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Suffering from anxiety? Tips to combat it

Last updated on: November 21, 2012 18:16 IST

Suffering from anxiety? Tips to combat it



Everyone suffers anxiety from time to time, but if it's interfering with normal life, here's what to do about it. Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

According to Wikipedia, anxiety is "a psychological and physiological state characterised by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural components. It is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern."

The definition goes on to elaborate that the root meaning of the word anxiety is to vex or trouble ; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread.

Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressor . It may help an individual to deal with a demanding situation by prompting him/her to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, however, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder .


The symptoms of anxiety can be put under two categories :

Physical symptoms

  • Tremors, restlessness, fearful face expression
  • Palpitation, tachycardia ( heart rate that exceeds the normal range), sweating
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath), hyperventilation, constriction in the chest, diarrhea

Psychological symptoms

  • Poor concentration, hyperarousal, negative thoughts
  • An unpleasant and vague sense of apprehension
  • The inability to relax and irritability
  • Insomnia, an inability to tolerate noise


Tips to overcome anxiety

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Relaxation techniques go a long way in alleviating anxiety. These are useful physical means of relieving the uneasiness a person experiences with anxiety:

  • Splash cold water on the face.
  • Speak to yourself; affirm 'I am a strong person'.
  • Take a deep breath, hold it for a while and then exhale slowly.
  • Make a tight fist and slowly open open up your fingers one by one.
  • Count numbers in reverse order starting from 100.


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  • Maintain good and harmonious relationships with family members and friends
  • Be punctual at work.
  • Daily physical exercise (preferably in the morning) helps.
  • Sleep is a must -- maintain regular timings to go to bed and wake up.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Practice yoga, pranayams and meditation.
  • Regularly indulge in recreational activities with family and friends.
  • Read an inspirational story at least once every month.


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