How to Relieve Debilitating Anxiety

1.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can increase you anxiety levels when consumed in high amounts, according to Montgomery and Morris. Lactate, a chemical byproduct of alcohol, increases your anxiety levels when you drink. Limit your alcohol intake to one glass to reduce anxiety.

2.

Practice breathing exercises. Anxiety can disrupt your breathing by causing you to take in short breaths or stop inhaling completely. The result is speaking rapidly, chest pain, dizziness or upset stomach. The key to relieve physically-crippling anxiety is to take in deep, slow breaths and slowly exhale. Maintaining a steady rhythm while breathing can help lower your anxiety.

3.

Organize your responsibilities. Write down what you need to do for the day, and number the tasks based on the level of importance. Those that need to be completed immediately take top priority, and the less important ones can be ignored until you've finished the other tasks, or scheduled for completion for the following day's list. By organizing your priorities you can reduce the anxiety of having too much to do without knowing where to start.

4.

Exercise regularly. Stress can lead to chronic fatigue, which can exacerbate your anxiety and limit your ability to accomplish simple tasks. According to Montgomery and Morris, moderate exercise increases your serotonin levels, which creates a feeling of euphoria when you exercise for at least 30 minutes.

5.

Get enough rest. A steady sleep schedule can help lower your anxiety, as your body needs rest to repair itself. According to Montgomery and Morris, insomnia is a common symptom associated with anxiety as your mind is wound up, which prevents your body from relaxing and affects the overall quality of your sleep. According to the "Harvard Medical School Guide to A Good Night's Sleep," you should get between seven to eight hours of sleep a night in order to feel well-rested and alert the next day.

6.

Visit a therapist. A therapist can help you reduce anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps adjust your way of thinking to alleviate stress. If necessary, your therapist can also prescribe medication to help lower anxiety.

7.

Eat a balanced diet. Processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fat, cholesterol or total fat can affect your physical and mental health. Eat three to five small meals daily that are high in fruits and vegetables, and no more than 6 oz. of lean meat daily. Avoid sugary foods, as they can send your blood glucose levels up and disrupt your sleeping schedule.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not attempt to self-medicate in order to relieve anxiety, as relying on drugs can cause a dependency in order to feel better.
  • Anxiety is a collection of negative emotions which includes excessive worry about upcoming situations, feeling out of control and the inability to focus on important matters due to your worrying about unimportant tasks. Anxiety can interfere with your social, romantic and work life due to the high level of fear about situations, which can cause you to isolate yourself from interaction for fear of something bad happening. According to Bob Montgomery and Laurel Morris, authors of "Living with Anxiety," a sense of hopelessness, self-blame and self-criticism can hold you back from accomplishment and can cause panic attacks, poor health and suicide.