Identifying And Easing Anxiety
It’s possible to become so fixated on the physical effects from your anxious state that you don’t even realize you were anxious to begin with, says Dr. Barsky. So, how do you know if anxiety is causing your symptoms? And if it is, how can you feel better? Dr. Barsky offers some tips to help you interrupt this cycle.
Stop and assess. “The first step is to pause for a second and observe what’s going on with your body,” says Dr. Barsky. Think about what you are experiencing and whether it relates to a feeling of emotional upset or a reaction to something alarming or stressful. If your symptoms followed a stressful event or period of time, it’s possible these emotions triggered your symptoms. Also, be alert to signs that you are tensing your muscles, which can also indicate a stress reaction.
Relax your body or work it. To relieve stress, try some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. There are numerous online resources and smartphone apps that can help guide you through relaxation techniques. Physical activity can also help you relieve tension. Try to squeeze in a daily walk or a run.
Reassure yourself. If you believe your symptoms are being caused by anxiety, reassure yourself that what you are experiencing is not harmful or fatal. “They’re not serious, and they don’t signal an impending medical disaster,” says Dr. Barsky. The symptoms will pass when the anxiety eases.
Tip : Interrupt The Worry Cycle
If you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless repeat. You may feel like youre spiraling out of control, going crazy, or about to burn out under the weight of all this anxiety. But there are steps you can take right now to interrupt all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from relentless worrying.
Get up and get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being. Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.
Take a yoga or tai chi class. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, practicing yoga or tai chi keeps your attention on the present, helping to clear your mind and lead to a relaxed state.
Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This can help you break the endless loop of worrying by focusing your mind on your body instead of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body, you release muscle tension in your body. And as your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
Relaxation techniques can change the brain
How Do I Get Help
Talking therapies, like counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, are very effective for people with anxiety problems, including Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which takes you through a series of self-help exercises on screen. Visit your GP to find out more.
Drug treatments are used to provide short-term help, rather than looking at the root of the anxiety problems. Drugs may be most useful when they are combined with other treatments or support.
You can learn a lot about managing anxiety from asking other people who have experienced it. Local support groups or self-help groups bring together people with similar experiences so that they can hear each others stories, share tips and encourage each other to try out new ways to manage themselves. Your doctor, library or local Citizens Advice bureau will have details of support groups near you.
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You Have Trouble Catching Your Breath
If you feel like you cant take a deep breath, you may beworried its a sign of COVID-19 or a garden-variety cold or flu. But feelinglike you cant catch your breath is a common indicator of anxiety. The treebranches in the lungs are wrapped with smooth muscle, and when youre anxious,those muscles clamp down.
Soothing Strategy: Learning diaphragmatic breathing canhelp loosen those muscles in the lungs so you can breathe freely again. Heresa very simple yet powerful breathing technique. Breathe in for 3 seconds, holdit for 1 second, breathe out for 6 seconds, hold it for 1 second. Do this 10times, and youll start to feel more relaxed almost immediately.
Try A Meditation For Anxiety From Headspace
With regular meditation, we increase our ability to manage anxiety. Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe says that were not trying to get rid of the anxiety when we sit to meditate thats not how you tackle anxiety. As Andy says, Meditation isnt about resisting anxiety or pushing it away its about changing our relationship to it, being at ease with it, and being okay with it when it arises, without buying into it. When were able to watch the anxiety come and go, then thats a really comfortable, healthy place to be.
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Turn Off Your Phone For At Least 10 Minutes
You may be thinking, its just 10 minutes, right? Try keeping track of how many times you check your phone in a 10-minute period and then youll see why turning it off can do you so much good.
Try even longer if you can. As Kushnick says, The simplest possible technique for anxiety is to turn your phone off for 20 minutes and sit with your own thoughts, without any other form of stimulation. Whether you admit it or not, your phone is worsening your anxiety.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
You can check what treatment and care is recommended for anxiety disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website.
NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. NICE only provide guidelines for:
- Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder ,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder , and
- Social anxiety disorder.
The NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. But they should have a good reason for not following them.
We have described some of the treatments for anxiety disorders below. The treatments you will be offered depend upon the type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing.
You can find more information about treatments for:
Monitoring your symptomsSome anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder may get better by itself with no treatment at all. Or after education and advice from your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms to see if they improve. And they will talk to you about medications that you can get without a prescription. These are sometimes called over-the-counter medications.
