The Best Way to Manage Overwhelming Anxiety Symptoms

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Many people in the U.S. experience anxiety symptoms. Some people experience them only mildly, but for others, they can be quite debilitating.

Living with untreated anxiety can be extremely difficult. It can cause some to turn to substance misuse to cope. As someone who has been in recovery for an extended period, you know that using substances as a coping mechanism is extremely harmful in the long run. To avoid turning back to substance misuse, you can learn healthy and productive ways to manage your anxiety symptoms.

Fortunately, there are lots of healthy ways that you can go about finding relief. Our team at Pathways Recovery Center can assist you with this process.

Traditional Ways of Treating Overwhelming Anxiety Symptoms

A lot of people put off seeking professional help for their anxiety. They do this for many different reasons. Some people may not realize that help is available and effective. Others may think they should keep trying to control the issue on their own. Many people put off seeking help because they are ashamed or worried about facing the judgment of others.

The truth is that if you struggle with anxiety symptoms, you are far from alone. You likely know many people personally who are currently receiving treatment for anxiety. This may simply be something they don't talk about. Other people in your life may also be struggling with anxiety but are not actively pursuing treatment.

After all, anxiety disorders are incredibly common. Fortunately, that means there are many evidence-based ways to help you find relief.


Your first step is to set up an appointment with your primary care provider. Be honest with them about how you feel and how your anxiety symptoms are affecting your day-to-day life. They will be able to provide you with a diagnosis.

In some cases, they may suggest medications they can prescribe to make your symptoms less intense. Discussing medication with your doctor does not mean you have to take it. You can ask about side effects and any other concerns you may have and then make the decision that is best for you at this time.


Your doctor will also likely recommend that you speak with a therapist. Some people only need to go to therapy on occasion, while others attend on a more regular basis. Your therapist can help you process your emotions, determine what things are triggering your anxiety, and provide you with techniques you can use to find relief.

Don't be afraid to try therapy. Many people go to therapy and benefit from it. It may take some time to find the therapist that best fits your needs. Be patient and make it clear what you're looking for.

Holistic Ways of Handling Overwhelming Anxiety Symptoms

Prescription medications and therapy are the traditional forms of treatment for anxiety symptoms, but there are additional things that you can do on your own to find relief.

#1. Nutrition

Be sure to start with the basics. Consider what you've been putting into your body.  Did you know that processed fatty foods can make anxiety symptoms worse?

You may want to ask your doctor or a nutritionist about what you can do to improve your diet. They may recommend things like incorporating foods that are high in vitamin B12, which has been shown to ease anxiety symptoms in some cases. Additionally, they may encourage you to stay hydrated.

Deciding to cook your own meals at home may allow you to make changes to your diet more easily. There are many other reasons to cook, including artistic and social ones. However, the main benefit is nutritional.

#2. Exercise

Next, find ways to incorporate regular movement into your life. When you exercise, your body releases a feel-good hormone known as endorphins. This is why you may often experience a boost in mood or a sense of euphoria after working out.

Exercise is fantastic for decreasing anxiety symptoms in the short term and long term. It can also help you get better quality sleep at night, which can also help with anxiety.

#3. Sun

Finally, don't underestimate the power of getting out into the sun, even if only for a short period each day. When you are in the sun, your body takes in vitamin D. This can reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, make sure to wear sunscreen to reduce your risk of skin cancers.

If you're not able to get outside as often as you would like, ask your doctor if you should take a vitamin D supplement. You can also eat foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna, and orange juice. Not only can this help you feel better physically, but it can improve your mental health as well. 

Self-Care for Managing Anxiety Symptoms

Grappling with overwhelming anxiety can be very difficult. It may be hard to believe that little lifestyle changes can make a big difference, but they can. Make sure that you're practicing good self-care on a regular basis.

What type of self-care is best for you is something that you may have to work to find out. Experiment with different practices and see what works. The next time you experience overwhelming anxiety symptoms, try:

  • Taking a nap
  • Listening to calming music
  • Spending quality time with a friend
  • Walking and listening to a podcast
  • Going for a hike
  • Cooking a healthy meal
  • Taking a bath
  • Reading a book
  • Watching your favorite show

Life can get busy, but make sure to leave at least a small portion of the day to dedicate to yourself. Our team at Pathways Recovery Center encourages self-care for mental health treatment.

Anxiety is a common problem that affects many people across the nation. It can be frustrating when you feel like you've tried everything possible to find relief and nothing is working. Don't give up, and don't turn back to substance use to cope. Work with your doctor and try traditional and holistic treatment methods to find a solution that works for you. If you want to learn more about managing anxiety symptoms or have questions about other mental health conditions, reach out to our team at Pathways Recovery Center today at (888) 771-0966. A member of our staff will be happy to speak with you further about topics related to mental health and addiction recovery.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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