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Dr. Swagata Sinha

Psychiatrist, Kolkata

400 at clinic
Dr. Swagata Sinha Psychiatrist, Kolkata
400 at clinic  ·  ₹ online
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I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care....more
I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care.
More about Dr. Swagata Sinha
Dr. Swagata Sinha is one of the best Psychiatrists in Metropolitan Bypass, Kolkata. You can visit her at Manovikas Kendra in Metropolitan Bypass, Kolkata. Book an appointment online with Dr. Swagata Sinha and consult privately on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has top trusted Psychiatrists from across India. You will find Psychiatrists with more than 26 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Psychiatrists online in Kolkata and from across India. View the profile of medical specialists and their reviews from other patients to make an informed decision.

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482 Madudah, Plot : I-24, Sector : J Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Kasba & Rash Behari Connector, Kasba . Landmark: Near Ruby General Hospital, KolkataKolkata Get Directions
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Hi, I am 26 years old and since past 5 or 6 days I am getting disturbed by some unwanted thoughts. It is related to my sexual orientation. Although I am completely straight because I have been in a relationship with a girl and I was involved in physical intimacy with her, yet I am getting this unwanted thought that I am becoming a gay. This started to happen at a sudden and I have no clue why this is happening. I don't want to live a life by becoming a gay. Please please please help me out, please.

BHMS
Homeopath
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Hi, I am 26 years old and since past 5 or 6 days I am getting disturbed by some unwanted thoughts. It is related to m...
Hi. You are straight and will be straight forever! Keep thinking this way, because the way you think, you start viewing the world in the same way! Positivity attract positive things around you, similarly negative thoughts will give you negative surroundings. Don't get obsessed with the unwanted thoughts. Let you rule on your mind and not mind rule you. Relax, go for a brisk walk early in the morning daily, take frequent deep breaths. Do some stress-relieving exercises (like Pranayam, Anulom-Vilum). Take homoeopathic medicines - Bacopa Monierri Q/ 10 drops in 1/2 cup of water/ thrice daily and Kali Phos. 6x/ once at night - for 20 days. Revert me back.

She has the problem of being more anger. Gets too angry. In anger speaks any abusing word or starts fighting over.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology
Psychologist
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Dear lybrate-user, welcome to lybrate. Anger and aggression are emotions. Anger comes when you become irritated. Irritation happens when you don't like something, or when something is repeated. As anger is an emotion, it should be vent out. You should be able to throw anger out instead of controlling it. But more perfect will be, know the frustrating situations and stop being emotional. If practiced properly, you will not get irritated at those circumstances at all. Those techniques are much easier to understand. Take care.

I am having propranolol hydrochloride 40mg & clonazepam for panic attacks & rapid heart beats for the past 18 years. Now bp is normal. And no incidents so far. Should I continue my medications. I am afraid of the side effects of such long term use. Please advise.

BHARAT JYOTI, MRACGP, INCEPTOR, MD-PhD, MD - Psychiatry, FIPS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist
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I am having propranolol hydrochloride 40mg & clonazepam for panic attacks & rapid heart beats for the past 18 years. ...
You can continue. But be assured you check your lipid profile, sugar, and a full blood check as you have a cardiac issue you are you are advised to check with the cardiologist for further advice.

Maximum how many days can a girls periods be delayed? If she has stress or any kind of depression or somewhat.

Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS, MD - Community Medicine
Gynaecologist
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Maximum how many days can a girls periods be delayed? If she has stress or any kind of depression or somewhat.
Hello, the delay in periods may be due to many reasons. It can be delayed for long periods also, causing secondary amenorrhea.

