What is anxiety? Coping with Anxiety.
Anxiety is a word we use to describe feelings of unease, worry and fear, how do we start to deal with coping with anxiety. Each and every one of us experience it in some shape or form, from being anxious over a test or interview, visiting the dentist, catching a flight. For some these feelings of anxiousness take over everyday life. Although the feeling of anxiousness is not a pleasant experience it is perfectly natural and is linked to our fight or flight response that we as humans have developed over our whole evolution. When under threat the body release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, these hormones can, make you feel more alert, so you can act faster, make your heart beat faster to carry blood quickly to where it’s needed most. Once the threat has passed the body releases other hormones to help you relax.
So when does Anxiety become an issue to our mental health and well-being?
Because worrying is a natural everyday occurrence it can be difficult to realise when it has become an issue for you, if your feelings of anxiety last a long time they can overwhelm you.
Examples could be:
You worry all the time about everyday things or even about things that may never happen. You worry about worrying itself.
You may suffer physical and psychological reactions and panic attacks over your anxiety. The table below is from Mind UK.
|Physical sensations:||Psychological sensations:|
Depending on the severity and kind of anxiety that you experience you maybe diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder.
GAD — General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, OCD — Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, PTSD.
Those are just the most commonly diagnosed Anxiety disorders. For more information on specific disorders talk to your GP or visit MIND UK website.
Coping with Anxiety.
It is easy for someone who does not suffer with acute anxiety to say things such as “stop worrying” “calm Down” “oh its nothing”
The reality on the other hand is far from simple for the sufferer.
The following are a few self-help tools that have been researched and proven to help with worry and anxiousness.
Talk to someone:
As with any issue that you may have the first step is to talk about it, this does not have to mean your doctor or other professional, talk to someone you trust you never know they may have in the past experienced the exact same issue.
Breathing Exercises for coping with Anxiety:
As simple as it sounds following some simple breathing exercises really can help relieve the symptoms and bring back a calmness.
Listen to Music for coping with anxiety.
The simple thing of listening to music that relaxes you or that you enjoy can calm you and help relieve the symptoms. Create upbeat playlists for everyday things.
Physical Exercise for coping with anxiety.
The main thing with this one is to do something you enjoy not something you see as a chore as this will add more worry to your life, it could be anything from a walk to swimming, a bike ride with a friend. You could even do some yoga in your living room if you can not get out.
Keeping a Diary.
Sometimes keeping a journal or diary of when you have your attacks can help identify triggers and common occurrences that lead up to your anxiety. This can help to build coping mechanisms for the future and help create routines that overcome those triggers. The below is from MIND UK
Eat and Drink Healthy for coping with anxiety.
Try to avoid stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, smoking. Try to eat a healthy diet avoiding processed foods and getting the correct nutrients can help with:
|Improving your diet can help give you:|
Alternative and Complimentary Therapies.
There are a number of therapies available as well as traditional medical therapies.
From Yoga, Meditation, Reflexology, Aromatherapy and herbal treatments, Hypnotherapy are all types of alternative therapies you could try.
There are also a lot of support groups for all kinds of Anxiety disorders. As we have already said the first step is talking to someone.
The growth of talking therapies over the last few years is well documented and there is research and empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these from Mindful CBT to NLP, they are all tools to use and help to overcome your anxiety.
Take the first step and talk to someone.