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How Anxiety Fuels Your Anxiety.

Anxiety How To Overcome with it

Anxious thoughts chase each other like a dog chasing its tail. Trying to quell anxiety with reassuring thoughts, or to “fix” anxious thoughts with other thoughts, just doesn’t work. Have you noticed that when people tell you “relax” or “calm down” you only feel more agitated? 

When do normal worries become an anxiety disorder? Find out what causes it to spiral out of control, and discover how to tackle it!

What is Anxiety?

Whether anxiety causes you to feel physically ill or keeps you awake for countless hours, it can be quite uncomfortable — and its effects are often far reaching. It can take a toll on almost every area of your life. Developing a better understanding of what anxiety is — and how to manage it — can be key to living a better life. But anxiety is one of the most misunderstood emotions of all time. 

Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion meant to warn you of danger. If you didn’t experience any anxiety, you wouldn’t run out of a burning building, and you wouldn’t look both ways before you cross the street. So it comes when it needs to come to potentially save us. 

But, there will be times when your mind and your body respond as if you’re in a life or death situation — even though you’re not in any real danger. 

Giving a talk in public or asking someone on a date might trigger an anxiety alarm bell, even though neither situation is life-threatening.

Learning how to separate real alarms from false alarms is key to managing this disorder anxiety.

Your brain and body are overreacting to a seemingly harmless event that does not out you in any real danger.  There are several types of anxiety related disorders that include: 

-general anxiety disorder:  feeling anxious for most of the time, to the extent that anxiety makes it hard to carry out daily everyday activities.

– panic disorder: experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. A person with panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack. 

– phobia: excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity 

– social anxiety disorder: extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations 

– obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated behaviors 

– separation anxiety disorder: fear of being away from home or loved ones 

– illness anxiety disorder: anxiety about your health (formerly called hypochondria) 

– post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): anxiety following a traumatic event 

What are the symptoms?

Anxiety feels different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in your stomach to a racing heart. You might feel out of control, like there’s a disconnect between your mind and body. 

Other ways people experience e.g. nightmares, panic attacks, and painful thoughts or memories that you can’t control. You may have a general feeling of fear and worry, or you may fear a specific place or event. 

Symptoms of general anxiety include: increased heart rate, rapid breathing, restlessness, trouble concentrating, difficulty falling asleep and about 100 more symptoms, as anxiety presents itself differently from one individual to the other.  

It affects you emotionally, cognitively, and physically. 

Most people talk about anxiety as an emotion. But it also affects your brain and your body.  When you feel anxious, you’re more likely to think about things that fuel your anxiety. You might ruminate on bad things that happened in the past, or you may dwell on catastrophic predictions about the future. 

Your body will respond accordingly. Your heart rate and your blood pressure might increase. You might begin to breathe faster, and you may break into a sweat. These reactions are meant to prepare you for action (it’s known as the fight-or-flight response). 

Knowing how to calm both your mind and your body when you feel anxious makes it much easier to face anxiety-provoking situations. 

What should you do if you’re anxious?

So what can you do if you notice yourself feeling anxious? Start by facing your anxiety, advises psychologist Susan Albers-Bowling, PsyD. Then try these 9 ways to calm yourself: 

1. Think of yourself as a firefighter.

Put out the flames of anxiety with some cool breaths. Breathe in and out, deeply and slowly. “When you slow down your breathing, you trick your body into thinking you’re relaxing or going to sleep,” she says.  Go out to the fresh air or open the window and breathe. What else relaxes you? Music maybe?

2. Cool down anxious thoughts.


Thoughts like, ‘I can’t stand this; this is awful!’ fuel the fire of anxiety,” says Dr. Albers. Instead, think about what you can and cannot change about the situation. Then take steps to change what you can, and work on accepting what you can’t. 

3. Get some perspective.

Anxiety can stem from needless worry about a lot of things that aren’t important in the long run. “Consider how this will really impact you in five minutes, five months or five years,” she says. 

4. Soothe your system.


Try some yoga stretches, or take a tennis ball and rub it under your foot or behind your back. “Find gentle ways to calm your body,” says Dr. Albers. Repeat for few days to ease off any potential stress building up.

5. Talk it out.


Research proves that simply naming your feelings can help to calm you down. “This is easier to do when you share your feelings with others,” she notes. Talk to someone you trust.

6. Don’t ignore it.


 Anxiety is like a red flag, telling you that something needs attention. “Don’t ignore this sign — contact a professional to help you through it,” says Dr. Albers. 

7. Rule out other causes.


Sometimes medical issues can mask themselves as anxiety or mimic its symptoms. Don’t forget to get your checkup each year.  If in doubt, best thing is to contact your family doctor to talk about your concerns.

8. Wait it out.


“Sometimes, you just have to let it come and go, like riding a wave,” says Dr. Albers. Remember that it will fade and that “This, too, shall pass.”  We are not saying here no to do anything but we are saying to accept some part of it and whenever it happens to be with it and wait until it slowly but steady fades away.

9. Be mindful.


Stay in the moment instead of jumping ahead. To bring yourself back to the present, try this 5 senses exercise. Hold your fist out, and extend one finger at a time as you name: 1 thing you can taste; 2 things you can smell; 3 things you can touch right now (your skin against the chair, a soft sweater); 4 things you can hear; and 5 things you can see in the immediate environment. 

Take back control of your life!

Anxiety is the most common — yet most undertreated — mental illness in the world. 

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates 18% of the population has an anxiety disorder. Yet only 36% of individuals with such a disorder receive treatment. An Australian study also found that the average person with anxiety waits eight years to get treatment.  

It’s unfortunate that people with anxiety wait to get help because it is treatable. We all experience anxiety, but if you feel weighed down, limited, or hijacked by that anxiety, then you’ve come to the right place. We are here to help you move through anxiety and toward a place of health and wellness. 

Learn to understand your thoughts, safely deal with what is underneath the fears and overwhelming you. Sometimes it can seem that getting rid of the things we don’t want is a real struggle. The truth is, it’s carrying them around and trying to get on with life that’s the struggle. Time to lighten the load. It begins here! Our BALANCE &  GROUND Program will help you reduce pace, chaos and noise in your life to better take care of yourself. 

You can also get in touch with us if you feel like 1:1 coaching sessions would be a better fit for you and you prefer an individual approach, personal guidance and focused progress. Click here for details.

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