HOW TO CALM YOURSELF: 3 TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE ANXIETY
We all experience anxiety at some point in our lives. It's a normal human emotion that can be triggered by something as innocuous as a new job or a first date.
However, for some, anxiety can become a chronic condition that interferes with their daily lives. If you're struggling with anxiety, you're not alone. According to mind.org.uk, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem linked to stress or anxiety.
Firstly let's address anxiety head-on:
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety can be a feeling of disquiet that can range from minor to severe, including worry or fear. Everybody goes through periods of anxiousness throughout their lives. It's a common reaction to fear-provoking circumstances, including a first date or public speaking.
For most people, anxiety is short-lived and passes once the stressful situation has passed. However, for some, anxiety can become a chronic condition that interferes with their daily lives.
According to the NHS website, approximately 18% of adults in the UK live with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are often related to mental health issues.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Phobias (such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary, but they often include:
- Feeling restless, irritable or on edge.
- Having difficulty concentrating.
- Feeling like your mind is going blank (brain fog).
- Finding it hard to relax or wind down.
- Experiencing muscle tension or headaches.
- Sweating and hot flushes.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Sleep problems.
- Shortness of breath.
- Stomach problems such as IBS.
- Increased heart rate or a pounding sensation in the chest.
Anxiety can also cause enhanced physical symptoms, such as trembling, shaking or pins and needles. Some people say they feel like they have a heart attack.
HOW DOES ANXIETY AFFECT OUR HEALTH BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY?
Anxiety disorders can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. If left untreated, anxiety can lead to:
- Depression or a constant low mood.
- self-medication such as substance/alcohol abuse.
- Social isolation and an inability to maintain a relationship.
- Poor physical health.
Anxiety can also worsen existing mental and physical health conditions. For example, anxiety in asthmatics can trigger an asthma attack.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO REMAIN CALM WHEN ALL AROUND US FEELS CHAOTIC?
When you're feeling anxious, it's a good idea to focus on things that will help you feel calm and relaxed. Some people find that medication helps, while others prefer using natural methods such as relaxation or exercise.
Here are three valuable techniques you can use to reduce anxiety and the other side effects linked to stress-related fear:
1. Relaxation Techniques
Consider relaxation techniques - Using relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can slow your pulse rate and help relax your muscles into a state of calmness.
These easy-to-access methods can assist you in focusing on the here and now and clear your mind.
Here is a helpful link to further information about relaxation techniques that might work.
2. Exercise Helps
Exercise is an effective way to reduce stress-related anxiety and release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. Even a short walk can help to boost your mood and ease anxiety.
You don't have to join a gym to work out - there are plenty of free workouts you can do, such as jogging, walking or cycling. Online classes are always an option, too.
3. Talking Therapies and Neuro-Relaxation
Talking therapies such as CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to understand and manage your anxiety. CBT can also teach you techniques to deal with anxiety-provoking situations.
Other techniques include neuro-relaxation, which can help to retrain your brain and body to respond more calmly to stress. Recently more people are using Rebalance and Neuro-relaxation to make a difference in how they feel.
Scientists have tested neuro-relaxation clinical methods with great success.
The clinical studies have demonstrated that the stimulation and cognitive training sessions offered by REBALANCE® Impulse achieve a dual goal:
- A rapid rebalancing of the autonomic nervous system through increased parasympathetic activity
- A rebalancing of brain waves by favouring the production of alpha waves conducive to relaxation in a waking state.
The scientists measured the effects in the following ways:
- Changes in heart rate variability (HRV);
- Analysis of brainwaves before, during and after sessions;
- Evaluation of stress hormones (cortisol).
REBALANCE® Impulse is a device that uses electrical impulses to stimulate specific points in the ear. Used with a headset that emits different sounds, the device helps guide the user into a state of relaxation.
Neuro-relaxation techniques can help to retrain your brain and body to respond more calmly to stress. In recent years more and more people are using Rebalance and Neuro-relaxation to make a difference in how they feel.
If you're experiencing anxiety, seek help from a GP or mental health professional in the first instance. They can assess your symptoms and provide treatment options. From that point on, when you receive the facts, you can choose the best treatment or combination of treatments to suit your lifestyle.
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