Yoga And Breathing Exercises
What it is: Gentle, slow body movements, and breathing with attention and concentration.
Why it works: When anxiety increases, changes occur in the body, including shallow breathing, says Molly Harris, a board-certified occupational and yoga therapist who works with kids. This can cause anxiety to increase, prolonging feelings of stress.
In yoga, kids learn a belly breath, which expands the diaphragm and fills the lungs. This activates a restful state via the parasympathetic nervous system. Heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers, and children feel a greater sense of calm.
Where to start: Practicing yoga together is a great introduction, and the younger your child is when you start, the better. Pick fun, easy poses like bridge pose or the aptly named childs pose. Concentrate on holding poses and breathing deeply.
Focus On What You Can Change
Many times anxiety stems from fearing things that havent even happened and may never occur. For example, even though everything is okay, you may still worry about potential issues, such as losing your job, becoming ill, or the safety of your loved ones.
Life can be unpredictable and no matter how hard you try, you cant always control what happens. However, you can decide how you are going to deal with the unknown. You can turn your anxiety into a source of strength by letting go of fear and focusing on gratitude.
Replace your fears by changing your attitude about them. For example, stop fearing to lose your job and instead focus on how grateful you are to have a job. Come to work determined to do your best. Instead of fearing your loved one’s safety, spend time with them, or express your appreciation of them. With a little practice, you can learn to dump your anxiety and pick up a more positive outlook.
At times, your anxiety may actually be caused by a real circumstance in your life. Perhaps youre in a situation where it is realistic to be worried about losing your job due to high company layoffs or talks of downsizing.
When anxiety is identified as being caused by a current problem, then taking action may be the answer to reducing your anxiety. For example, you may need to start job searching or scheduling interviews after work.
Other Risk Factors For Developing Anxiety
In addition to these primary causes of an anxiety disorder, there are other risk factors that can contribute. These include:
- Severe stressors: These include financial ruin due to job loss or losing a loved one on whom you heavily depended.
- Certain personality types: These include Type A personalities and perfectionists.
- Gender: Women are twice as likely to have generalized anxiety disorder as men.
- Underlying medical conditions: These include chronic pain, respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and heart disease.
- Everyday stressors: These include more minor stressors like a hectic schedule or dealing with an unruly child. Such factors can build up without proper self-care.
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Breathing Exercise For Panic Attacks
If youre breathing quickly during a panic attack, doing a breathing exercise can ease your other symptoms. Try this:
- breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose
- breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth
- some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath
- close your eyes and focus on your breathing
You should start to feel better in a few minutes. You may feel tired afterwards.
Visit the No Panic website for another breathing exercise to calm panic.
What Anxiety Chest Pain Feels Like
Anxiety symptoms are rarely the same from person to person. Some days, symptoms arent even the same for the same person. Anxiety presents itself in a variety of ways, and that makes detecting or understanding symptoms difficult.
Chest pain associated with anxiety feels different for each person. Some people may experience chest pain on a gradual basis. For others, the pain may be sudden and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain can be described as:
- sharp, shooting pain
- an unusual muscle twitch or spasm in your chest
- burning, numbness, or a dull ache
- stabbing pressure
- chest tension or tightness
If you dont have a history of chest pain with anxiety, you may be alarmed. Many people assume theyre having a heart attack and go to the hospitals emergency department for treatment.
An estimated 25 to 50 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with low risk chest pain experience moderate to severe anxiety, according to 2018 research.
If you visit a hospital emergency room and the doctors dont find a specific cause for your chest pain, consider consulting with your doctor about other possible causes, including anxiety.
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Burn Off Your Anxiety
When youre anxious, it can sometimes be too hard to perform a technique like deep breathing, as your adrenaline makes it difficult for you to concentrate.
In these moments, try doing something that rids your body of this adrenaline, which could include:
- Chores that need a lot of energy to complete
- High intensity exercise
- Dancing around the house to loud music
- Any aerobic exercise
- Go outside and get some fresh air
Its important to try and release the anxiety youre feeling. These activities can calm your brain and body, helping you to focus and think rationally. If doing something physical isnt working, try writing your anxiety away. An anxiety journal can help get negative thoughts out of you head or be used as a way to think clearly about how youre going to remain calm once youve finished writing.
Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety
There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
- Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by:
- Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
- Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
- Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
- Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.
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Go With The Black Turtleneck
Remember that infamous black turtleneck Steve Jobs would always wear? There was a reason he wore it !
And heres the key: Not all decisions are equal! There are 2 main ways we can make a decisionthe thinking way and the doing way.
