Generalised anxiety disorder
If you have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), there are many ways to help ease the symptoms of anxiety yourself.
When you're diagnosed with GAD, your GP may recommend trying self-help treatments before having more intensive psychological therapy or medication.
This usually involves working from a book or computer programme for around six weeks or longer. In some cases, you may be closely supported by a trained therapist who you'll speak to every week or two. Some treatments only involve minimal or occasional contact with a therapist, who monitors your progress.
There are numerous books and courses that can help you learn to cope with your anxiety, but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE ) only recommendstrying treatments based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) .
CBT is a type of psychological treatment that can help you understand your condition better and how your problems, thoughts, feelings and behaviour affect each other. The aim of CBT-based treatments is to help you learn ways to manage your anxiety by modifying negative or unhelpful thoughts and behaviour.
It also encourages your brain to release serotonin, which can improve your mood.
Examples of good aerobic exercises include:
You should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Moderate-intensity exercise should raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster.
You may find relaxation and breathing exercises helpful, or you may prefer activities such as yoga or pilates to help you unwind.
You can also try this five-minute audio guide to dealing with anxiety .
Drinking too much caffeine can make you more anxious than normal. This is because caffeine can disrupt your sleep and also speed up your heartbeat. If you're tired, you're less likely to be able to control your anxious feelings.
Avoiding drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and energy drinks may help to reduce your anxiety levels.
Only drinking alcohol in moderation or stopping smoking may help to reduce your anxiety.
To reduce the risk of harming your health:
Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Read how stopping smoking can reduce your anxiety .
They're also a good way to meet other people with similar experiences.
Examples of support groups you may find useful include:
Support groups can often arrange face-to-face meetings, where you can talk about your difficulties and problems with other people. Many support groups also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.
Ask your GP about local support groups for anxiety in your area, or search online for mental health information and support services near you .
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally. You should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.
Seeyour GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition, but a number of different treatments can help
If you have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), there are many ways to help ease the symptoms of anxiety yourself, including exercise, avoiding smoking and caffeine, and doing a self-help course.