Try To Get Rid Of The Worst Offenders
Okay so were not going for the crazy-afraid-of-everything-cant-leave-my-housesort of thing here.
As I mentioned, all we can do is try and reduce our exposure to toxins to the best of our abilities.
Removing something in your environment that is poisoning you can drastically improve physical/mental health.
Say for instance that theres a mold infestation in your house or apartment and youre experiencing severe anxiety and depression.
Until you get the hell out of there your health is not going to improve!
It will only get worse until you remove the source of poisoning by moving to a new place and getting rid of all your stuff thats ridden with mold.
So while this is not an exhaustive list, here are a few things you might want to look into.
Try Mindfulness And Meditation
While worrying, you may have a hard time focusing on anything else.
When you feel your concentration waning, sitting in a quiet room and clearing your mind can do wonders for your well-being. Mindfulness and meditation can take your focus away from negative thoughts and inspire a state of calm.
A guided meditation app can help you practice clearing your mind, refocusing your thoughts, or distracting yourself from your worries. Over time, meditation can help you get into a flow state, which allows you to focus on your priorities and knock tasks off your to-do list with ease.
Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
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Stay In Your Time Zone
Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about whatâs going to happen, âreel yourself back to the present,â says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. Ask yourself: Whatâs happening right now? Am I safe? Is there something I need to do right now? If not, make an âappointmentâ to check in with yourself later in the day to revisit your worries so those distant scenarios donât throw you off track, she says.
Boosting Your Stress Resilience Using Diet
I take a pragmatic approach when it comes to diet, nutrition and health.
Results are all that matters!
If your current way of eating boosts stress resilience, improves well-being and mood, makes you more relaxed and less anxious
No need to change a thing.
I dont put much stock in books, theories and hypothesis, or whatever our ancestors supposedly ate.
First and foremost we want to look at empirical evidence and outcomes, and not fancy-sounding-theories.
Meaning, what actually works toreduce stress and anxiety?
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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.
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.
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How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
Why Wont My Fear Go Away And Leave Me Feeling Normal Again
Fear may be a one-off feeling when you are faced with something unfamiliar.
But it can also be an everyday, long-lasting problem even if you cant put your finger on why. Some people feel a constant sense of anxiety all the time, without any particular trigger.
There are plenty of triggers for fear in everyday life, and you cant always work out exactly why you are frightened or how likely you are to be harmed. Even if you can see how out of proportion a fear is, the emotional part of your brain keeps sending danger signals to your body.
Sometimes you need mental and physical ways of tackling fear.
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Your Room Should Be Cool Quiet And Dark
- Firstly, your room should be cool, and not hot. Turn on your AC, put a block of ice in your bed , or whatever you can do to cool down the room in which you sleep.
- Secondly, block out as much noise as possible. This can effectively be done by using a pair of earplugs.
- Thirdly, use blackout curtains so that no light enters the room in which you sleep. Ideally it should be pitch black dark. Or use a sleep mask, but they freak me out so I cant use them.
Youll discover that by sleeping in a cool, quiet and dark room you will sleep better and wake up feeling better .
General Adaptation Syndrome What Happens To The Body Under Stress
Hans Selye created a useful model to explain how stress works:
General adaptation syndrome .
The general adaptation syndrome describes the physiological changes your body goes through when faced with any stressor.
As mentioned, when there is a demand made upon the body, the body has to deal with it somehow.
Depending on how intense the stress is, and how long youre exposed to it, the body can respond with both short-term and long-term adaptations.
And so, the GAS is also divided into 3 different stages to mirror what happens during stress adaptation:
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Chronically Elevated Stress Hormones From Being Lost In Thought
Being lost in thought is terrible for your health.
Studies show that rumination having repetitive, intrusive thoughts and going through problems over and over again in your mind without actually solving anything is associated with both anxiety and depressive disorders.
In my experience, the stress from worrying and rumination is the biggest contributor to the general adaptation syndrome.
Your body mounts a stress response to any perceived threat, both real threatsas well as threatening thoughts.