Mashallah I have no disease but how can I control on my smoking habit, help me out from this universal disease.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist
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You have to quit cold turkey because the body and mind will torture you endlessly while attempting reduction in smoking. The tobacco tar in cigarette smoke lines your lung with huge patches that make that portion dysfunctional. Your oxygen carrying capacity is jeopardized, and breathing is impinged. But don’t be discouraged because it is not too late even now to reverse all the ill-effects of smoking. I don’t know what other organs could be damaged but do go for a thorough medical check up to assess the effects of your abuse. Regarding improving your lungs, do a lot of aerobic exercise breathing through your nostrils only. Then there are a lot of deep breathing exercises in Yoga which you can learn too. Deep breathing cleanses your system and lungs and restores it to good health. Deep breathing uses the 80% of the lungs which are not normally used in normal breathing and even when exerting yourself. The greatest effect is in the lungs because this substance is processed through the respiratory system directly through the lung surface. When quitting, you must take one day at a time; though you must give up all smoking at once, and promptly. If you look too far ahead you will get discouraged and will give up. If you sit and count the number of days you have given up, that will also focus too much on achievement. You must focus on the here and now, on that day to be precise. After all quitting is not that easy due to many factors. So even if you fail one day, you must try and try again. Very few people succeed in their first attempt. Your persistence will eventually pay off. The urge to discontinue is hampered by many factors but the worst of them is the conditioning. In fact these conditions can exist all through the day unlike other addictions. But your desire to want to stop is the most important factor. It is important to find out about the ill-effects of smoking to have a reason that alarms you about continuing in the habit. The information is really scary but true and you must remind yourself about this every day. The nicotine in tobacco smoke stimulates the heart beat to raise the blood pressure in no time at all. So you must avoid it like the plague: it is just very bad medicine for you. In fact it is highly toxic too. You will need to stop smoking or consuming any tobacco related items with immediate effect. You should start vigorous exercises, gradually increasing it over a period of time. Do deep breathing exercises every time you feel like smoking (try Yoga), and replace the oral urge with some healthy food substitute to satiate the need. You may also take hard candy or chewing gum. If the urge is too strong, then use nicotine gums and nicotine patches, for a little while until the smoking drive reduces, substantially. You may also join Smokers Anonymous in your city where the support is really extraordinary for like-minded people who are also in the same situation. Keep yourself occupied or engaged with interesting activities during the times when it is most tempting. Keep the company of non-smokers for some time i.e. at least for the first 21 days. Above all announce it to everyone that you have quit smoking. Here’s a piece of very good advice: even if you accidentally/willfully take a cigarette, it is not the end of the world – you can start the cessation all over again. You must persevere with the best support until you defeat this addiction. Counseling is very useful in the initial stages and when temptations are at their highest.

I am having some serious behaviour issues. I can not look at a person decently. When I meet unfamiliar persons I just lower my head. If there is some important conversation going on with teacher at some moment I just start to smile. I can not sit in a class. I pretend that I am serious but after some moment I smile. I can not converse a person and maintain eye contact. I can not behave just as normal person do. I can not walk properly. I do not want to look indecently at people but due to fear it happens. I have become very analytical as well. Please help.

DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath
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I am having some serious behaviour issues. I can not look at a person decently. When I meet unfamiliar persons I just...
Hello, tk homoeo medicine: @ ignatia 30-6 pills, thrice a day @ five phos 6x-4, tabs, thrice. Please, go for meditation to nourish your entire body including brain to inculcate a confident person from within to face any situation, boldly. Tk, plenty of water to hydrate yourself and to regulate your metabolism. Your diet be simple, easily digestible on time. Ensure sound sleep in d night for at least 7-8 hrs. Avoid, junk food, caffiene, nicotine, alcohol, tk care.

To Sharpe our memory what are the remedies ?

MD - Alternate Medicine, BHMS
Homeopath
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Do meditation and yoga everyday for 15-20 mins early morning. If this does not work. Then have homoeopathic medications.

Is my shortness of breathing due to depression, as I suddenly completed my school where I was always social but due to some reason I was alone without any social contact for 1 year due to which I feel depressed. So how will I recover?

MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist
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Is my shortness of breathing due to depression, as I suddenly completed my school where I was always social but due t...
PFT to r/o asthma. Increase your social contact, outdoor games, do regular exercise to beat depression.

