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  • Writer's pictureGreg Custer, MS, LCPC

Scientifically Proven Ways to Manage Anxiety


Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but for some, it can become a problem that prevents them from living their best life. Luckily, scientific research has identified a number of approaches that have been proven to help manage and reduce anxiety. By incorporating any combination of these scientifically proven strategies into your daily life, you'll set yourself on the path to taming anxiety once and for all!


Exercise-

"Physical activity is an effective way to manage anxiety because it reduces tension and improves mood. Studies have found that exercise releases endorphins, natural chemicals that help individuals feel good and reduce anxiety." (Mikkelsen et al., 2017) It can also help with improving sleep, which can further reduce anxiety. In fact, a review of studies published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that exercise was an effective treatment for anxiety disorders.


Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-

CBT is a type of therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns. This can be particularly helpful for people with anxiety, who often have negative thoughts and worry excessively. "A review of studies published in the journal World Psychiatry found that CBT was an effective treatment for anxiety disorders." (Hofmann et al., 2012)


Mindfulness Meditation-

Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help people manage anxiety by reducing stress and improving mood. Research has found that mindfulness meditation is an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. A review of studies published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness meditation was an effective treatment for anxiety and depression.



Medication-

Medication can be an effective treatment for anxiety, particularly for people with severe symptoms. There are several types of medication that can be used to treat anxiety, including antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers. A review of studies published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that medication was an effective treatment for anxiety disorders.



Aromatherapy-

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to improve mood and reduce anxiety. Some of the most effective essential oils for anxiety include lavender, bergamot, and chamomile. Research has found that aromatherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety. A review of studies published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that aromatherapy was an effective treatment for anxiety.


Yoga-

Yoga is an ancient practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It can help individuals manage anxiety by reducing stress and improving mood. A review of studies published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that yoga was an effective treatment for anxiety disorders.


In conclusion, anxiety can be hard to cope with but there is hope. The good news is that currently there are many scientifically proven methods to help reduce anxiety levels and improve one's quality of life such as exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, medication, aromatherapy, and yoga. Experimenting with different methods and trying out options like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can give individuals a sense of control in managing their symptoms, while at the same time offering the opportunity for profound self-discovery that may prove valuable even beyond one's struggle with anxiety.


 

References:

Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106, 48-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.08.007


Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive therapy and research, 36(5), 427-440. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1


Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma,



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