Individual non-facilitated self helpThis involves working from a book or a computer program. You will be supported by a trained professional
Individual guided self-helpYou should:
Your learning should:
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How To Stop Numbness And Tingling Caused By Anxiety
There are several actions you can take to stop your numbness and tingling. Lets separate them into actions you can take short-term and actions you can take long-term.
Short-Term Actions to Stop Your Numbness and Tingling
These short-term actions will help you to stop the feelings of numbness and tingling once theyve already started:
Long-Term Actions to Stop Your Numbness and Tingling
These long-term actions will help you to prevent your numbness and tingling from ever happening in the first place.
Try to make these new habits that you perform every single day. Over time these new habits will go a long way toward stopping your numbness and tingling symptoms:
Try to make use of both the short-term and long-term actions. The more of these actions you take the less your numbness and tingling should bother you.
What Does Numbness And Tingling Caused By Anxiety Feel Like
You might think its unnecessary to explain how numbness and tingling feel, since you probably already know how they feel if youre experiencing them.
But when my anxiety was at its worst I got a lot of comfort from knowing that my symptoms were a part of my anxiety and not from some horrible disease.
If I quickly tell you how my numbness and tingling felt you can compare it to your own situation and hopefully get some reassurance that what youre feeling is normal.
If youre anxiety is causing numbness and tingling, you may feel:
From now on when you experience numbness and tingling remember this post and realise that what youre feeling is normal, and that everyone who has severe anxiety has felt these same symptoms too.
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How To Stop The Physical Anxiety Symptoms
When you suffer from the physical symptoms of anxiety, your goal is often to stop them as quickly as possible. One of the issues that affects people during treatment is that they generally want to treat the symptom that bothers them the most, but not the anxiety itself.
For example, those with digestive stress because of anxiety often take Tums or other over-the-counter stomach aids. Those with headaches tend to take pain killers, and so on.
Often these treatments have no effect at all, and those that they do affect they will only relieve temporarily. Ideally, you need to make sure your anxiety is under control, and the physical symptoms will go away with it.
Start with the following:
From there, you really need to learn to deal with your specific anxiety issues, and for that, you need to learn what kind of anxiety you have as well as recognize how it’s affecting you.
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Uncommon Anxiety Symptoms And Rare Anxiety Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are much less common, and some physical anxiety symptoms are rare. These symptoms may also be more common in those with specific types of anxiety. For example, those with panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder are more likely to experience hyperventilation, and hyperventilation can lead to a host of additional anxiety symptoms, including:
- Chest Pains
- Tingling or Weakness in the Extremities
- Finger Cramps
Hyperventilation symptoms are NOT rare. They are actually extremely common. But they are more common in some types of anxiety than others. Furthermore there are many other uncommon and rare anxiety symptoms, because anxiety causes stress, and stress can change your body in unusual ways. Some uncommon symptoms include:
- Skin rashes/itching
- Sudden, Urgent Need to Urinate
- Eye Pain/Strain/Vision Issues
One of the most interesting, and unfortunate issues with anxiety is that there’s no way to know exactly how stress will affect you. Stress can affect your organs, your hormones, your nutrition, and more.
For example, it’s possible for anxiety and stress to cause other disorders as well, like anemia. Stress may also cause other mental health conditions as well, especially depression. Anxiety is much more complex than people give it credit for, and may be related to numerous physical issues that others assume are related to physical health.
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See Our Other ‘how To’ Guides
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when were in emergencies for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when youre faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Its a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesnt stop you from living.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day weekends included.
Your routine before going to bed also matters. Consider giving yourself wind-down times. For example, 20 minutes with no devices. Instead, you could read a book or take a bath.
Avoiding potential triggers, like watching TV or scrolling the news on your phone, is key.
Creating a sleep routine will help you fall asleep faster and reduce the chances that youll lie awake, worrying about unfinished tasks or the next morning.
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Is Your Worry Solvable
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if youre worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. What if I get cancer someday? or What if my kid gets into an accident?
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After youve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, youll feel much less anxious.
If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. If youre a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. Worrying is often a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesnt work. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesnt make life any more predictable. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worrying, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers.
Calm Anxiety By Connecting With Others
People with ADHD often feel misunderstood, causing them to withdraw, isolate themselves, and feel lonely . Loneliness can lead to sadness, feeling down, and anxiety, so try hard to avoid it. Get out of the house and get out of your head. Make plans with friends, even if you dont feel like it. Reach out to a friend who you know will keep things light. If no one answers, do something that makes you happy. Help someone who is worse off than you. Volunteer. Go to the movies, to the gym, or a yoga class. Act lovingly toward yourself.
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