Maybe you dealt with chronic stress, panic attacks, and constant worrying for months or even years on end. After talking to a therapist, you finally received an anxiety diagnosis. Perhaps you suspected that you had an anxiety disorder, or maybe you were caught off guard by this diagnosis despite your symptoms. Now, you’re trying to take in this information and figure out what to do next. You might also be wondering if you’ll be stuck with this condition forever or if you’ll be able to get your symptoms under control soon and feel like yourself again. It can be a lot to digest! Here are a few steps you can take after receiving an anxiety diagnosis.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, hearing your diagnosis might feel like you’ve just had a label put on you, and the implications of your diagnosis could briefly send you into a panic. You may be worried that your anxiety disorder is just a part of you now, and something about the diagnosis makes it seem official and permanent. But this isn’t true. The diagnosis is actually a helpful tool that can set you on the path toward getting the treatment you really need. It’s a descriptive term, not a label you have to wear forever.
Keep Working Closely With Your Therapist
If you’ve received an anxiety diagnosis, you’ve already opened up to a therapist about your symptoms. Now, you’ll want to keep working closely with them as they design a treatment plan based on your symptoms. As you try out different techniques for managing your symptoms and dealing with your anxiety, let your therapist know what’s working for you and what isn’t making much of a difference. That way, they can tweak your treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Write In A Journal
Writing in a journal can be a great way to break the cycle of rumination. If you find yourself dwelling on the same anxious thoughts for hours on end, writing them down can help you break this pattern. Seeing them written out on paper can be very clarifying. You may even find that jotting down your thoughts helps you recognize when your worries are unrealistic or unhelpful. Chances are, you’ll feel a little lighter after writing in a journal.
Care For Your Physical Health
Your mental health and physical health are deeply linked. If you’re not caring for your body, your mental health can also suffer. Practicing healthy habits can actually significantly reduce your anxiety symptoms. You may not notice the change overnight, and it does not mean that nutrition and exercise are magic “cures” for anxiety, but sticking to healthy routines can definitely make a difference!
Aim to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day and get about eight hours of sleep per night. You might also want to start going for daily walks or cut down on your caffeine intake.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and yoga can be powerful tools for coping with anxiety. You can incorporate simple habits like these into your daily routine and make time to relax. Your therapist might also work with you on specific breathwork techniques that can soothe your nervous system when you feel stressed. It’s helpful to have a few coping skills like these in your back pocket for moments when you get overwhelmed. Learning how to “breath through it” can make it easier to handle tough situations.
An anxiety diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of life, but rather, the chance for a new beginning. Take this opportunity to examine your life and see where changes can be made and wounds can be healed. If you need a therapist to walk alongside you on this journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a session for anxiety therapy.