My boyfriend broke up with me a month back. We broke up exactly 2 days after we went on a long distance. We both were very serious in the relationship. I had been fighting with him a lot for stupid reasons. I am so full of guilt and begged him to take me back. He has been refusing me constantly and says that he does not love me anymore and he has thought over his decisions again. I am tired of hearing all the advice from all kind of people. Grieve, start loving yourself, concentrate on work, pray, meditate, date other people etc. Nothing seems to be working for me. Please help.

M. D. Psychiatry, Diploma in Psychological Medicine-DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist
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Hello lybrate-user I understand you are currently going through emotional crisis. Life sometimes throw challenges which can be overwhelming. All I would say is take few days to first comfort yourself. It's never wise to take decisions in crisis. So just get yourself into other tasks which are easy to handle. If needed talk to professional counsellors. Only when you are back in your old frame of mind think about best way to deal with this issue.

Top 7 Mental Health Applications For Your Smart Phone

Ph. D - Psychology, M.A.Psychology, B.A.(H)Psychology
Psychologist
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The smartphone revolution has changed our lives in many ways. With several adults and even teenagers relying more on their smartphones for information online, doctors are also turning to mental health apps or mhapps to share their medical knowledge with users. Frequent use of technology has created a better avenue for communication - in this case between doctors and patients that is beneficial for both.

Here are the top 7 mental health apps that can be used by patients to improve their mental health:


Code blue: bullying is a real problem that has led many down the path of depression and suicide. And sometimes, the solution to this problem is much easier than you think, and with smartphones, it's just a click away. With the code blue app, you can choose people from your contact to be a part of your support group. With just a few clicks, the app will alert the support group if you need their help. The app communicates the user's location to the group, and the group can also indicate that the help is on the way.
Breath2relax: feeling too anxious or angry? want to let your bad side take over the situation? hold on and downloaded breath2relax on your phone to browse through a series of breathing exercises. These will help you in reducing stress, stabilizing your mood, controlling anger, and managing the anxiety. The important aspect of this app is that it can be operated independently.
Lantern: lantern is a web-and-mobile-based platform that combines the cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt) techniques with advices from real experts. The app starts by measuring the your strengths, weaknesses, stress, anxiety, mood and social behavior, and then tailors daily exercises that suit your pattern. Next, the app matches your score with a professional cbt coach who can answer all the related questions you have.
Ptsd coach: ptsd stands for post traumatic stress disorder. Ptsd coach is an app developed by the department of veterans affairs at national center for ptsd. It is intended for use by veterans, military personnel, and civilians experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The app provides a self assessment tool that tracks stress symptoms over a period of time. It also connects with the support group from the contact list, and locates nearby treatment programs.
Optimism: optimism is a family of applications that focuses on self-tracking as a tool for coping with mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and ptsd. Users can record the intensity of their mood, which will eventually detect patterns and help identify problem triggers. You can create a customizable wellness plan to chart the coping mechanisms, which will come from experience and with better understanding of the mental condition.
Talkspace: this free app helps users connect with a therapists with whom they can chat anytime. It isn't exactly a substitute to in-person therapy, but more like a precursor where the app's therapists can monitor and guide the users if they need more advanced help.
Big white wall: sometimes, just knowing that others are also sailing in the same boat gives you the much needed courage to fight with the problem. The app does the same for you by acting as a community where users with different type of mental health problems come together for discussion boards, reference articles and self-assessment tests.

Top 7 Mental Health Applications For Your Smart Phone

I always feels upset. Whenever I want to study I am not able to concentrate on my study. So tell me my solution.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology
Psychologist
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Dear , if you are able to watch a movie for two hours continuously, if you are able to play a game for an hour, then you do not have any concentration problems. You must be able to understand concentration, attention span, recollection and distraction. You can't be attentive towards your studies because you are not interested in it. You are able to watch movie and play game because you are interested in it. Human cannot be attentive towards anything for more than 10 minutes. Then you should study in such a way that your attention is continued and make the subjects are interesting to you. Effective learning techniques should help you. Recollection depends on anxiety, stress and other physical and circumstantial factors. Distractions while studying are plentiful. You should be able to overcome distractions or avoid distractions. Please understand the above. Change your study style and attitude accordingly. Please post a private question to me and I will help you with" effective learning" techniques. Take care.

