body. After a while, you will begin to feel relaxed. Muscles can be more tense than you thought. This method is applicable to most situations that are anxiety-provoking. You don't need to be in a quiet place to do this.
  • Meditate alone or in a group. For centuries, meditation has been used in various cultures to combat negative thoughts and create a good mood.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 9
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 9

Step 9. Use visualization techniques

Close your eyes and imagine yourself successfully performing complex activities while remaining calm. These can be various social situations that trigger feelings of anxiety, active activities such as surfing, horse racing, participating in a music competition, or asking for an autograph from a celebrity.

  • The purpose of imaging is to show you a possible reality without feeling anxious. Do everything in your mind that you can imagine, and soon you will believe that you can do it even in real life.
  • Scientists believe that the brain experiences real and imagined events in the same way. You can imagine walking into a party, smiling, and starting a conversation with a group of people to reinforce the neural pathways that are associated with such actions. Soon the brain will begin to perceive this action as something familiar, so at a real party there will be a natural desire to communicate, and not to stand aside.

Method 2 of 3: Dealing with Anxiety

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 10
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 10

Step 1. Determine the nature of your concern

The main factor that provokes GAD in adults is uncertainty, and since everything in our life is uncertain, there can be a lot of reasons for worry. Anxiety is a normal system that serves a specific purpose: to alert a person to danger and help ensure safety. In the case of GAD, a person feels danger when, in reality, nothing threatens him, and the body's reaction becomes excessive anxiety. Recognize and notice your anxiety to keep the situation under control.

  • Keep a worry diary. Record your worries at set times daily, two or three times a day. Record the nature of the worry, the cause, and the level of the anxiety.
  • Writing it down will not make the situation worse, as many people with GAD believe. Anxiety diary will help you learn about pre-existing worries and concerns.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 11
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 11

Step 2. Assign anxiety to different categories

Divide them into two groups: possible and relevant. They should be approached differently, so separation will help you find the best approach for each problem.

  • Possible reasons for concern are situations that are partially or completely beyond your control (the likelihood of suffering from a chronic illness in adulthood, being hit by a car).
  • Relevant Reasons for Concern relate to issues that can be directly affected. So, unpaid bills, term paper, toothache - all this can be corrected by your active actions.
  • Categorize each specific concern in your journal.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 12
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 12

Step 3. Resist the thought that worrying is good

Even if you assume that you are worrying too much, you probably still feel that the worry is justified. Often, people with GAD believe that worrying shows concern, motivates, prevents bad events, and helps prepare and protect themselves. Consider whether your anxiety actually fulfills these functions. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Anxiety as an expression of concern.

    Do I know other caring people who worry less than me? How else can you show concern?

  • Anxiety as motivation.

    Has anxiety ever prevented me from doing what I wanted?

  • Worry prevents bad events.

    Do bad things happen despite my excitement? Has excessive anxiety ever contributed to bad events (such as negatively affecting health)?

  • Worrying helps you prepare.

    Do I know other trained people who worry less than me? Am I confusing worry and real action (mental anxiety and remedial action)?

  • Worry contributes to safety.

    When something bad happened, was I better prepared for it by worrying?

  • Other questions.

    How much time and effort does it take to worry? Does anxiety affect friendships and other relationships? Am I often tired because anxiety interferes with sleep? Can you get the seeming benefits of excitement through other activities?

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 13
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 13

Step 4. Improve your problem-solving skills for topical concerns

You may feel like you are actively engaged in business, because excitement is exhausting and tiring, but for a real solution to the problem you need to go outside your head and take action. Solving the problem rather than shirking it gives you one less worry.

Solving a problem implies a certain level of uncertainty ("What if the decision is wrong?") And allows you to get used to uncertainty

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 14
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 14

Step 5. Write a scenario for possible concerns

Practical solutions will not help you deal with the likely anxiety, because your skills will not eliminate the fear of a plane crash (unless you are a pilot). The script will help you look directly at your fear, rather than shy away from it. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but the only way to get rid of the fear is to just look it in the face.

  • To create an anxiety scenario, write down your anxious thoughts and causes of fear. If you are afraid of a plane crash, then write specifically about the fear of death, the desire to live on, not to leave your family.
  • The script will help you get a clear idea of what you are afraid of, so as not to think about something vague.
  • The first time you use this exercise, you will likely feel heightened anxiety, but research shows that the anxiety will subside over time.
  • Create these scenarios for one to two weeks to deal with potential concerns.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 15
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 15

Step 6. Learn to deal with uncertainty

People with GAD are often worried about the uncertain consequences of various events. This cannot be avoided, since in most situations there is no complete certainty. Therefore, learn to put up with the unknown. She is an integral part of everyday life. A person can only change his reaction.

