Anxiety management is a necessity in life for everyone – some can do it naturally while others need a bit of help. Anxiety isn’t a one shot deal where you get it once and then never have to worry about it again. You can experience anxiety repeatedly and while that might be par for the course for many people, the worry that lingers like an unwanted houseguest can wreak serious havoc on your quality of life.
It can make you feel terrible healthwise. You might not initially realize that you’re dealing with abnormal anxiety, but you may have caught on that something’s different physically.
Jitters or feeling nervous are signs of severe anxiety. So are other physical problems that you might blow off at first. But this malady can usually be traced back to the moment it began.
Did you begin to struggle with physical symptoms after a loved one walked out on you? After a child was diagnosed with an illness? Have you witnessed a trauma or been through one yourself?
Those situations can cause anxiety that lasts for a period of time. The kind of feeling that persists all of the time is said to be a more serious form of anxiety and calls for a period of treatment to alleviate the problem.
How you choose to address anxiety management can vary from a few simple techniques to more in depth intervention such as medication or sessions with a licensed counselor. Sometimes handling the way you feel can be as easy as not doing what you’ve always done.
For example, if you’ve been upset because of a current relationship or a job and you can change that, then change it. Don’t put yourself around people or jobs that cause you lasting emotional turmoil.
When you feel anxiety, your body will respond - it’s just the way it was meant to react. This is a good thing in small doses - it’s for your protection and well being. But if your body is constantly in upheaval, it can lead to digestive problems, sleep problems and more.
When anxiety reaches the point where it’s causing you to miss out on life, getting treatment is the most important thing you can do for your mental health as well as your physical health.
Making a few minor alterations to your lifestyle might be all you need to get the feelings back under a level that you can live with. Then again, you might have attempted to self-treat by thinking positive thoughts or giving yoga a try and it’s not working for you.
Realize that anxiety management is not always a one step cure. It’s a process - a series of small steps that you can take. But with treatment, you can learn how to cope and come out on the other side - to a healthier, happier you.
A Lifestyle That Helps Manage Anxiety
I like the brain fitness model as a reminder of the benefits of managing anxiety.
The researchers are saying that we can actually grow new neurons and enhance their connectivity, called neurogenesis and neuroplasticity respectively by taking care of the pillars of brain fitness, which are physical exercise, nutrition including antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, sleep, stress management (!), and engaging in novel learning experiences.
Not sure about you, but I think when it comes to brains, bigger is better, so I am going to do what I can to enhance neurogenesis, or the growth of new neurons.
No one knew that our brain had this capacity 15 years ago, but now we do, and if that means handling anxiety, then I am going to do it.
Physical exercise of the aerobic kind is a great start for anxiety managment and neurogenesis.
The good news is you do not have to buy an expensive gym membership or throw around heavy barbells in order to achieve the appropriate level of physical exercise.
You can find models like the one that 89 year old Bill and 82 year old Pat do to prepare for overseas travel.
That is all that is necessary, and of course, then you want to make sure you are feeding your brain the omega 3 fatty acid that those neurons require to communicate effectively. If omega 3 fatty acid is not replenished regularly, according to Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., authors of Brainfit for Life, then neurons do not talk effectively and we make poor decisions.
And if you want an industrial strength stress reliever to help out, then you must give the Heartmath heart rate variability biofeedback tool a try.
I have been using Heartmath heart rate variability biofeedback personally and professionally for 11 year now, and it has taught me to pay attention to my physiology heart beat by heart beat, not just when the feelings are distressing.
It is much easier to manage or steer feelings when they are a beginning, which means you need to be aware and act on them within approximately 1/18th second.
Seem impossible? No, because you have been doing it for your entire life using your own model.
But for those moments when there is a break down, then Heartmath heart rate variability biofeedback and physical exercise and good sleep and novel learning experiences are very important.
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