“WORRYING doesn't take away tomorrow’s troubles. It TAKES AWAY TODAY'S PEACE.” ~ Randy Armstrong.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is a normal and healthy adaptive state that prepares you for stressful or threatening situations. You experience stress and anxiety when your body releases adrenaline to prepare you physically and mentally to cope with the situation. This ‘fight or flight’ response was crucial to your ancestors’ survival, preparing them for very real threats to their safety. Stress in the 21st century is much more subtle, the ‘fight or flight’ response is still a reasonable response to anxiety, protecting you from harm and motivating you to perform well.
Anxiety only becomes a problem when it becomes so overwhelming and incapacitating that it interferes with your ability to perform your day to day activities.
"Instead of it improving your capacity to function in a challenging situation – it becomes an obstacle to you fulfilling your full potential and enjoying life."
This might include anxiety symptoms or behaviours such as:
♦ Constantly seeking reassurance
♦ Being a perfectionist – needing to get everything totally correct
♦ Feeling overwhelmed when there is a sudden change in routine
♦ Feeling worried constantly or fearing something bad is about to happen
♦ Avoiding taking risks or seeking out new opportunities – instead you are always evaluating and identifying the things that might go wrong
♦ Holding back from voicing personal concerns, wants, and opinions to avoid difficult encounters with others
♦ Isolating ourselves
♦ Experiencing physical symptoms, such as, headaches, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, sweating, diarrhea, trembling, dry mouth, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, hot and cold flashes.
HOW YOU CAN MANAGE STRESS AND ANXIETY?
♦ Practice Self-care
Anxiety can result in you neglecting your own needs:
Ensure you are getting enough sleep
Eat health meals, and don't skip meals
Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake- these can aggravate anxiety
Make time for regular exercise in the fresh air
Plan time for you - Meet a friend for coffee. Read a book. Soak in the bath. Meditate. Gardening Bush walking. Sports.
What would be on your list? Self-care can make a big difference in your overall feeling of well-being. Take a moment to write your list and plan it into your week.
♦ Learn some Relaxation Techniques
There are some wonderful strategies for helping you relax. Playing a sport. Dancing. Walking in nature. Listening to music. Learning to meditate. Joining a mindfulness exercise class such as, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Take some deep slow breathes. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly - Checkout my Free 5 minute mindfulness audio here.
What has helped you relax in the past or what are you willing to try now?
♦ Learn What is Triggering Your Anxiety
Begin to identify what situations, experiences that seem to be making you feel stressed or anxious. You will need to monitor this in your work environment, with family and friends, and sports and social events. Keep a journal, and start looking for a pattern.
♦ Talk to Someone You Trust
Keeping everything bottled up inside is more likely to heighten your levels of anxiety. Connection has been found to improve emotional and physical health. Look after yourself and connect with someone one you trust – it might help you to resolve or make sense of the issues concerning you.
If after implementing these strategies your anxiety is still effecting the quality of your life, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Online counselling available in the privacy of your own home.
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