Anxiety

Anxiety

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Restlessness or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain

Some Helpful Tips and Practice

Nutrition and life style

  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Avoid smoking
  • Try and get a good night sleep
  • Have a balance diet- eat vegetable and avoid fatty foods where possible

 Exercise Regularly– increases alertness and concentration. Exercise is also a great way to release some frustrations and can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

Relaxation– is different for everyone

  • Watch Television
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Have a bath
  • Slow breathing or progressive muscle relaxation

 The benefits of relaxation are –feeling calm, reduces muscle tension, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces perspiration, and improves sleep

 Relaxation techniques– Slow breathing, progressive muscle tension, meditation, visualization.

 Structure problem solving- this technique allows anxious people to deal with problematic situations and worries. It teaches a person to identify what is troubling them and to formulate solutions to the problem and put those solutions into effect. Example: You could sit down with a pen and paper and write down what the problem is and then explore what your solutions are. Writing them down can be very helpful, because you can see the problem and the solutions and you can always refer back to what you have written and also keep adding more solutions.

What Can I Do?

It is usually helpful to identify the events surrounding the experience of anxiety. This can help us understand what may be causing us to feel anxious.

  • What provokes the anxiety?
  • What thoughts or physical sensations accompany the anxiety?
  • How distressing is the anxiety?
  • How are you coping with the anxiety?

Exploring these accompanying events may provide useful information about the nature of the anxiety as well as possible strategies for reducing it. In addition, there are specific changes you can make that may help alleviate anxiety symptoms:

  • Exercise or engage in some form of daily physical activity
  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Obtain an adequate amount of sleep
  • Seek emotional support from friends and family
  • Focus on positive aspects of your life
  • Establish realistic, attainable goals which do not rely on perfectionistic values
  • Monitor how you think about stress and reduce and/or change thoughts which are negative
  • Identify activities which feel overwhelming and reduce your involvement or seek ways to make them more manageable
  • Consult with a physician if you are experiencing any medical problems
  • Consult with a mental health professional if you continue to be concerned about your anxiety
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol and drugs and limit caffeine intake
  • Don’t assume responsibility for events which are outside of your control

Helping an Anxious Person

If someone you care about has been experiencing anxiety symptoms, you can be a valuable resource.

There is often tremendous shame associated with anxiety. If you talk honestly with the individual regarding your concerns for his or her well-being, it will often bring the problems out into the open.

Emphasize that your primary objective is to convey feelings of concern and assistance. You can also always consult with a mental health professional yourself if you are concerned about how to talk with your friend.

Suggestions for intervening with an anxious friend

  • Be empathic and understanding
  • Don’t minimize the severity of anxiety symptoms
  • Avoid critical or shaming statements
  • Encourage coping strategies which don’t rely on avoidance of anxiety-provoking stimuli
  • Acknowledge expressions of hopelessness
  • Don’t argue about how bad things are
  • Don’t become angry even though your efforts may be resisted or rejected
  • Advocate for treatment of anxiety

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