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January 5, 2012

Your Anxiety Prevention Plan

With few exceptions, everyday anxiety stems from a specific mental or physical stressor. Stressors vary from person to person, and what terrifies one, may exhilarate another. Unfortunately, many stressors - like job interviews and doctor's appointments - are tough to avoid. The good news is that once a person realizes the particular events that cause the anxiety, it becomes easier to develop coping mechanisms. One of the easiest ways to prevent anxiety is to exercise regularly, which prompts your body to release feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins into the brain. Exercising also elevates body temperature, which can have a calming effect on the body. It's also important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes cutting back on caffeine, which can make anxiety symptoms worse. Similarly, it's vital to get the sleep your body and brain need to recharge. Aside from these lifestyle adjustments, one of the best ways to prevent anxiety is to learn relaxation techniques. Some people find that meditation, a state of focused, intense concentration, is an effective option. Others circumnavigate anxiety when they imagine, or visualize, a positive series of events or outcomes to a situation. And still other individuals relax by focusing on their breathing. This method is particularly effective, as people tend to hold their breath in moments of anxiety, which just aggravates symptoms! Often, the best anxiety prevention is a mix of lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques. Remember though, that while you can prevent some of life's everyday anxieties, most people cannot prevent an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that are hard to control without proper treatment. So if you find that your anxiety does not respond to prevention techniques, or that anxious feelings dominate your day-to-day life, speak with your doctor about what you are experiencing.

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Last Updated:
December 20, 2012