Anxiety is a normal part of life. It helps us to respond to stressful situations and can be beneficial in times of danger. However, when we experience anxiety more often or in more situations than usual, it can have a negative impact on our lives. If your patients have an anxiety disorder, there are several things you can do to help them cope:
1. Encourage regular exercises
Exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of anxiety. Let them exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. One doesn’t need to be an athlete or even like exercise — try something that will get your heart rate up for 30 minutes at least three times per week. Walking, jogging or swimming are good options that don’t require special equipment beyond shoes and bathing suits! It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones (like cortisol), and increases endorphins — all helpful when dealing with anxiety. Exercise also helps keep your mood stable, which can be an issue with anxiety sufferers. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but studies have shown that exercise is far more beneficial than just taking a pill for your symptoms. If you’re unsure where to start or what exercises might benefit you most, talk with your doctor or physical therapist about the best exercise for your condition.
2. Don’t dismiss the importance of medication
Medication is often an essential part of treatment for anxiety disorders. The choice of medication depends on the type of anxiety disorder, the severity of symptoms, and whether the patient has taken medication before. They can get a medication rx discount card that will allow them to get the treatment they need without having to pay full price for their prescriptions every month. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first-line medications used to treat anxiety disorders.They can be used to treat several types of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social phobia (social anxiety disorder), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
3. Increase exposure to sunlight and fresh air
Take your patient on walks outside to help them breathe in the fresh air and see the sun shining down on them. Take them for a drive in a convertible so they can feel the wind blowing against their face while listening to music or talking with you about something that makes them happy.
4. Teach them mindfulness meditation
The most effective way to reduce anxiety is by practicing mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness involves focusing on your thoughts and feelings in the present moment without judgment or criticism. It can help you recognize negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. There are many mindfulness strategies that can be used in a clinical setting:
Mindful breathing — This technique involves paying attention to your breathing while counting your breaths from one to ten (or higher). The goal is to increase your concentration on your breathing while decreasing stress and anxiety as much as possible.
Body scan — This exercise involves lying down comfortably while focusing on each part of your body, starting with the toes and moving up toward the head. You may want to use music or nature sounds during this exercise, so it’s not too quiet for you.
Meditation — Meditation is an ancient practice that’s been around for centuries, but it’s still used today because of its effectiveness in reducing stress levels and improving focus on tasks at hand.
5. Use empathic communication
A simple yet effective technique that has been used for years is empathic communication. This technique allows us to communicate with others in a way that shows we understand and care about their feelings. Empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Empathy helps create a connection between you and your patients. It can be used in many different situations: during medical visits, discussing symptoms, during physical exams and procedures, or when dealing with difficult situations like death or dying. You can use empathy in many ways, like sharing personal experiences that you have had with similar experiences (e.g., “I remember the first time my daughter had surgery and how scared I was”). Acknowledge what your patient is saying (e.g., “I know how frustrating it can be to feel like no one understands what you are experiencing”). Also, tone of voice conveys empathy – try using more warmth by lowering your voice or speaking more slowly; use more facial expressions, such as smiling or nodding, while your patient speaks.
Remember, a healthy attitude is the best way to help your patients overcome their anxiety. If you struggle with anxiety, do not try to tough it out and fight your own battles alone. Seek treatment for yourself. It might seem strange for patients to see a therapist for their psychotherapist, but most therapists do so as part of their regular self-care regime.