Statistics produced by UK Health and Safety report show that over 520,000 people in the UK were reported to have been suffering from either work related stress, anxiety or depression. With these Statistics in mind it is not hard to see why more and more people are looking for anxiety help, anxiety disorder treatment and anxiety and depression treatment. Many people are complaining of feeling constantly stressed out. it is this build up of stress over a period of time that can often be the cause of a panic attack or a bout of anxiety.
To enable people to live happier and healthier lives it is vital that they learn how to deal with stress in their life and learn how to help anxiety. One of the biggest reasons why people with anxiety experience symptoms and sensations for prolonged periods of time is due to their lack of understanding of anxiety. Add to this society’s negative stigma of ‘mental health’ conditions, along with many fear provoking stories fabricated by the media, many people are afraid to speak out and suffer in silence, often experiencing depression symptoms as a result.
There is no set age, race or gender for anyone suffering with anxiety. Anxiety in kids, teenagers, the middle aged and pensioners in their 70’s 80’s and 90’s are all common. Although statistics point to women suffering more from anxiety as opposed to men, it is popular belief that this is purely due to men being more reluctant to speak publicly about their problems. By using natural remedies for anxiety and with the right help and guidance all Anxiety conditions including Social Phobia, PSTD and GAD can be overcome.
What is Anxiety?
It is very important to learn that Anxiety is not some uncontrollable disease or illness that you develop suddenly, inherit, or contract somewhere. Anxiety is produced by a style of behaviour.
To be precise we actually create the psychological and emotional state of being anxious when we behave in an apprehensive way, such as being worried or concerned about something.
Anxiety is actually a result of behaviour and is not some disease, or illness to be feared.
Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree at some point or another in their lives. Statistics show that most people have had a panic attack at some point in their lives. Anxiety is not to be feared. It is merely an outcome of behaving in an apprehensive manner. The trouble is most people don’t know this and think of anxiety as something sinister.
Again, anxiety is not a disease or illness. It’s a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that results when we behave apprehensively.
An example of this type of behaviour simply a person allowing their mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles often imaging upsetting things.
There are literally thousands of symptoms of Anxiety. It is important to remember that every person is unique and as a result each individual can experience a different set of symptoms at any particular time. This doesn’t mean that any of the symptoms below are any worse than any other. Moreover it is a high possibility that the symptoms a person experiences are linked to their core fears around that particular area. For example an anxious person who is afraid of having a heart attack would be more prone to experiencing anxiety symptoms relating to their heart (racing heart, tight chest) due to the fact that they were continually focused on this potential threat. Some of the most common symptoms and sensations of anxiety are outlined below.
Shortness of breath
What causes Anxiety?
Apprehensive behaviour, such as worry, causes anxiety and stresses a person’s body.
When Anxiety has been present over a period of time and interferes with a person’s life in is classified as a disorder. This can be a very harmful diagnosis as an anxious person can then think that there is something wrong with them or they are in some way ill.
Anxiety is not dangerous, harmful or something that we need to be fearful of. Anxiety is merely a normal bodily response to believing something is harmful. Anxiety is designed to protect you. When you become anxious your body goes into the flight or fight mode. Your body is prepared to either fight the threat or flee from the threat. Hormones are released into the bloodstream to prepare the person for action.
The problem is that overly anxious personalities perceive danger more often and to higher degrees than those who aren’t as anxious. It’s this overly anxious behaviour that causes problems with anxiety in our lives.
Anxiety is not a disease or illness and anxiety is not something a person is born with. Anxiety is produced when we behave in an apprehensive manner (fearful).
How to reverse Anxiety
To reverse anxiety a person must learn that what they are experiencing (symptoms) are not harmful in anyway. And then they must truly understand this. A person’s perception and reaction to anxiety determines whether they respond with fear or ignore their thoughts and dismiss them. It is this change in behaviour that is vital in enabling a person to calm down and gradually reduce their Anxiety. The number one reason for prolonged bouts of anxiety is the fact that the fear response of the symptoms experienced sets of a fear cycle.
More Anxiety symptoms
More Anxiety Symptoms
Nevertheless if a person has been struggling with Anxiety for a prolonged period of time the change in behaviour can take some time before a person recovers from anxiety. It is during this recovery stage that it is important that a person continues to act and behave in a non anxious way. (Behaviour modification) and keeps faith in the process. Setbacks and relapses occur when a person does not maintain the behaviour change for a period of time long enough for the body to recover. This can often be due to a lack of fully understanding anxiety and the recovery process and additional lifestyle factors which hinder the recovery process.
Lifestyle Factors that can contribute to anxiety are as follows:
You’re consuming too much caffeine.
1. Coffee has been linked to increased anxiety. If you are dealing with chronic anxiety, it’s better that you try to cut out all coffee and caffeine based products. If you are finding this particularly difficult try limiting your intake and gradually tapering off. As caffeine leaves your system it has a beneficial effect of unstimulating your nervous system.
