Anxiety is a disabling condition that changes your mindset and how you view the world. It is a fear based emotion. Symptoms can be anything from a feeling of mild discomfort, to a full blown panic attack. Anxiety involves fear and sometimes even the fear of being afraid. Please keep in mind that anxiety by itself cannot hurt you and it is only a feeling.
Anxiety itself is not harmful to you, but a symptom of another underlying cause in your body. The most common reasons for anxiety and panic attacks are hormone changes, such as pre-menopausal symptoms, menopause, ova hysterectomies. auto-immune disorders and being unable to cope with stress due to traumatic events. There are different causes for anxiety as well as different types. This manual is geared toward women in their 30′s who acquire sudden anxiety symptoms due to hormonal changes and or autoimmune disorders, but may also apply to a broad range of anxiety sufferers. Because we live in a society that contains people, it is inevitable that we will experience stress. It is not the stress that gives us anxiety, but the inability to cope with stress. Some anxiety is normal. Our bodies are adept at helping us prepare for what we are about to face. Normal anxiety can arise when speaking in public, heading up a meeting, singing in front of people. This type of anxiety produces a normal stress response. Another example is when someone pulls out in front of us while driving and we have an adrenaline rush or when we get into a fight. Adrenaline is a normal stress response to help give us that extra push Anxiety by itself cannot hurt you. It’s only a feeling when we need it. Adrenaline and the stress response was created to help us.
In this article, we will focus on a few different areas we can work on to alleviate anxiety symptoms. We will strive to get to the source of our anxiety and work from there. The three main areas we will look at are; nutrition, environment and spiritual healing. We will also look at what triggers your anxiety and how to turn triggers into non-triggers. The first tab in this manual is your go-to source when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. It will gently guide you through breathing exercises, grounding exercises as well as a way to change your perspective of the trigger that started the attack. On the following page are some common fears associated with anxiety and panic attacks.
Common Anxiety Triggers
A common trigger is worrying about health. A new symptom pops up, a weird pain in your body or even a headache can trigger some into thinking something is seriously wrong with them. Sickness in a loved one: Whenever those close to us are suffering, there is a fear of losing them. This can trigger many emotions, especially if it involves your children or spouse.
Whenever taking a new medication, there is always a little risk in our mind. This for some, is too much to bear, and if there is any change in feeling due to the medication, this can be a trigger. Most common are the effects of Benedryl, sleep medication, cold and flu medication, or others that may cause drowsiness. Also psychoactive drugs such as Marijuana can also be a trigger. Personally, I found if I take these at night before bed, there is a greater chance for them to trigger an attack. Being reminded of a traumatic event: If anxiety sufferers have had a past traumatic event in their life, anything that remotely reminds them of that event will bring back those emotions, therefore becoming a trigger. Some examples may include an auto accident, divorce, dog bite, a death in the family, abuse, being yelled at by someone, a confrontation, combat, etc. Stop thinking about the event in your mind. Here is a helpful visualization exercise you can do.
Make sure you are in a safe place. Close your eyes and visualize your traumatic memory as movie playing in a theater. Now, take the movie playing on the screen stop to a still image. Change it to black and white. Put the picture in a frame and hang it on the side wall of the theater. Get out of your seat and walk out of the theater. That is where the picture will stay. You never have to go back into the theater again. If the memory comes back, don’t worry, just put it back in the frame and re-hang it on the wall. After a while, the memory is rendered harmless in your mind and you will be able to move on.
Meeting new people or appointments: The fear of the unknown is enough to throw us into a panic attack. Doctor appointments, dentist appointments and even expecting an appointment at your own home such as a repair man can be a trigger.
If you are experiencing a panic attack right now, you are not alone. Follow the tips on the next few pages and you will start to feel better. Do these exercises over and over until you feel the anxiety lift. Find the activity that helps you the most and do it several times. Most anxiety attacks rarely last over 20 minutes.
Nutrition & Exercise
One of the best things you can do to prevent future anxiety attacks is a healthy diet and exercise. It seems simple, but most people have the hardest time keeping a good diet and a healthy body. If a person wants to change they will. If you truly want to get over your anxiety issues, you can. It all depends on how bad you want to change. To get over your anxiety symptoms, you need to be committed to a lifestyle change. There is not one magical cure that will work. It’s a combination of many things. Things that work for some may not work for others. You have to find the winning combination for you.
First thing you need to do, and this is going to be hard, is eliminate refined sugars and coffee. Are you still with me? Don’t worry, it is for the greater good. Trust me, you will feel so much better in a week’s time. Instead of coffee, try replacing it with a chai tea in the mornings. Matcha Green tea is also a great alternative. Try replacing your sugars with Agave or Honey if you feel you can’t live without some sweetness.
Second thing you must do is wean yourself off of all processed foods. That means fast food, packaged foods, or foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Instead cook simple meals at home like salmon and veggies, chicken and potatoes, or pork and beans. It is good to include some kind of vegetables in each serving. Food is the most abused anxiety drug and exercise is the most under utilized anti depressant. leafy greens are the best. Go organic if you can afford it. If you need snacks throughout the day, have fruit, like a banana, apple slices or a bowl of yogurt. Keep your diet simple and pure.
Keep an optimistic outlook, you can get rid of anxiety attacks!
The suggestions in the article are methods and treatments that have helped reduce and eliminate my panic attacks. Hope they help you too!