Depression and anxiety often go together. If one improves, so oftentimes does the other! The SSRI medications, work both as anxiolytics (anxiety-reducers) and antidepressants. But certain practices have shown to be quite significantly effective in battling anxiety, too!

For anxiety overall…

  • Brainstorm on the real danger that a particular situation presents, as opposed to your imagination inflating the risk of something horrible happening
  • Try to socilaize, as isolation can exacerbate (make worse) anxiety
  • Distinguish between how much control you have in certain situations, and which aspects you must accept as outside of your control
  • Bounce the ideas that you cause you anxiety off of close friends or family members
  • Try not to compound your problems
  • Engage in group therapy
    • You are not the only person with significant problems!
    • Mutual support goes a long way
  • Try cognitive bias therapy (CBT)
  • Distinguish between productive thoughts, and thoughts that just bring negativity
  • Look in to, and ask your provider about, the benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  •  Generally speaking, a meta-analysis discovered mindfulness therapy effectively reduces anxiety for those struggling significantly from it
  • Meditation overall is very useful for anxiety
    • One meta-analysis, including 47 trials that met statistical standards, found that meditation moderately improved anxiety after eight weeks

  • Exercise
    • Ideally, moderately for at least five days per week for at least 30 minutes at a time
    • Works to decrease symptoms of just about any emotional issue
    • Very healthy for the brain and body
  • A systematic review suggests that both meditation and exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders
  • Join a Yoga studio

For stress…

  • The 47-trial study above also found a bit of improvement in stress levels
  • Manage time to reflect more important, and less important, things to do
  • Balance the needs of family, work, and yourself
  • Set goals and connect with others to find purpose
  • Sleep a healthy amount
    • About seven to nine hours per night
  • Limit, or, ideally, stop, drinking alcohol, as it can make anxiety worse
  • Limit caffeine, especially in the form of coffee
  • Do not smoke
  • Adopt a healthy diet
  • Find as much positive social support as possible
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Support groups
    • Therapy through employment
    • Coworkers
    • Through volunteering
    • A therapist, or, ideally, a psychologist
  • Practice assertiveness in interpersonal communication
  • Practice realistic problem solving
  • Find a therapist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), biofeedback, and/or stress management
  • Try to stay positive
  • Don’t make commitments that would cause an irrational amount of stress
  • Set aside time to do what you love
  • Don’t rely on substances to feel okay about yourself
  • Do a good deed (Mitzvah)

Some things to ask yourself…

  • Do you feel supported by your friends and family?
  • Do you have too many obligations, or do obligations take up the great majority of your time?
  • Are you physically healthy?
  • Do you know how to ask for help from those around you?
  • Do you put “you time” into your schedule, time to pursue positive recreation

As for therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Exposure Therapy tend to be very effective at treating anxiety disorders, particularly, panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.