My brother is 23 years old. For past 3 years he becrs chain smoker. What is the solution to quit smoking.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology
Psychologist
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Dear lybrate user. I can understand. Smoking is addictive. Therefore usually we employ two methods. First mehod is to create awareness, motivate to quit smoking and assist with quitting. Here mind power plays an important role. Second method is deaddiction therapy. I suggest online deaddiction therapy. Take care.

Please tell me how to concentrate on mind and body means how to improve constipation memory please tell me in briefly.

BHMS
Homeopath
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Please tell me how to concentrate on mind and body means how to improve constipation memory please tell me in briefly.
Dear lybrate user, take homoeopathic anacardium 200, 5 drops, thrice daily, in empty stomach. Also take homoeopathic mother tincture ashwagandha q, 30 drops, thrice daily, after meals, in a cup of water.

I lost somebody close last year and since than feel very depressed and prefer keeping to myself all the time please help me.

BAMS, MD Ayurveda
Ayurveda
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I lost somebody close last year and since than feel very depressed and prefer keeping to myself all the time please h...
You can also try thes home remedies 1. Cut, de-seed and crush 4-5 Indian gooseberries to paste 2. Press this paste on a sieve and extract the juice 3. Take 2 tsp of this Indian gooseberry juice 4. Add ½ tsp nutmeg powder 5. Mix well 6. Drink 2 times a day Causes: • Anxiety • Tension • Mental stress • Drug addiction • Deficiency of vitamin B complex This is very helpful.

Getting out of Self Doubt (SD)!

Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Certificate in Forensic Psychology, MD-Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist
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Step out of Denial Mode
When we never admit there is a problem, we cannot seek a solution. Acknowledge your shortcoming and problems which leaves you helpless. Also, dig into your belief system and thought patterns which help sustain SD. Discuss it with your trusted colleagues in the same settings and how do they manage it? Modify your belief system and coping strategies if required.
Maintain a SMILE Journal/ Diary
Record interesting little things that made you happy today. Write a few lines every time you glean a new lesson from your experiences. These small records will help you cheer up whenever you find yourself stuck in old helpless rut.

Locate your support system
Its important to identify your support system in advance. Individuals who are approachable and can guide you out of dense fog of SD. Someone who can help you in modifying existing coping strategies for desirable results.
Maintain Emotional Wellbeing
While trying to step out of SD its important to take care of your emotional wellbeing. Continuous struggle, chances of relapse, exhaustion may lead to frustration and thus anger outbursts, which are capable of diminishing all the progress you have made so far. Learn how to express anger in a healthy way, so that you can use it as an effective tool instead of spoiling everything.
Let go of Fear
A pinch of Fear can do more damage than all criticism summed up. Let go of all excuses & false beliefs that comes in the way of helping yourself. Since everything you tried till date didn’t worked its time to try something new. Start with breaking strings from self doubt. Parent your inner child in the process. Foster making mistakes and take the opportunity to learn something new rather than demoralizing yourself.
I hope these steps at your personal level shall boost you to step out of SD and if nothing works, seek help from a compassionate therapist to ride this rip.
Getting out of Self Doubt (SD)!

I m suffering from extreme stress need to consult a psychologists suggest me a good one.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology
Psychologist
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I m suffering from extreme stress need to consult a psychologists suggest me a good one.
Dear lybrate-user, stress disorder can cause serious health problems if it is left untreated. Treatment is always given to the person rather than the stress itself. No one can avoid the stress around them and therefore they will be taught how to live with the stress itself. Understanding the stress and passionately dealing with the stressor is the best process. Life style coaches and psychologists will train you. There are many psychologists you can contact even online. Do consult a psychologist. Take care.

