15 Dec All about Anxiety. Give Your Brain a Break!
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Occasionally, we all experience stress and anxiety, either when we are moving places, changing our job, starting something new, or speaking in front of a group of people even if they are our colleagues. The last one is still a part of my anxiety that I have to deal with.
Having anxiety is not just something “light” to talk about. It’s a little bit more complex than just a pretext to not go out or to avoid seeing people. It also does not happen occasionally as described before, but the feeling of anxiety and anxiety disorders have one thing in common: it is persistent with excessive fear or worry in non-threatening situations. In today’s Newsletter, we will explain more about Anxiety and present some ideas on how to deal with it.
If we take the dictionary meaning of the word Anxiety, it simply means “the reaction of your body when you are facing a stressful situation, and the fear and apprehension for what is next”. The problem with Anxiety is that it is a process felt at all ages, and some know how to deal with it, others let it overcome them and allow the feeling to control them, which is understandable.
Scientifically speaking, there are many types of Anxiety:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder: When someone is feeling constantly worried in any kind of daily activities.
- Panic Disorder: Something that occurs in all human beings under stress, but each one of us deals with the matter differently, and that is having panic attacks at unexpected times.
- Phobia-specific Phobia: The excessive fear of something specific, this could be of a small items, to the biggest animals that have walked this earth and you know that are now extinct.
- Agoraphobia: Situations like using public transportation, being in open spaces, being in enclosed places or standing in line and being in a crowd may provoke intense fear or anxiety.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: The fear of being judged by others, social interactions are a cause of excessive worry.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder: The fear of being away from the ones we love and from home
Some more are:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Having irrational thoughts leading to performing repeated behaviours. Some people have very strong OCD, ( please don’t think of your friend that is very clean and tidy,) as this is something very major that people suffer from and could lead to bigger health issues.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Anxiety after a traumatic event, which is a disorder that is usually found in kids that have survived a war, or soldiers and also people who have been in an accident. Newest research shows that any traumatic event especially bullying can cause PTSD and unfortunately has a lasting impact on victims.
- Selective mutism: Children do not speak where they are expected to speak, such as school, even though they speak in other situations. They only speak to close family members and close friends. It may not be formally identified until the child enters school, (usually at age of 5 ). By many children symptoms getting better, as they grow.
There are many common symptoms felt by an individual when it comes to Anxiety such as increased heart, rapid breathing, trouble concentrating, and even difficulty sleeping. It is true that these symptoms are not easy to live with on daily basis, but when worked on with professionals, people will soon learn to live with them, and be in control and avoid letting them control them. Always keep in mind that each of us goes through symptoms differently.
Researchers are not sure what the actual reasons are behind having anxiety (no matter its nature) but they strongly believe that it can be caused by genetic and environmental factors that trigger the brain to send your body these fearful messages.
I believe in natural treatments and following the latest research for example the huge impact that the correct way of breathing has on our body and mind. I strongly recommend breathing techniques for all ages. Breathing exercises help us to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
Deep breathing (we all can) is one of the easiest and best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, your brain receives the message to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.
Many famous researchers and psychotherapists point out the importance of breathing in their work. One in particular that I follow, Bessel van der Kolk, has researched Trauma (in children and adults) and he is promoting yoga exercises, breathing, and meditation for his patients.
Parallel to breathing techniques and other relaxation methods there is a vast repertoire from tools we can use. A very known model is the ABC model developed by Albert Ellis which is used in CBT therapy context. The idea using this tool is to examine: the A.activation event B.the beliefs behind it and C.the consequences. Some questions you can ask your self in a challenging situation are:
A. What happened?
What triggered me?
B. What interpretations am I making?
What is my self-talk here?
C. What is my behaviour now?
Every one of us has a certain level of Anxiety, some have learned to live with it and managed to control it, others may be a little fearful and don’t dare separate anxiety and their everyday life.
I can help you learn the science behind howanxiety works, understand how you can calm your body and mind, and weaken the anxiety cycle! There is not only one precise template that will work for everyone: I use techniques from many other methods, programs, and types of therapy in combination.
Look up also these:
- Bessel van de Kolk : the body keeps the score
- Huberman Lab Podcast
- Ted Talk Olivia Remes How to cope with anxiety