Written by Kathie Baker
Anxiety seems to be inherited to us as human beings. It is interesting that regardless of culture or country of birth anxiety lives within us. Languages across the globe have a word for anxiety.
How anxiety manifests itself within the individual may be different for each of us, but there are many lines that cross. Anxiety impacts on our mental and physical beings. Anxiety can be triggered by a thought, or it can live deep within our subconscious simmering away without any direct thought or pattern of thoughts. The anxiety may be “triggered” by something we are consciously unaware of.
Ways to reduce anxiety
Are there ways to reduce anxiety? There are medications on the market, and it seems the fastest way to address the symptoms of anxiety is to pop a pill – but anxiety medication has different results and sometimes side-effects from the medications make us question our reliance on them.
The intensity of the anxiety level will determine the treatment plan for the individual patient.
If we break things down; there are things we CAN control and things we CANNOT control. Let’s focus on the things we can control to see if this makes a difference. We are looking for small changes and we are looking to celebrate the small changes.
- Practice Mindfulness/Meditation
- Work with health professionals to uncover underlying issues
- Look at the use of stimulants in your life
- We need good quality sleep. This is not negotiable because without it our bodies cannot repair.
- Keep a regular time for going to bed and getting up. Our bodies have a body clock.
- Sleep in a place that welcomes sleep, keep warm, no flashing computer screens, no distracting noises. Eat early, so your digestive system is not trying to process foods whilst you are sleeping.
- Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol during the evenings.
Coffee and Caffeine
Coffee gets us wired. I personally cannot tolerate it and find I feel anxious after a cup of coffee. Coffee is not a good idea if you are living on the edge with anxiety. In fact, drinks that contain caffeine should be seriously looked at if you suffer with anxiety.
There is already so much written around the benefits of exercise. Even small changes to our routine can bring about change within the cycle of anxiety. There is an exercise routine for all – so don’t believe YOU CAN’T DO IT. You can exercise sitting in a chair.
Practice Mindfulness / Meditation
Anxiety has “triggers” and sometimes we don’t know what the triggers are. Finding yourself in a cycle of anxiety often means our minds engaging on the way we feel and feeding those feelings, thus increasing and extending the length of time for the episode. This is particularly relevant to a “panic attack”. Learning the art of meditation and mindfulness gives us the power to control our thoughts. It does take practice and it also means regular practice. Work with the breath and use the breath as your anchor. Breathe in and out. Many hold their breath, or breathe very shallow because of the anxiety.
Work with health professionals to uncover underlying issues
Let’s face it, sometimes we need help and this is where the specialist teams can turn things around for us. Those trained in mental health and addiction can and do help. The Australian Government has a system where you can seek assistance through your GP. Ask to be put on a mental health plan. Up to 20 sessions a year are paid for by Medicare. Using this system may be your first option.
Clinics that treat Anxiety
There’s clinics across Australia that address mental health and anxiety. Release My Super works with clinics to assist clients to find the money to get treatment. How to pay for treatment. Mental health has come a long way in the last 30 years. There was a time when clients were locked into asylums. Mental Health was a dirty secret. Today, mental health is in the open which gives us the freedom to deal with anxiety and other mental health issues.
If you know someone with a mental health issue, advocate for them.
If you need funds to pay for treatment call Kathie at www.releasemysuper.com.au