Hi My 4 years daughter is hyperactive and does not listen to anyone. Also she Always throws tantrums at home and in school. Good in studies but does not sit at a place so cant write properly.Please help me out with this ?

B.Sc(hons), Physics, B.H.M.S., PGDIT (software Engg)
Homeopath
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Do no use any medicine. This is a natural thing. She will be right after a few years. Do not shape her as per your will. U will face trouble.

Dear Doctor, due to unnecessary chronic anxiety, my weight is getting reduced. I'm already underweight. My bmi is 17.2.I have a feeling of vomiting and I can't sleep at night. Is it harmful for health? Can it cause heart problem such as anorexia? I'm male. I'm in a confusion. Will it lead to heart problem and diabetes? I'm male, age 29.

MBBS, MD - NEUROPSYCHIATRY
Psychiatrist
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Dear Doctor, due to unnecessary chronic anxiety, my weight is getting reduced. I'm already underweight. My bmi is 17....
Yes anxiety can cause a lot of problems like reduces weight and decrease in appetite. But the good news is that it can be treated. At this age I don't see any reason as why you will get a heart disease. However anxiety can cause palpitation and patients think it is because of heart disease. This is not true. You can try relaxation exercises.

My memory is week when I read or write anything after 1 day or an hours I forget. As I am a student it creates lots of problems. Please tell me how to make my memory strong.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist
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Because of your age you may have hormonal imbalances which may impact your memory because of the chemical but also the distractions that come with it. But you may work on the following even if the hormones kick in: daily exercise of at least half an hour is a must. Even if you go to a gym, ask for aerobic and/or callisthenic exercises with whatever else you are doing. A healthy body harbors a healthy mind. With regard to memory, it is very important that your brain and body is ideally rested to be able to recall whatever is required, rather comfortably. Puzzles pose problems to the brain that help it to use new pathways and neurons, which give the brain considerable exercise. It taxes the left brain to use logic to solve the myriad possibilities which other activities do not stimulate. Crosswords are excellent for vocabulary learning and use. Jigsaws and rubik cube stimulate different permutations to finally settle on the most likely one. Picture completion and anagrams help approach problem solving from several angles. Do sudoku, and memory co-relation activities and skills. Have a good night? s sleep, have a good breakfast of more proteins, meditate often, remain free of stress, eat a lot of fiber (whole grains, fruits and vegetables), nuts, avocado, eat dark chocolate, consume less of fat and use olive oil instead, do yoga meditation exercises, etc. You need to check out if you are stronger visual or auditory. The visual is a better mode than the auditory. However, if you combine the two modes, you will get the best concentration. Have a special place of learning, which should be well lit, with soft painted walls, well-ventilated, with no distractions. When you get bored, study by writing. If you repeat learning at least five to seven times, you will apparently remember for a longer time. Sit comfortably but do not slouch. The reading material should be of a fairly large print. Study at small intervals of about 40 minutes and then take a break or change the subject. Short-term memory is a faculty of the left brain, and long-term memory is a feature of the right brain. When people are stressed, they tend to favor the right brain and abandon the left brain, where short-term memory resides. So, it is really very simple: deal with the stress and activate left brain functions. Here are a few suggestions to activate left brain function: shut your left nostril and breathe, move your eyes from right to left and vice versa for at least half a minute at a time, and do callisthenic exercises with some form of counting, regularly. There are some memory enhancing techniques and study methods that your teacher will be able to guide you with. If your home life is full of distractions and stress, it is likely to affect your memory, adversely. In that case, I suggest that the family goes for counseling too.

I am 30 of a male suffering from generalized anxiety disorder facing symptoms like severe numbness in head, world seems dreamy dreamy, fear in public, foggy and distorted vision always thinking how I ll cum out of this. Please help since 2 years I am having this eating vegetables and fruits but still its not curable. Rply and tell me whether slowly slowly this scary symptoms will vanish or not. Lightheaded is one more thing which is unbearable for me. One of psychologist told eat healthy n sleep healthy is the only way to cure it. Brain fog and distorted vision are the worst problem I am facing. Will it disappear slowly slowly.

