According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older each year. Symptoms that are common in these disorders include extreme fear, feelings of apprehension, shortness of breath, pounding heart, muscle tension, nausea, trembling, and dizziness. There are several major types of the disorders, which include: Seek professional help If your worries and fears are causing extreme distress and disrupting your daily functioning, seek treatment right away. Talk to your doctor first, and she will check to see if a medical condition is causing your anxiety. If this is ruled out, then the next step is to consult a trained mental health professional who will carefully evaluate your situation and decide on a course of treatment. Commit to treatment option(s) Anxiety disorders are generally treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two methods. You will need to assess the benefits and risks to decide whether anxiety medication is right for you. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the side effects of the drugs. A variety of medications are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Usually, medication is more effective when it is combined with behavioral techniques. So your treatment may also include psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you challenge the negative thoughts and irrational beliefs that could be behind your anxiety. You could gain insight on the cause of the disorder and learn how to deal with the symptoms for a more fulfilling life. Practice stress management techniques Begin by scheduling time for exercise and relaxation. Practice relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing to help decrease anxiety. Try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least four days a week. Stress management techniques can help you become calmer and enhance the effects of your therapy. Take care of yourself Commit yourself to promoting your well being in all areas: physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Balance your family, work, and social activities so that you do not become too taxed and anxious. Also, adopt healthy eating habits to make sure you get the nutrients you need. Get enough sleep, as lack of sleep worsens anxious thoughts and feelings. Similarly, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and drugs that are not prescribed by your doctor, as these could increase your anxiety. Develop a support network You need people to support you, so build and deepen relationships, and get support from family and friends. In addition, you can benefit from joining a self-help or support group related to your condition where you can share your struggles and achievements with others.