Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable feeling of dread and impending doom? If yes, then you are experiencing anxiety.
We worry over big and small things – from completing a task at your job to money matters and family relationships. But when worrying becomes excessive, a person may fail to properly assess the situation and manage their anxiety effectively – and exhibit uncomfortable physical symptoms to boot.
The physical symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person, but being constantly being tensed can affect the six important systems of the body such the cardiovascular system and the digestive systems. Some of the symptoms include rapid heartbeat, palpitations, involuntary trembling of the body, tension headaches, insomnia, feeling irritable, and more.
It is important to not just treat the symptoms but to address the underlying stressors that are causing the symptoms. If necessary, open up and talk to a close friend or family member, your priest or an experienced mental health professional.
Learn to Handle your Anxieties
Worrying is fine when it goads you to take action and rectify the situation. However, it becomes a problem when it incapacitates you mentally, emotionally and physically, unable to function normally and do your day to day tasks, even to the point of affecting your job and personal relationships.
Cognitive-behaviour therapy is effective in treating anxiety disorders. Other effective treatments include medicines and lifestyle changes such as exercising more and lowering caffeine intake. Treatment options should be discussed at length with a health care professional.
An anxiety sufferer will never know what will cause a sudden flare up of anxiety, so it is important to learn how to sort through repetitious, unproductive thoughts that make you feel anxious or upset. With a pen and paper, define your present situation – you can even go so far as listing all the elements of the problem. Write down all possible ways to handle the problem. Then, you need to decide whether to pursue or pull back from the problem. Finally, take action based on the possible solutions you have listed down.
When you feel anxious, you tend to breathe more rapidly, which leads to unpleasant feelings such as light-headedness, etc. Doing a simple breathing technique can help slow down breathing and often relieves the symptoms of anxiety and helps you think and focus once again. Breathe in through your nose and hold it for three seconds, then breathe out through your noise, again counting to three. Repeat until you feel your breathing return to normal.
Learning how to relax also helps. Learning how to relax your muscles can help you maintain a manageable level of anxiety.
Turn to Meditation
Feeling overly anxious makes you unable to control your emotional and physical response to a perceived threat. Meditation helps you gain control of your physical tension and strengthen your cognitive ability to control emotions. There are two types of meditation that are best suited for relieving anxiety: concentration meditation and awareness meditation.
Find a quiet place to meditate. Assume a comfortable position and begin the journey of stepping away from your unpleasant thoughts and experiences. Through meditation, you learn to become a detached, quiet observer, watching your thoughts, feelings and emotions from the outside. It helps you gain perspective and gain mastery over your mind and body.