A few weeks ago, I gave training seminars in Arizona to a variety of counselors, therapists, nurses, psychologists, and substance use counselors. We explored the facets of treatment for complex anxiety. Some problems are treatment resistant, like generalized anxiety disorder when the person experiences secondary gain from their worries. They don't know what to do without worrying. Worrying is their linus blanket. Many anxiety problems can be alleviated by exercise, nutrition, good sleep hygiene, and therapy -- talking to someone about your problems. On the latter, evidence based treatments such as exposure and response prevention for OCD is a type of specialized talk therapy, as an example.
I recently ran into a client with multiple emotional problems with anxiety -- fears of being humiliated around others, panic attacks, social avoidance, fears of her own bodily sensations, and chronic worry. She also suffered from years of clinical depression. She reported experiencing 10 years of medication therapy and talk therapy. She gained some insight with different therapies but has never experienced significant relief from her symptoms. A great referral source for clients with these types of difficulties and with minimal symptom relief is www.abct.org. This is the association for behavioral and cognitive therapies and therapists here specialize in treatments designed to help these types of individuals get relief.
Back to the first three - Exercise, Nutrition, and Sleep Hygiene. These are the big three that we all deal with in life and stress management. When executives attend business conferences, it is inevitable that these three are mentioned by a wellness person and sometimes linked to increased profit.
To increase emotional profit, and to make gains in one's EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), and to improve the quality of our relationships, these three areas alleviate or intensify stress.
A few tips:
Exercise 5-6 times a week. It becomes a burden when its 2-3 times. Make it a lifestyle.
Stop Eating CRAP:
C - carbonated drinks
R - refined sugars
A - artificial food
P - processed food
Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Maintain regular cycles. Avoid watching TV or reading in bed (encourages bodily memories and associations of wakefulness in bed).