Therapy Thursday: Coping with Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world, next to depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The struggle with Anxiety is the co-morbidity rate of other diseases that affect your physical health. Co-morbidity is the likelihood of someone having two or more chronic disorders.

Anxiety is linked to increased risk for medical issues like cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Cardiovascular disease can be caused from anxiety due to increased heart rate which then translates into high blood pressure.

If you feel anxious and your heart rate is rising, try to focus on your breathing. Square breathing is a great way to slow your heart rate and calm your thoughts. Square breathing consists of inhaling for 4 seconds, holding in that breath for 4 seconds, exhaling for 4 seconds, and holding your exhale for 4 seconds. You can repeat this as often as you need.

Long term anxiety can be reduced if you find out what triggers it. For example, if drinking coffee heightens your anxiety because it increases your heart rate, you should try to avoid it as much as possible. If you can't avoid your trigger because it relates to your job, school, or other things, you can manage it by finding ways to stay calm.

Finding a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders can help you find ways to cope with your anxiety that are specific to you. Practicing meditation or writing down your thoughts can help reduce anxiety by making your thoughts and worries less intimidating. Herbal supplements and aromatherapy can also help reduce anxiety. Things like lemon balm and green tea have been know to help reduce anxiousness.

On top of this, making sure you are taking care of yourself can reduce the effects of anxiety on your mental health and physical health. Exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep are always great ways to help your body defend itself against anxiety. Sometimes taking a mental health day can show positive effects on your health as well.

New Leaf is taking clients of most insurances during this unprecedented time for telehealth sessions. If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us through email at or call us at (331)-725-1190.

Stay Safe and Stay Home!