How to overcome daily paranoia

Written by jamila daniel
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How to overcome daily paranoia
There are ways to cope when it's you against the world. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you suffer from a constant feeling of an elevated or unwarranted distrust of others --- in extreme cases, to the point where it affects your personal and professional life --- you may suffer from one of three prominent types of paranoia: paranoid schizophrenia, delusional disorder or paranoid personality disorder. Paranoia is a mental disorder generally stemming from depression and dementia and in extreme cases, such as paranoid schizophrenia, symptoms can include an irrational, resolute belief that people are "out to get you" and even hallucinations. In less extreme, more everyday instances of paranoia, you may deal with lower yet still unsettling levels of suspicion. If you think you suffer from any level of paranoia, certainly seek out a professional opinion. But there are some things you can do day to day that may alleviate your symptoms.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Healthy food
  • Mental health books
  • Free weights

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Rather than entertaining the thoughts that are causing your paranoia or panic, try to distract yourself by turning your thoughts to something else. It can be anything from a tangible, positive thought (such as "Most people don't actually have the time to actually plot against me like I believe they do") to a grand daydream to help you escape the horror of the moment.

  2. 2

    Make positive thinking a habit. The more optimistic you are in general, the less likely you'll be to entertain negative thoughts when they arise. No matter how big or small, move on quickly from negative thoughts.

  3. 3

    Try relaxation techniques --- such as breathing exercises or meditation --- which can reduce stress, anger and frustration and also help increase your confidence to handle problems. You can also try visualisation exercises, in which mental images are formed, transporting you to a tranquil, reassuring state of mind or simply just giving you something else to focus on. For example, when you start to have feelings of paranoia, think of an apple (or any other fruit or object you like,) focusing on the details. Is it smooth or brusied? Does it have dents? Is it a green apple or a red one?

  4. 4

    Get regular exercise. Depending on your level of fitness and ability, this can be anywhere from 15 minutes a day of low-key exercise to lengthier, more strenuous sessions most days of the week. You can get a natural boost in positive thinking from dopamine, the chemical your brain produces that fires off neurotransmitters that promote energy and positive mood. The more positive your mood is in general, the less you might yourself subject to negative or troubling thoughts.

  5. 5

    Eat a balanced diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit, provide numerous benefits, including helping to fight mental disorders like depression and mood disorders such as schizophrenia and dementia.

  6. 6

    Read self-help books on paranoia and mental disorders. You can access a wealth of information on the topic, including possible causes and in-depth solutions to have on hand. Ask a mental health care professional about which books she reccommends, or you can do a search under "mental illness" or "paranoia" on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for suggested titles.

Tips and warnings

  • If these methods don't seem to help, consult a doctor for professional help in getting paranoia symptoms under control.

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