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ecause anxiety seems to be so commonplace
in people's lives at the moment, or at least
I seem to have come across a lot of people
suffering from it, I wanted to write down some
thoughts about the subject. I am well aware that
different approaches work for different people and
I am not qualified to dispense medical advice, but
I can write from personal experience and also give
some insights I have gained from others. If you are
presently suffering with anxiety it is important to
discuss your concerns with a medical or holistic
practitioner who can give you the advice and help
you need, but I hope there may be something here
that may help a little if you are finding yourself
going through anxious times.
Anxiety takes many forms and can shape
your thought processes and decisions. It is thought
to be related to the biological fight or flight response
to feeling threatened. It can become a problem if it
is accompanied by panic attacks or anxiety about
things which are part of everyday life.
Anxiety isn't rational. It's not just an amplified
version of what is worrying you. It's more than that.
Sometimes you don't know what sets it off. Some
days you can cope with life and others you just
don't want to know. A lot of people think anxiety is
nothing more than a similar feeling you get before
giving a presentation at work or an actor having first
night nerves; it may be a bit like that at times, but
often it's more long lasting and doesn't decrease
as it would when events like the above are over.
Some of the symptoms are palpitations, wanting to
escape form your surroundings, fear you may lose
control of thoughts or actions, racing heart, nausea,
insomnia and nervousness, but there are a myriad
of conditions than can be at least partly attributed
to anxiety.
Anxiety can strike anyone and people from
all walks of life. It doesn't really matter what your
circumstances are, what background you come
from, whether you are in a happy relationship
or alone, hold down a high powered job or are
unemployed, well-off or hard up. It can creep up on
anyone and sometimes it is just unexplained.
There are many ways of coping with anxiety and
different ones work for different people. One thing
I have noticed is that friends and family often want
to find a solution for you and a reason for why this
is happening to you. That's fine but there are times
you don't want to listen to solutions and you don't
particularly want to have the reasons described.
You just want to get through the day. And all you
really want is for someone to say `It's okay' or `you
will get through this' and `I am here for you. I love
you'. With empathy and support you can cope so
much better. Remember - just because a condition
is given a label it doesn't necessarily mean it solves
the problem in your head.
Here are some tips about what not to do when you
are battling with anxiety; suggestions about what
not to do - I don't want to be seen to be laying down
rules, but sometimes changing your routine and
avoiding certain habits that trigger your anxiety
does help.
1. Do not watch the news or watch disturbing
television programmes late at night.
2. Don't overdose on caffeine and be careful
with alcohol consumption - hangovers are
debilitating at the best of times but if you are
feeling vulnerable they can make anxiety levels
3. Do not become a couch potato - you will feel
much better if you go outside and walk/ take
4. Don't have very late nights. Lack of sleep makes
anxiety worse. Even if you suffer from insomnia-
get to bed early and get as much sleep as you
can. At the same time, rather than lay tossing
and turning, get up for a while and make a milky
drink (cow's milk or an alternative like almond
milk if you don't like dairy) Then try and get
back to sleep again.
5. Don't eat junk and sugary foods. Avoid any
foods that trigger your anxiety and cause
headaches like cheese and yeast extract. Acid
producing food and drinks can make you jittery
i.e. processed meats and sodas, whilst alkaline
foods can be more calming, i.e. vegetables,
most fruits, beans and lentils.
Thoughts on