2. You’re not exercising enough.
Staying active is vital for reducing stress and anxiety. Please note that the term ‘exercise’ does not mean that you have to go out and run a marathon. A simple little walk around the block is better than nothing. Get going today and commit to exercising and before long you’re find yourself forming new habits and feeling good about yourself.
3. You’re not sleeping enough.
This is one of the most important reasons and often links in with drinking too much coffee. Anxiety and depression have been linked to chronic sleep deprivation. Keep in mind that rest and recovery is just as important as your diet and exercise. It’s all a balance as is everything in life. Experts recommend getting between 7-9 hours sleep per night, however, you will know yourself better than any expert your own body and how much sleep you need when you’re honest with yourself. If you’re going to bed late discipline yourself to go to bed earlier.
4. You’re drinking too much alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong the odd glass of wine won’t hurt, however, what happens to our body when we over indulge in alcohol? Well Alcohol is a toxin that can lead to improper mental and physical functioning, by negatively impacting the levels of serotonin (Feel good factor) in the brain. If a person is already feeling anxious and stressed a hangover caused from anxiety will worsen how they feel and produce even more symptoms.
5. You don’t have time to meditate or manage stress.
It is so important to make sure that you look at ways of managing your stress/worry in life. Did you know that uncontained stress/worry is often the catalyst of bouts of anxiety and depression? It’s learning how to change the way you think about things that results in whether or not you become anxious/stressed. So much of anxiety is worrying too much about the past and/or future. Meditation also teaches us to stay in the present moment, where anxiety is (often) nonexistent. Even just practising 10 minutes of meditation per day can have a positive effect on your overall health. As the great Tony Robbins says “If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare per day you don’t have a life!”
6 You’re diet is balanced enough
Eating a balanced diet is vital in maintaining equilibrium. Asparagus, Blueberries, Milk, Almonds, Oranges and Spinach have all been reported to reduce anxiety. Try at all costs to avoid Booze, Caffeine, fried foods, refined Sugars and Processed foods. A lot of people report feeling their best and calmest when eating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with the above good foods.
7. You don’t have enough friends/poor relationships
Having a strong social network is a great way to feel happier and less stressed. Also having friends at work is great for your wellbeing. We spend so long at work and it is vital that we form good positive relationships for our own well being. If we are upset or angry at people in our work it will affect our overall mood and well being. The same applies for family relationships.
8. You don’t make time for fun.
When we are out socialising and having fun it takes our mind of our problems and puts the breaks on anxiety, giving our body and mind ample time to recover. The reason for this is because when your mind is not focussed on a perceived threat (worry/concern) it does not produce a stress response. Every time you focus on non anxious things your body and mind start to calm down and relax. People often comment of how well they feel after a fun filled day out with friends and family. Making time for fun and balancing it between work is one of the most vital things in creating emotional well being.
9. You work too much.
For many people, their biggest stressor in life is their job. While most of us can’t control everything in a workplace, it’s important to focus on what we can control. When your work day is over, let it be over! As much as you can, don’t bring issues from your job into your personal life. Managing your anxiety should not come at the expense of your happiness (or your partner’s). If you need to discuss issues on the job, find a trusted health care professional who can help you find coping strategies.
10. You eat too much sugar.
Most of us have heard that too much sugar is bad for us, but do we actually know why? Studies have shown that eating too much sugar puts you at risk of heart disease. Other studies have compared the effects of sugar to hard drugs. Sugar often provides a quick burst of energy, followed by a crash – similar to the effects of caffeine. This causes your body to release adrenaline and cortisol, which can create increased anxiety and panic. Instead, I suggest eating real, whole foods.
How meditation and relaxation can benefit you.
Learning to relax is vital in enabling a person to calm their body down and distress themselves. Regular relaxation breaks throughout the day have been proven to take the edge off anxiety and help clear stressed minds. Practiced relaxation techniques also activate the body’s natural relaxation response (a state of deep rest) which is the opposite to the stress response which is experienced when our bodies go into the flight or fight mode stress. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings the body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.
Meditation or “mindfulness” has been proven over and over again to have a positive effect on overcoming anxiety. Although it won’t cure anxiety on its own, it is a practice that will bring about positive effects on your emotional health. Some of the benefits are outlined further below.
Studies have shown that being in a regular state of mindfulness increases positive emotions and reduces stress/anxiety. The more you practice meditation the more it changes the brain structure releasing anti stress chemicals and quietening mind chatter which is associated with anxiety. On top of this regular mindfulness also increases the ability to withstand the stress response meaning that things that once used to cause you to react in a fearful manner no longer do.
Meditation improves sleep when practiced faithfully. This has a greatly positive effect on reducing an overly stressed body/mind. The more rest you get the calmer your body becomes. Remember rest is nature’s way of reducing stress and anxiety. On top of this studies have shown that regular mindfulness produces a powerful neurochemical called melatonin which is used in the falling asleep process.
A common symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts that won’t go away. Through regular meditation practice a person can learn to detach themselves from these thoughts and focus on their inner silence. The better a person becomes at meditation the better they become at returning to this place, away from the distracting thoughts.