Your brain, that amazing physical organ that allows physical coordination of limbs, intelligible speech, appreciation of music, is also responsible for your anxiety. As with any other organ that malfunctions, it can be treated with medication, but, as with any other organ, you (not medication) have the greater power to change how it functions.
Imagine that you see your family physician for stomach pain, and she diagnoses a stomach ulcer. She prescribes a wonderful new pharmaceutical. She, competent physician that she is, also tells you that you must change your diet, quit smoking and reduce your stress. She knows that
If you suffer with anxiety, you will not find a long term solution to the root of the problem with medication. The stress on all the organs of your body from daily anxiety does damage that can take years off your life. Couple that with a reduced quality of life, and you understand that it is in your best interest to attack the problem with everything available to you, assuming you do want a longer, less anxious life.
Disabling the problem requires a quiverful of resources which you can use daily. They include a healthy diet, plenty of water, sufficient sleep, exercise, and a different cognitive perspective. Those "arrows" in your quiver are necessary for the care and maintenance of every organ in your body, including your brain. Your brain, the physical organ, manages to influence your mood and state of calm as well as solve the Sphynx's riddle.
Not enough fuel, or the wrong kind, makes it harder to solve problems, and causes your energy level and your mood to flag. Not enough water through the day causes dehydration which your brain registers, often with anxiety. These, and adequate sleep and exercise, are sometimes difficult to maintain when you already don't feel terrific. It is more important than ever, then, to make those corrections and give your brain the care it needs to function optimally.
Once those basic necessities are met, your brain can learn self-calming with deep relaxation. You can learn how to focus your thoughts in order to tame your moods. This is such a critical component of self-care that I teach it in special classes to use in conjunction with therapy or on its own.
Anxiety can be crippling and takes a long time to become entrenched in your perspective of who you are. Taming it is easier than you know, but requires your active attention and participation. Think about how it would feel to wake up feeling rested and calm, looking forward to the day's activities as pleasures to enjoy. Imagine your perspective of yourself as calm, smart, kind, and fit, with solid relationships.
Marilyn Miller, MS, LPC ~ Psychotherapist
...Delighting every day in helping people find peace in their lives, relieving anxiety, depression, and promoting self-care.