This means that just thinking about upsetting things can set in motion a full-blown stress response release of stress hormones by the adrenal glands and all the associated unpleasant symptoms.
Now the BIG problem with worrying is that theres typically no OFF switch.
How Stress is Supposed to Work
Getting chased by a big angry buffalo is highly stressful.
With the help of your sympathetic nervous system and a heaping dose of adrenaline you have a better chance of outrunning it and getting to safety.
Threat is gone, the stress response is terminated and you can start to calm down.
How Stress Is Not Supposed to Work
Chronic low-grade stress from worrying or rumination is no bueno!
As youre probably well aware of, negative thought patterns tend to hang around 24/7, often fromthe moment we wake up until we go to bed.
Your brain perceives this as being under constant threat like being chased by a pack of buffalos all day long!
How To Overcome Learned Helplessness
If youve been suffering from anxiety or depression for a long time, you want to do whatever it takes to snap out of the state of learned helplessness.
A state that occurs when an animal faces repeated negative, stressful situations beyond their control, and eventually gives up trying to improve or change their circumstances because they feel helpless to do so.
To give you a practical example:
In the 1950s a guy called Curt Richter studied the effects of learned helplessness in rats.
He noticed that when you dropped a rat into a bucket of water, normally they were quite good swimmers and could keep on swimming for two or three days!
after rats were subjected to the experience of an inescapable stress, and then dropped into a bucket, they gave up after only a couple of minutes and drowned.
This is what learned helplessness will do to you!
When you dont believe that a better future exists or that you are unable to fix your problems youll give up before even trying.
I have lots of personal experience with learned helplessness.
It really sucks when you believe that things are completely out of your control and youre just dragged along on this crap rollercoaster ride of life, that you have seemingly unsolvable problems that no one can possibly ever fix, and all that is floating around in your head is negativity and self-loathing.
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What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is when you feel overwhelmed by the physical and mental feelings of fear the signs listed under What do fear and anxiety feel like? People who have panic attacks say that they find it hard to breathe, and they may worry that theyre having a heart attack or are going to lose control of their body. See the Support and information section at the end of this booklet if you want help with panic attacks.
Why Do I Feel Like This When Im Not In Any Real Danger
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living.
Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. But we cant run away from or physically attack these problems!
The physical feelings of fear can be scary in themselves especially if you are experiencing them and you dont know why, or if they seem out of proportion to the situation. Instead of alerting you to a danger and preparing you to respond to it, your fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be imaginary or minor.
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Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
What Happens When We Dont Manage Stress Effectively
In small doses, stress can actually be useful as it helps you to stay focused, alert and increases energy. But when stress becomes chronic though, it can damage your health, mood and relationships. Basically, your overall quality of life!
Stress is sneaky! It can easily creep up on you so that being frazzled and overwhelmed starts to feel normal. You may not even recognize how much it is affecting you so it is really important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and then take steps to stop feeling so overwhelmed.
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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
Stressors That You Can Not Eliminate/solve
If you actually take the time to sit down and devise a plan to eliminate/manage stressors in your life, and then put that plan into action , you will most surely feel a lot better with that weight off your shoulders.
Just the act of being proactive about improving your life-situation can feel very good!
what do you do about about stressors in your environment that arent fixable, or at least not in the foreseeable future?
Cutting out watching the news is pretty straight forward you just turn off the damn TV.
But what about, say, the death of someone close to you?
How do you begin to cope with the un-copable?
Thats not as easy.
Sure a healthy lifestyle will certainly help by increasing your adaptive energy/stress resilience.
But sometimes that doesnt make much of a difference either.
Sometimes we just have to bear with whatever it is thats weighing down on us.
In these kind of situations, heres what usually provides me with some relief:
Take a moment and bring back your attention to the here and now, by looking at whats in front of you, listening to the sounds and feeling whatever sensations are in your body. Shift your attention from the monkey mind to the present moment.
When you regularly practice being present, now, you may start to get a sense of a deeper stillness that contains all the movements of this world.
It can be somewhat difficult to put into words, yet this stillness is very real and very practical.
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