  • One way is to act as if the uncertainty doesn't bother you. First, you need to examine your actions, which are designed to increase the sense of certainty. Write down your answers to the following questions:
  • Do you always check and double-check everything?
  • Do you try to avoid certain events and tend to procrastinate?
  • Do you need an excessive amount of reassurance and reassurance from other people?
  • Do you need to collect tons of information for even a minor decision?
  • Then identify situations in which uncertainty triggers feelings of anxiety, as well as actions that help ease the anxiety. Rate situations on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is the maximum and 1 is the minimum level of anxiety.
  • Next, start with the lowest anxiety actions and act as if you are now comfortable with uncertainty. For example, go to the movies without reading movie reviews, complete a school assignment and do not ask anyone to check the work, or delegate the work task to a trusted employee and do not check the result of his work.
  • Finally, write down the results of such actions. Answer questions about what you did, how much more difficult or easier it was than expected, how well it ended up, or how you adjusted to an unplanned outcome. Write down your responses to spot any improvements and ways to change your behavior.

Method 3 of 3: Seeking Professional Help

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 16
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 16

Step 1. Find an experienced therapist or psychiatrist

For GAD, it is best to see a mental health professional. If you are constantly tense, feel pain and stiffness in the muscles, suffer from insomnia due to disturbing thoughts, are often anxious and suffer from stomach problems, then you may need the help of a specialist. Ask your doctor to recommend an experienced therapist, and ask family or friends if they have good therapist contacts. A licensed therapist can help you manage the anxiety that is getting in the way of your life.

  • If you cannot find a common language with a psychotherapist, contact another specialist. It is very important to find a psychotherapist with whom you will be comfortable.
  • Find a specialist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy. This method is often used for generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, and phobias. A therapist can help you explore and dispel negative thoughts that have formed in your mind.
  • Additional options like art therapy can also help you focus on creativity rather than anxiety.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 17
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 17

Step 2. Set personal therapeutic goals

Make it your goal to change your behavior. The goals will be useful in both psychotherapeutic work and physical therapy. You should be an open person who isn't afraid to look vulnerable. Do not give up in case of difficulties. Your diligence will be rewarded and will bring healing satisfaction from the completed task.

  • Define goals. For example, do you want to be more relaxed about your grades in school? Tell the therapist that this is one of your goals.
  • Reward yourself for your success. Your motivation will increase if you reward yourself for every achievement.
  • Adjust goals as appropriate, but don't give up on your intentions.
  • Keep setting new goals to actively move forward.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 18
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 18

Step 3. Explore your drug treatment options

A psychiatrist can offer you a variety of pharmaceutical options for treating GAD. It is recommended that medications be used in conjunction with therapy rather than on their own. In an ideal situation, the medication is used for a short time to help you get through your most difficult moment. You should work with your treating psychiatrist and psychotherapist to gradually reduce the dose and eliminate the drug altogether as you learn new methods and strategies for managing your anxiety levels.

  • Your attending psychiatrist may prescribe the following drugs for you: Buspirone (Spitomin, Noofen), which is considered the safest drug for GAD; benzodiazepines (fast acting, but addictive); antidepressants (slow acting, may cause nausea, trouble sleeping).
  • Review all possible side effects before starting any medication.
  • Report substance abuse. Many people with GAD also suffer from other disorders and can use over-the-counter medications and alcohol to manage their symptoms. Talk to a healthcare professional to get the help you need and avoid dangerous drug interactions.
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 19
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 19

Step 4. Build a solid support system

Surround yourself with caring people. These can be your relatives, friends, and colleagues. Meet new people to expand your circle of acquaintances and support. The therapy process will allow you to learn so many new things that you will be resourceful and confident in how to deal with anxiety. A caring environment can help reduce stress and even strengthen the immune system.

Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 20
Cope with Generalized Anxiety Disorder Step 20

Step 5. Accept yourself

Personal problems can often affect your self-image. Unfortunately, people with GAD tend to be anxious, so you may even worry about worrying too much. Anxiety and anxiety are natural aspects of life, so a person can learn to control them, and not try to eliminate or reduce their own self-esteem due to such nuances.

In Cognitive Behavior Therapy sessions, you will learn to analyze your thoughts to develop more effective ways of thinking about yourself, and to manage your anxiety and anxiety levels


  • Constant worry is a psychological habit that you can get rid of.
  • Anxiety triggers a fight-or-flight response. Use relaxation skills to combat it.
  • Explore new strategies and treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Always strive to improve your health to prevent pain and suffering.
  • Sleep well at night to recuperate.
  • Choose healthy foods that give you strength and concentration.
  • Don't eat too much sugar, or your blood sugar levels will rise and fall, leading to feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion.
  • Talk to someone in case of anxiety. Conversation allows you to release emotions and look at the problem from the outside. The person you are talking to can make useful comments and advice.


  • Try not to smoke. Smoking may seem to calm you down, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant that increases anxiety.
  • Give up alcohol. Alcohol temporarily relieves anxiety and anxiety, but these sensations will increase when the alcohol wears off.
  • Processed foods can be high in sugar. Read product labels carefully to monitor your diet.

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