Suffering from anxiety can be emotionally draining, make you avoid situations and places to prevent these feelings from arising, and can generally just stand at odds with your mental wellbeing. Its effects vary from one person to another, but common physical symptoms can include a churning feeling in your stomach, a faster or more irregular heartbeat, pins and needles felt anywhere around the body, or feelings of breathlessness.
Luckily there are numerous treatment options, which are based on how significantly your anxiety disorder is impacting your daily life and ability to carry out your usual activities. It can take some trial and error to determine which treatment is best for you; however, make sure to consult your doctor prior to making any treatment decisions.
In the case of mentioning mental health problems, two common issues immediately come to mind –depression and anxiety. However, not everyone knows the real difference between these two conditions.
An anxiety disorder can commonly trigger depression, and anxiety is typically a symptom of depression.
Above all, it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis to find the right treatment for a specific health condition.
Here are general symptoms of depression:
- Depressed mood;
- Lack of interest in enjoyable activities;
- Changes in appetite;
- Insomnia or hypersomnia;
- Slowing of movement;
- Lack of energy;
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
- Concentration problems;
- Suicidal thoughts/behaviours.
In the case of depressive disorder, a person experiences five or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks. People who experience only a few traits may also be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
As for anxiety, the symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder are:
- Excessive worry;
- Troubles in concentration;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Muscle tension.
Experiencing these symptoms, most days for a period of more than six months, may be a sign of generalised anxiety disorder. Some other types of anxiety disorders include social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia or phobias.
Both conditions have some overlaps, such as sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and fatigue. Irritability may also manifest both in the forms of anxiety and depression.
These two disorders also have distinctive features. People with depression move at a slower pace, and their reactions can seem to be inhibited. As for anxiety, individuals tend to be more keyed up as they try to manage their racing thoughts. Depressed people are less worried about future events, which is typical for people with anxiety.
The good news is that treatment can improve your symptoms of constant stress or relieve suffering from any of these problems.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is considered one of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders, while its benefits may last longer than medications. However, it is crucial to note that there is no singular treatment that works for everyone.
CBT usually involves a 1-hour session with a specially trained and accredited therapist every week for 3-4 months. It helps you address negative patterns or anxious thoughts and do things that you would typically avoid because they make you anxious.
While most individuals that are subjected to anxiety disorders use psychotherapy or medications to manage anxiety symptoms, lifestyle changes can make a difference as well. These include the following changes in your day-to-day life:
- Maintain physical activity. Regular exercise not only improves your mood and helps you stay healthy, but it is also a powerful way to lower your stress levels. Therefore, consider developing a proper routine to keep you physically active most of the days of the week. However, make sure to start out slowly and then gradually increase the amount and intensity of your workouts;
- Prioritise quality sleep. Since anxiety and lack of sleep often go hand in hand, a sleepless night can increase anxiety levels by up to 30%. Sleep is not only vital for every person’s overall health and wellbeing, but it is also referred to be a natural anxiety reliever. Thus, try to do your best to get enough sleep every night;
- Try relaxation techniques. Meditation, visualisation techniques, deep breathing and yoga are some of the best examples of relaxation techniques that can relieve anxiety;
- Sustain a healthy diet. A well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains may be associated with reduced anxiety, but more research is needed to support this evidence;
- Refrain from using alcohol and recreational drugs. These products are known as ‘mood-altering substances’ and can worsen anxiety symptoms;
- Quit smoking and cut back or stop drinking coffee. Consumption of caffeine and smoking can also promote anxiety.
Finally, if you experience chronic stress or anxiety, then you should pay attention to another way of therapy – CBD oil. CBD, stands for cannabinol, is the second most prominent, active ingredient of cannabis.
The clinical medical research from Brazil and the United Kingdom found that taking CBD oil for anxiety can reduce the subjective anxiety of patients with anxiety disorder, and this result is related to the changes in functional activities of brain regions in anxiety processing. The study also shows that taking CBD can help subjects reduce the expected stress when they are socialising or making public speeches. Psychological factors, pressure and subjective anxiety are the leading causes of sleep disorders. The study of The Permanente Journal shows that after taking products containing CBD ingredients, the vast majority of subjects feel a lower anxiety level and get better sleep quality.
What’s more, CBD oil comes in various formats, starting from capsules and tinctures to edibles and drinks. CBD bath bombs can also be a great way to unwind both your body and mind. Products like the VAAY CBD bath bomb will not only help to relieve tension and relax you, but also provide a nourishing effect for your skin, making you excited for your self-care routine. With real Lavender flowers and Shea Butter core, such a product by VAAY might be what you need, especially after a stressful day.