The thinking way of decision-making should be reserved for life-changing decisions. But when it comes to everyday decisions such as what to eat for dinner or how to dress, science says its best to simply do it rather than linger to the point of stress.
We like to believe choices give us freedom, but actually choices can cause us stress. So I want you to
Take choices away.
Action step: Whats the one decision you make every day that causes you stress? Then think about how you can make a quick decision every day instead of wasting time?
How To Calm Your Anxiety Naturally
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Symptoms include exaggerated and persistent worry and tension, even when there is nothing to provoke it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : Symptoms include recurrent and unwanted thoughts , which are accompanied by repetitive actions to temporarily rid the obsessions.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : Occurs after one experiences a terrifying event that results in grave physical or mental harm, such as abuse, violence, traumatic accidents or military combat.
- Social Phobias: Symptoms include excessive anxiety occurring in normal social situations. These phobias can be limited to only one fear or a generalized fear anytime one is around others. Specific social phobias include fear of crowds, fear of public speaking and fear of public restrooms.
Here are 8 ways to calm your anxiety naturally.
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Meditate And Practice Mindfulness
A main goal of meditation is full awareness of the present moment, which includes noticing all thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. This can lead to a sense of calm and contentment by increasing your ability to mindfully tolerate all thoughts and feelings.
Meditation is known to relieve stress and anxiety and is a primary facet of CBT.
Research from John Hopkins suggests 30 minutes of daily meditation may alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant.
Take Stock Of The Situation
Accept your feelings of anxiety, recognize them, and then work through putting them in perspective.
Are you worried about something you cant control? Are you fearful of an outcome thats unlikely? Are you dreading a situation you cant control the outcome of? Talk your way through your feelings to find the source, and then work to put them into perspective.
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Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.
Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.
You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.
Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include:
Breathe Slowly And Deeply
Taking slow, deep breaths is associated with a sense of calm and reduced anxiety. Breathing in a slow, deep, controlled manner helps the body relax, which is critical for fighting the physical tension that comes up in response to anxiety, Gelbart says.
Taking slow deep breaths activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and calm. That can help quell anxiety, Gelbart says. Gelbart recommends using an app to guide your breathwork in order to reduce anxiety.
Belly breathing is one type of slow, deep breathing that can help interrupt anxiety. To try it, sit or lie in a comfortable position, with one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Breath in through your nose, watching the hand on your belly rise. The hand on your chest shouldn’t move.
After you’ve pushed the belly hand out as far as you can, slowly exhale through your mouth with your lips pursed, watching the belly hand fall. Repeat that 3-10 times, or until you feel calmer.
Quick tip: If you have anxiety at night, you may want to try these breathing exercises for sleep and relaxation.
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Repeat A Mantra Internally
Repeating a mantra internally can be relaxing and reassuring, and it can give you something to grasp onto during a panic attack.
Whether its simply This too shall pass, or a mantra that speaks to you personally, repeat it on loop in your head until you feel the panic attack start to subside.
It is not always possible to prevent a panic attack, but the following tips may help:
- do breathing exercises every day
- get regular exercise
- follow a diet that is low in added sugar and eat regularly to avoid glucose spikes
- avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol, as they may make anxiety worse
- seek counseling and other professional help
- ask your doctor about local support groups
Avoiding specific triggers may help prevent a panic attack, but this may not always be possible or appropriate. Some experts encourage people to ride out the attack and continue doing things, if possible.
However, if a situation is likely to cause severe distress, consider waiting until youve worked with a professional to develop skills and strategies to help you cope.
If you have concerns about panic attacks, consider talking with a doctor, especially if:
- You have
Seeking Treatment For Anxiety
If your anxiety symptoms seem to be staying the same or even getting worse, regardless of any techniques that you try, and if you are finding that your anxiety is having a damaging impact on your quality of life, you may need a bit of professional support to help you manage your symptoms.
At Priory, we are able to provide you with an anxiety diagnosis that sets you on a course for recovery. When you first come to one of our hospitals or wellbeing centres, you will meet with one of our doctors who will assess your symptoms, provide you with a robust diagnosis and work with you to determine the most effective treatment for anxiety, which may include medication and therapy.
Our expert multidisciplinary team will then support you through your treatment programmeso that you can begin to better manage your anxiety symptoms and improve your health and wellbeing for the future.
For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or . For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here
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Find What Relaxes You
There are already things in your life that relax you. You may find it beneficial to make a list of things you enjoy and that help you to relax so you can reference it when symptoms of anxiety arise. When you notice your anxiety rising turn to those activities to help stop symptoms before they escalate.
For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait, draw a bath, maybe light some candles or add a few nice scents and get in. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, skipping stones at a park, getting a massage – if it works, do it right away, rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by your anxiety.