Anxiety is a condition that we can experience during our lives. It is a natural response to stress and involves a feeling of fear or apprehension. Mostly it is short-lived, however many people are experiencing it as a health condition that is leading to distress.
According to Beyond Blue, approximately 14% of Australians aged between 18 and 85 years old have experienced anxiety in the last 12 months. With women more likely to experience anxiety than men.
The statistics can become more alarming with 1 in 8 Australians currently experiencing high or very high psychological distress.
So what are the symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety includes symptoms such as heart racing or heart palpitations, sweaty hands, trembling or shaking, difficulty focusing, digestive issues such as diarrhoea or bloating, a feeling of danger or panic, weakness and tiredness, or increased rate of breathing.
No-one seems to be immune. Hectic lifestyle and the demands we place on ourselves can contribute to anxiety. I am one of the 14% that has experienced anxiety in the last year.
My symptoms include a racing feeling of heart but my pulse stays regular, increased breathing rate, shakiness, and feeling of dread. I have found ways to help control and end the feelings when they start and this is working so I would like to share it with you.
Identifying your anxiety…
Identify the triggers of your anxiety.
Look at your diet to find if these affect you.
Triggers could be an event such as a crowded place or driving a car.
The trigger could even be an interaction with a specific person or your workplace.
Find your trigger, then look to ways to minimise the effect of the trigger. If it is your workplace, you may find it hard to avoid work. Instead, look for a strategy to implement to help you.
For instance, a client of mine took a Deep Breathing class to give her the tools to slow her breathing down at work, she also adopted a positive mindset and made a conscious decision to approach her workplace in a positive happy manner. This helped her cope with her workplace better and the people in the workplace noticed her positive attitude. Positive attitudes tend to be infectious.
Check those negative thoughts:
Just as a positive attitude can be infectious, so can a negative thought. Those thoughts, if unchecked, can monopolise your day and trigger your anxiety. The negative thoughts can influence the body to feel as if the worst is actually happening and trigger stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Being aware of the negative thoughts will help you to control and then you can choose a positive thought to replace the negative one.
Journal your thoughts and create positive affirmations to use daily to help reduce anxiety.
Deep slow breathing can help to reduce the feelings of anxiety.
Studies have shown the deep slow breathing can alter the heart rate and reduce stress hormone response.
Take a slow breath in for the count of 5 then release over the count of 5 and repeat another 5 times.
Essential oils have a reputation in helping reduce anxiety. Molecules from essential oils such as Lavender, Bergamot, and Chamomile that are inhaled travel to the Limbic System in the brain. The Limbic System relates to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and stress.
Change your activity:
Go for a walk, do 15 minutes of yoga – (Go ahead and check out the Therapeutic Yoga for Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia with Shy Sayar), or meditation, or listen to uplifting music. Find a way for you to change the activity triggering the anxiety. For me walking is my meditation and exercise all wrapped into one and always helps me to kick any anxiety I am feeling.
Herbs such as Passionflower, Skullcap, Chamomile, St Johns Wort and Holy Basil may help to ease anxiety symptoms. These herbs can be beneficial if the anxiety is chronic and affects your daily life rather than a one-off. Herbal formulations or herbal teas can be a way of introducing these herbs into your daily life. Herbs should always be prescribed by a qualified herbalist for your individual needs.
You don’t need to live with anxiety and it doesn’t have to rule your life. Use these tips to help your daily life and if you still need help book an appointment with a qualified health professional
Have a fabulous day.