M.Sc - Applied Psychology, MS - Counselling and Psychotherapy
Psychologist
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I am 30 of a male suffering from generalized anxiety disorder facing symptoms like severe numbness in head, world see...
Hello USer, Generalized anxiety disorder tip 1: Connect with others Support from other people is vital to overcoming GAD. Social interaction with someone who cares about you is the most effective way to calm your nervous system and diffuse anxiety, so it’s important to find someone you can connect with face to face on a regular basis. This person should be someone you can talk to for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted by the phone or other people. That person may be your significant other, a family member, or a friend. How GAD can get in the way of connecting with others While the more connected you are to other people, the less vulnerable you’ll feel, but the catch-22 is that having GAD can lead to problems in your relationships. For example, anxiety and constant worrying about your close relationships may leave you feeling needy and insecure. Identify unhealthy relationship patterns. Think about the ways you tend to act when you’re feeling anxious about a relationship. Do you test your partner? Withdraw? Make accusations? Become clingy? Once you’re aware of any anxiety-driven relationship patterns, you can look for better ways to deal with any fears or insecurities you’re feeling. Build a strong support system. Human beings are social creatures. We’re not meant to live in isolation. But a strong support system doesn’t necessarily mean a vast network of friends. Don’t underestimate the benefit of a few people you can trust and count on to be there for you. Talk it out when your worries start spiraling. If you start to feel overwhelmed with anxiety, meet with a trusted family member or friend. Just talking face to face about your worries can make them seem less threatening. Know who to avoid when you’re feeling anxious. Your anxious take on life may be something you learned when you were growing up. If your mother is a chronic worrier, she is not the best person to call when you’re feeling anxious—no matter how close you are. When considering who to turn to, ask yourself whether you tend to feel better or worse after talking to that person about a problem. Tip 2: Learn to calm down quickly While socially interacting with another person face-to-face is the quickest way to calm your nervous system, it’s not always realistic to have a friend close by to lean on. In these situations, you can quickly self-soothe and relieve anxiety symptoms by making use of one or more of your physical senses: Sight – Look at anything that relaxes you or makes you smile: a beautiful view, family photos, cat pictures on the Internet. Sound – Listen to soothing music, sing a favorite tune, or play a musical instrument. Or enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature (either live or recorded): ocean waves, wind through the trees, birds singing. Smell – Light scented candles. Smell the flowers in a garden. Breathe in the clean, fresh air. Spritz on your favorite perfume. Taste – Slowly eat a favorite treat, savoring each bite. Sip a hot cup of coffee or herbal tea. Chew on a stick of gum. Enjoy a mint or your favorite hard candy. Touch – Give yourself a hand or neck massage. Cuddle with a pet. Wrap yourself in a soft blanket. Sit outside in the cool breeze. Movement – Go for a walk, jump up and down, or gently stretch. Dancing, drumming, and running can be especially effective. Tip 3: Get moving Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension, reduces stress hormones, boosts feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, and physically changes the brain in ways that make it less anxiety-prone and more resilient. For maximum relief of GAD, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Exercise that engages both your arms and legs—such as walking, running, swimming, or dancing—are particularly good choices. Add mindfulness to your workout Mindfulness is a powerful anxiety fighter—and an easy technique to incorporate into your exercise program. Rather than spacing out or focusing on your thoughts during a workout, focus on how your body feels as you move. Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind on your skin. Not only will you get more out of your workout—you’ll also interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head. Tip 4: Look at your worries in new ways The core symptom of GAD is chronic worrying. It’s important to understand what worrying is, since the beliefs you hold about worrying play a huge role in triggering and maintaining GAD. Understanding worrying You may feel like your worries come from the outside—from other people, events that stress you out, or difficult situations you’re facing. But, in fact, worrying is self-generated. The trigger comes from the outside, but your internal running dialogue keeps it going. When you’re worrying, you’re talking to yourself about things you’re afraid of or negative events that might happen. You run over the feared situation in your mind and think about all the ways you might deal with it. In essence, you’re trying to solve problems that haven’t happened yet, or worse, simply obsessing