MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
Too often, anxiety is viewed negatively as something to avoid at all costs. Actually, for many people, anxiety is a warning they are not dealing with stress effectively. Learning to heed this warning and to make needed changes is a healthy way to deal with the stress of daily events.
Stress and resulting anxiety are not associated exclu-sively with life problems. Events that are “positive” or desired, such as going away to college, getting a first job, getting married, and having children, are stressful and cause anxiety. Managing the effects of stress and anxiety in one’s life is important to being healthy. Tips for managing stress include the following:
· Keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself.
· Accept there are events you cannot control.
· Communicate assertively with others: talk about your feelings to others and express your feelings through laughing, crying, and so forth.
· Learn to relax.
· Exercise regularly.
· Eat well-balanced meals.
· Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol.
· Get enough rest and sleep.
· Set realistic goals and expectations and find an activity that is personally meaningful.
· Learn stress management techniques, such as relax-ation, guided imagery, and meditation; practice them as part of your daily routine.
For people with anxiety disorders, it is important to emphasize that the goal is effective management of stress and anxiety, not the total elimination of anxiety. Although medication is important to relieve excessive anxiety, it does not solve or eliminate the problem entirely. Learning anxiety management techniques and effective methods for coping with life and its stresses is essential for overall improvement in life quality.