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    "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life;
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    Kahlil Gibran, posted by David Baxter
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Resolutions for People with Anxiety Disorders

by: Jase Donaldson

I resolve to get out of my ?treatment rut?
Have you been taking medication for quite a while now that doesn?t help you to fully function? Do you feel unsatisfied with your therapeutic progress? What anxiety treatments haven?t you tried? This can be the time to make some treatment changes. Take charge and talk to your treatment providers about what is and is not working. If they aren?t open to change, you can do the changing?as in, finding a new provider. Remember, this is your treatment. If what you?re doing isn?t working, look for something else that will. Be cautious when researching new treatment options and always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before you make any changes or additions to your current treatment plan.

I resolve to find professional help if I have not already
It?s not easy to seek help, but most people with anxiety disorders benefit from professional care, whether it?s with medication or therapy, or a combination of the two. Start with your family doctor if you don?t know where to turn, but do consider finding a mental health provider for further treatment; your doctor can probably refer you. If you?re anxious and scared about going alone, ask someone close to you to keep you company. It may not be easy to ask, but you?ll be relieved to have someone you know around, and they?ll probably be more than willing to offer a helping hand.

I resolve to ask for some help and encouragement
Telling people about our disorders might not always go the way we?d like. Overall, however, as research has shown, family and friends want to help however they can. If it turns out that yours don?t, you?ll need to find support elsewhere, but you won?t know if they?ll help unless you ask. Different people will help you in different ways. Accept what each person has to offer. Your recovery has a better chance with a strong support system.

I resolve to build a support system rather than relying on one person
It?s surely tempting to rely on one support person like your best friend or sibling. If you have a severe condition like agoraphobia, it?s even natural to be comfortable with only one specific person in frightening situations. However, with any anxiety disorder, it?s important to not rely on only one person for everything you need. They may burn out, and your relationship could suffer. Build a support system. Look to different people around you for different needs. You?ll give back too, because we do that with the ones we love. Don?t let your world shrink to one person because both of you need a circle of friends and loved ones. Everyone does.

I resolve to care for my body because the health of my body affects my whole being
Whether you believe anxiety disorders are psychological, physiological, or both, you can also believe that a healthy body will help your anxiety recovery. Exercise and Yoga have been shown to reduce stress and relieve depression. Substances like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine may actually make the condition worse. Good nutrition has numerous benefits and cannot be stressed enough; some studies even show that carbohydrate-rich foods can have a positive effect on the mind. Don?t forget about the obvious benefits of relaxation and meditation too.

I resolve to learn new techniques to support my treatment
If you?re taking medication or going to therapy once a week and doing nothing else, you might be surprised to find out that there?s more you can do to support your well-being?a lot more! You can add things like progressive relaxation, breathing exercises such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong, and techniques that include creative visualization and meditation to your wellness plan. Visiting your local library or book store can also offer a wealth of information to help you learn more about anxiety disorders. If your current treatment is working, but you want to go a step further, take some time to discover what else you can do on your own.

I resolve to make time for activities I enjoy instead of focusing on how I feel all the time
It?s not at all unusual for a person to give up hobbies or interests when anxiety first develops. As it progresses, the person could become so focused on it that returning to those beloved activities may seem impossible. Even if you?re doing better now, you may not be making time for fun. Try doing so. Sure, at first it may be difficult, but if you make time on a regular basis, you could just find yourself enjoying your hobbies again. If not, maybe you?ve changed, and that?s okay too. Consider this an open invitation to search for new interests.

I resolve to communicate with others who have anxiety disorders so I won?t feel so alone
Even the person with the most airtight support system often needs support of others with anxiety disorders. Only people with anxiety disorders know what it?s like. Family and friends may give us priceless help and love, but sometimes we just need to talk to others who really know how we feel. There are many support groups in cities and towns around the world, and you may find some online as well. Whatever you think is your oddest behavior or symptom, you?ll no doubt find someone else, probably many people, who know exactly what you mean.

I resolve to praise myself every day for my strength and courage in the face of something difficult
You?re not a coward or a weakling or a failure. You?re reading this and exploring anxiety resources because you want to get well. You?re able to sit there and read it because you made it here. You?ve gone through hours and days with your anxiety disorder. You have it because you have it. If you were weak, you wouldn?t have been able to come this far. So, every morning, look in the mirror and give yourself the praise you deserve. You had the courage to get out of bed this morning, the strength to face your day-to-day challenges and the spirit to search for something new and self-fulfilling. Each step you take means you can take as many more as you need.

I resolve to let go of control, never give up, and keep looking for answers until I?m well again
You can?t give up. You haven?t yet, so you won?t now or tomorrow or the next day. There are answers out there waiting for you. You may feel like you?ve done everything, but there is much to try. If the conventional treatments aren?t working for you, look for other methods that might be a better fit based on your personal values. Believe in yourself and that your life can be what you want it to be. Remember that a positive intention will always lead you in the right direction.

Anxiety disorders can be very difficult to live with, but they can always be overcome. Once you?ve begun to take the first steps toward understanding and learning more about your anxiety disorder, you?re well on your way to recovery. If you ever think it?s getting too hard, always remember that there is help out there, and you?re well worth getting it.
 

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