on worst-case scenarios. All this worrying may give you the impression that you’re protecting yourself by preparing for the worst or avoiding bad situations. But more often than not, worrying is unproductive—sapping your mental and emotional energy without resulting in any concrete problem-solving strategies or actions. How to distinguish between productive and unproductive worrying? If you’re focusing on “what if” scenarios, your worrying is unproductive. Once you’ve given up the idea that your worrying somehow helps you, you can start to deal with your worry and anxiety in more productive ways. This may involve challenging irrational worrisome thoughts, learning how to stop worrying, and learning to accept uncertainty in your life. Tip 5: Regularly practice relaxation techniques for GAD Anxiety is more than just a feeling. It’s the body’s physical “fight or flight” reaction to a perceived threat. Your heart pounds, you breathe faster, your muscles tense up, and you feel light-headed. When you’re relaxed, the complete opposite happens. Your heart rate slows down, you breathe slower and more deeply, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure stabilizes. Since it’s impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time, strengthening your body’s relaxation response is a powerful anxiety-relieving tactic. Relaxation techniques for GAD Deep breathing. When you’re anxious, you breathe faster. This hyperventilation causes symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and tingly hands and feet. These physical symptoms are frightening, leading to further anxiety and panic. But by breathing deeply from the diaphragm, you can reverse these symptoms and calm yourself down. Progressive muscle relaxation can help you release muscle tension and take a “time out” from your worries. The technique involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body. As your body relaxes, your mind will follow. Meditation. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can actually change your brain. With regular practice, meditation boosts activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy. Try the Ride the Wild Horse meditation, part of HelpGuide’s free EQ toolkit. Tip 6: Adopt additional anxiety-busting habits A healthy, balanced lifestyle plays a big role in keeping the symptoms of GAD at bay. In addition to regular exercise and relaxation, try adopting these other lifestyle habits to tackle chronic anxiety and worry: Get enough sleep Anxiety and worry can cause insomnia, as anyone whose racing thoughts have kept them up at night can attest. But lack of sleep can also contribute to anxiety. When you’re sleep deprived, your ability to handle stress is compromised. When you’re well rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with anxiety and stopping worry. Improve your sleep at night by changing any daytime habits or bedtime routines that can contribute to sleeplessness. Limit caffeine Stop drinking or at least cut back on caffeinated beverages, including soda, coffee, and tea. Caffeine is a stimulant that can trigger all kinds of jittery physiological effects that look and feel a lot like anxiety—from pounding heart and trembling hands to agitation and restlessness. Caffeine can also make GAD symptoms worse, cause insomnia, and even trigger panic attacks. Avoid alcohol and nicotine Having a few drinks may temporarily help you feel less anxious, but alcohol actually makes anxiety symptoms worse as it wears off. While it may seem like cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant that leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety. Eat right Food doesn’t cause anxiety, but a healthy diet can help keep you on an even keel. Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar—which can make you feel anxious and irritable—so start the day right with breakfast and continue with regular meals. Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), which stabilize blood sugar and boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter with calming effects. Reduce the amount of refined sugar you eat, too. Sugary snacks and desserts cause blood sugar to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling emotionally and physically drained. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy If you’ve given self-help a fair shot, but still can’t seem to shake your worries and fears, it may be time to see a mental health professional. But remember that professional treatment doesn’t replace self-help. In order to control your GAD symptoms, you’ll still want to make lifestyle changes and look at the ways you think about worrying Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that is particularly helpful in the treatment of GAD. CBT examines distortions in our ways of looking at the world and ourselves. Your therapist will help you identify automatic negative thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. For example, if you catastrophize—always imagining the worst possible outcome in any given situation—you might challenge this tendency through questions such as, “What is the likelihood that this worst-case scenario will actually come true?” and “What are some positive outcomes that are more likely to happen?”.
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