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If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you will need professional help. See your doctor for a referral to a mental health specialist.

Though not a treatment for anxiety disorders, the following tips can help reduce symptoms of anxiety:

* Take care of your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Include a multivitamin when you can’t always eat right.

* Avoid alcohol, and reduce or eliminate your consumption of sugar and caffeine.

* Take time out for yourself every day. Even 20 minutes of relaxation or doing something pleasurable for yourself can be restorative and decrease your overall anxiety level.

* Trim a hectic schedule to its most essential items, and do your best to avoid activities you don’t find relaxing.

* Keep an anxiety journal. Rank your anxiety on a 1-to-10 scale. Note the event during which you felt anxious. Jot down any feeling or thought you had just before you got anxious. Keep track of things that make you more anxious or less anxious.

* If you begin to hyperventilate, exhale into a paper bag and inhale the air within the bag. This increases the amount of carbon dioxide you are inhaling, which can reduce the urge to hyperventilate. Inhaling from a bag will help relieve any dizziness or tingling you might feel.

Some clinicians have a “rough rule of thumb” for prevention of any anxiety disorder: try to avoid any food (red meat, chocolate, etc) or drinks (tea, coffee, soda, or red wine, etc.) that is brown in color.