Anxiety and stress. What can be done?
Anxiety and stress related disorders are insidious; sometimes paralyzing and certainly disruptive to what could be a peaceful and happy life.
When we are little the trajectory of our lives is often set. We don’t choose how to feel or think and are often guided by parents, siblings, and peers who are simply trying to work things out for themselves and whilst doing the very best they can, do influence the prospective behaviour of the young.
Have you considered that whatever issues you don’t deal with are passed onto your children?
Anxiety and stress can be ‘contagious’. If you live in an ‘anxious’ household you mimic behaviour. It is said that a child of a depressed parent is 6 times more likely to develop a depressive illness and/or panic attacks later on in life. Why? Because of the behaviour that has been learned and the behaviour that has not been learned. Fragility can eventuate and often resilience is not in the equation. Too many expectations placed on a child and school-yard bullying are some of the pressures that can lead to high level nervous tension in adult life.
Are you a highly intelligent, high-achieving, perfectionist? Just some of the characteristics of an anxious person.
For a chuckle, tap into this: A Beginners Journal: YOGA & MEDITATION | coolcalmandconnected and you will get the picture!
But of course, there are many, many factors that cause anxiety and stress. A minefield of emotional explosives! There are long-term causes such as childhood circumstances/ trauma; and chronic stress accumulating over time. There are short-term causes such as personal loss/death in the family; dramatic life changes; acute stress in the workplace and/or substance use.
Self-esteem plummets, anxious self-talk predominates, catastrophizing skyrockets, muscles tense, feelings suppress, lack of purpose eventuates, isolation sets in, etc. It is then that one may spiral downwards into the darkness of depression.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that 45% all mood disorders are anxiety based and they lead to millions of lost workdays each year.
It is also surmised that up to 70% of all visits to the doctor are founded in the accumulation of stress.
CAN ANXIETY, STRESS AND PANIC ATTACKS BE ALLEVIATED?
For most people, YES.
(Of course one has to be prepared to work at developing anti-stress skills and to let go unconditionally!)
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Be Cool, Calm & Collected.
Amongst other things, perhaps learn to:
Breathing short breaths from the chest and being unable to exhale effectively cause the constant need to ‘catch the breath’ – panic can then set in.
Uninterrupted, peaceful, energizing sleep is simply not on the agenda for those who worry extensively.
Stooping, slouching and sagging simply prohibit good breathing and most often perpetuate and demonstrate a lack of confidence and self-esteem.
No matter how dark the space you have found yourself in, believe you can get well and you will be well. No doubt! A fact! What you tell yourself you will believe. What you expect will occur.
Oh yes, and exercise! That word again. One knows that ‘moving’ (exercise, dance, walking) reduces tension held in the muscles and assists with mobility in the joints; improves oxygen delivery throughout the body; enhances the sense of well-being; and increases strength, flexibility and endurance – psycho/somatic (emotional and physiological).
Nourish the body and the mind:
Lots of green food, water, sunshine, fresh air and play! Listen to soothing music; take a warm bath; have a massage; nurture yourself.
On the one hand I am saying move and on the other be still. It does make sense. Sometimes to achieve ‘balance’ we need to seek that quiet place that is to be found within us all. That place, where ‘all knowledge resides and serenity reigns’. Meditation is the avenue to reach it.
Do what makes you smile:
Spend time with friends; give some time to those in need, laugh, dance, sing, draw, paint, plant flowers, grow trees, travel, read, spend time with children... explore, embrace and enjoy every precious moment.
Reflect upon the stressful factors in your life:
Muster your courage and make change!