• Deanne Panday

Overwhelmed with Anxiety? Here’s what to do.

When we talk about health, we usually tend to consider just our physical health. While looking after one’s health it is very important to also take into consideration, the aspect of mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health. We seek treatment from the best medical facilities when it comes to our physical health, but why do we neglect our mental health. This is associated with the poor importance given to mental health and the social stigma attached to it. Mental illness is not a myth, there are more than 200 forms of it and it requires our attention.

As Bill Clinton once said,

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.”

There are many types of mental disorders, namely anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, SUBSTANCE ABUSE and lots more. Amongst these, anxiety has become a pressing problem affecting most of the sections of our society. Occasional anxiety is common among people, and a normal part of life. But it becomes serious when it becomes persistent and uncontrollable. Overwhelming Anxiety disorders are not new to the society. With the daily hustle and stress, people are practically wired for anxiety. The ignorance of the same has led to this disorder to be to common and grave. We can experience anxiety attacks in many forms- Panting of the heart, excessive worries, negative thoughts, distress, a feeling of constant unrest, stomach cramps, breathing problems etc. The most common stressors that lead to anxiety attacks are often related to work, money, relationship issues, adjustment issues—like moving or getting a new job—and chronic medical conditions. It can also run in the family. Anxiety disorders are also quite common amongst teenagers. If not taken care of properly, these attacks can become very disruptive and lead to often panic attacks. That is why, anxiety disorders, no matter how minor they are, have to be taken care of at early stages.

In case these symptoms lead you into a territory of anxiety attacks, here’s what to do-

The Key Mantra to deal with anxiety is ‘You’. Try these techniques to prevent and deal with anxiety all by yourself.

1. Get involved in the present

Anxiety pays its way through worries of the past and the future. The “what if…?” fear is the root cause of such anticipatory pants. Getting involved in activities of the present. It will move you closer to your goal of overcoming anxiety attacks when you bring your focus and energy back to the present environment.

2. Socialize

Loneliness and isolation can trigger or worsen anxiety, while talking about your worries face to face can often make them seem less overwhelming. Make it a point to regularly meet up with friends, join a self-help or support group, or share your worries and concerns with a trusted loved one. If you don’t have anyone you can reach out to, it’s never too late to build new friendships and a support network.

3. Practice relaxation techniques

Mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well being. Deep breathing or Belly breathing is power tool to deal with anxiety, however severe. Identify, and relax, the parts of your body that get most tense during a panic attack. This typically involves first tensing, and then relaxing, the muscles of your jaw, neck, shoulders, back and legs.

4. Exercise regularly

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Rhythmic activities that require moving both your arms and

legs are especially effective. Try walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or dancing.

5. Be smart about caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine

 If you struggle with anxiety, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake, or cutting it out completely. Similarly alcohol can also make anxiety worse. And while it may seem like cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant that

leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

6. Talk to yourself or meditate

At times acknowledging and accepting your anxiety to yourself is necessary. Self pep talks are not just a myth. They are very effective when put to practical use. Ask yourself questions about your worries, “Is it Danger or Discomfort?”, tell yourself that it is okay to be afraid. Even meditation is a great tool of self reflection. Meditation

helps in calming your mind and promotes mindfulness.

Anxiety disorders respond very well to therapy even—and often in a relatively short amount of time. The specific treatment approach depends on the type of anxiety disorder and its severity. It is important to remember that, there is an end to anxiety.

The above techniques promote a healthy mental state and thus helps overcome this uncontrollable and overwhelming disorder. Mental health is crucial for every being, and thus mental illness and its treatment should not be considered as a social stigma, rather it should be dealt with better care. To raise awareness, May is known as the mental health awareness month; to remind you that it is important to check in with ourselves regularly. Stay healthy, Stay Balanced!

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