Believe it or not: Substance Abuse is related to Anxiety
Anxiety, as defined by Wikipedia, is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, and problems in concentration. Anxiety can be appropriate, but when it is too much and continues too long, the individual may suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Many people have the tendency to reach for an alcoholic drink or even to take drugs every time they feel anxious. They are common practices just to make you feel calmer. However, turning to substances such as drugs or alcohol are not a good way to cope with anxiety. Researchers have found that people increase their risk of developing a substance abuse disorder every time they make drugs or alcohol an immediate remedy for their anxiety. A large percentage of the people in the research study who depended on alcohol were found to be alcoholic.
When dealing with anxiety, it is always best to follow a professional’s advice to treat the issue because self-medicating with drugs or alcohol may just put you at greater risk. Instead of taking drugs or alcohol to manage your anxiety, try some healthier ways, like the following:
- Learning to relax and stay calm is one of the best ways to defy anxiety. How can you do this? Take a deep breathe, meditate, or do yoga. Practicing these behaviors on a regular basis can develop your mastery of the skills and can instill an overall sense of calm whenever needed.
- Exercise and eat right. You can boost your health and overall well-being through regular exercises and by having a healthy diet. Anxiety can be reduced significantly with a diet low in sugar and caffeine. And by exercising, your brain will be triggered to produce more endorphins which make you a lot calmer.
- Get treatment. In some cases, you won’t be able to manage anxiety on your own no matter what you do. But by seeking assistance from the trusted treatment programs centers for your anxiety disorder, therapy and medications can significantly help you manage your anxiety. This is one good option to consider should your anxiety becomes more uncontrollable.