Tag: stress

Anxiety: Facts, symptoms and ways to overcome it

Feeling anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, nervous, on edge, or afraid about things that may happen now or in the future. People usually experience feelings of worry or fear before confronting challenging situations such as sitting an exam or interview, and these feelings are perfectly normal. It can be experienced through your feelings, in your thoughts or physically. Research shows that anxiety is the root cause of fear.

The causes of anxiety can range from environmental factors, lifestyle to genetics and are commonly triggered by high levels of stress.  

If you have experienced a traumatic event from your past or childhood, this could be a key factor and the cause of your anxiety, these experiences may include: being bullied, abused, neglected or due to the death of a loved one. In addition, the relationships that you are in may be creating stress whether it be a personal, professional relationship, friendship, marriage or divorce. Problems arising in these relationships can be causing you mental distress leading to anxiety or even depression.

General Anxiety disorder (GAD) is becoming increasingly more common and can be very difficult to manage if you are not aware of your triggers. This disorder can become problematic if you find it difficult to control thing s that worry you. Hence, it very important to continuously be aware of the stressor, which could lead to anxiety if not managed

Your environmental situation at work or at home can make you feel stressed and pressurised, resulting in you wanting to avoid the situations that you are in. You may be working long hours or feeling lonely and isolated from the world which can create the feeling of unease and fear. You may find that the issues in your life are affecting your mental state such as financial and housing problems or not being able to find work.

The environment that you are in can have an impact on your stress levels and the pressure that you are feeling. This may be due to a situation at home or in your job such as when working long hours. As a result, you may feel lonely or isolated from your surroundings which can create a feeling of unease and fear. Issues in your life which can range from financial problems to unemployment can also affect your mental health which may be a cause of your anxiety or stress.

It may be out of your control as a family history of anxiety can also increase the chances of someone developing and suffering from anxiety disorders. However, it can also be a result of biochemical imbalances which affect the control and regulation of your mood.

Anxiety can also be a side effect of taking medication or from drug and alcohol consumption.

Facts

  • Variations of anxiety can include GAD, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Anxiety can be hereditary, where you are approximately five times more likely to develop GAD if you have a close relative with the condition.
  • GAD is a common condition which is estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population where 3 million people are affected by an anxiety disorder.
  • Women tend to be more affected than men and it is more common in people who are aged 35 to 59.
  • 615 million people suffered from anxiety or depression in 2013.
  • Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders that people experience in the UK and is the most common form of mental illness in the United States.

The symptoms:

Being able to recognise the symptoms of anxiety enables you to find the best solution to overcome it. It can be identified by physical and psychological symptoms where it can vary for everyone. Some of the symptoms that characterise anxiety include:

List of physical symptoms:

  • tension /not being able to relax
  • irritable
  • headaches/migraines
  • hot flushes
  • nausea/lightheaded
  • constantly feeling on edge
  • increased heart rate
  • increase muscle tension
  • dizziness
  • difficulty in breathing
  • heart palpitations
  • insomnia
  • shortness of breath
  • shaking or trembling
  • sweating
  • lack of concentration

Psychological symptoms:

  • feeling detached to people and your environment
  • feeling on edge and alert
  • avoidance
  • difficulties in concentrating

Ways to overcome anxiety:

  • It is important to remember that there are always ways to overcome anxiety and should you feel that it is impacting a large part of your life, to seek help. Seeing your GP can be useful in finding the best form of treatment for you.
  • You can also help yourself by talking about your thoughts and feelings to someone you trust or trainee professional such as a counsellor which can help to relieve your worries and feelings of loneliness.
  • Relaxation/breathing exercises can also help in making you feel more in control, calmer and relaxed.
  • Self-help courses, group counselling, CBT are available to help you to cope with your anxiety.
  • Adding in exercise to your daily routine may help where a simple walk can alleviate the tension and stress built up from your environment. You may find that you will be able to sleep better helping to put you in a better mood.
  • Making changes in your daily habits such as reducing your caffeine or alcohol intake can also contribute to helping you to overcome these feelings.

Research shows that smoking increases anxiety and tension and those who smoke are more likely to develop anxiety disorders. Try to get some support to quit smoking and you may discover an improvement in your mood and concentration.

Being able to acknowledge that you have anxiety can help drive you to find ways in which you can overcome that feeling of unease and stop letting it affect the way you live. There are many people in this world who are feeling the same way and it is important to remember that you are not alone.

If you are finding it difficult to overcome anxiety alone, it may be effective to seek help from experts. Psychological therapy can be useful in helping you to figure out what the root of your anxiety is and ways in which you can treat it. Psychotherapists are professionals who are trained to listen to your problems and help you with your struggles. You can also get counselling or go for group therapy. Speaking to someone is a great way to understand your problems and to know that you are not alone.

What causes anxiety

Anxiety is when you feel afraid or overly worried, tensed that something is going to happen in the future.

Most people who suffer from anxiety have been anxious during the earlier part of their childhood. This could stem from living in an environment where one or both of the parents do not talk about their feelings or express their emotions, particularly negative emotions, and often deal with them in a negative way. In addition, early years of anxiety could be a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect, drug addiction or alcoholism, parents that suffer from mental health issues and school-related issues like exams or bullying.

When you’re overly anxious it can affect any area of your life such as:

  • Work – you begin to lack concentration and you’re often not present as your mind is busy racing and thinking about other things.
  • Intimate relationships – you may begin to find it hard to be emotionally connected with your spouse as you feel anxious about the status or the future of the relationship.
  • Friendships – it’s important to socialise and have hobbies, but unfortunately, when an individual is highly anxious it affects their ability to be sociable, as they are often worried about different things which could begin to make them feel paranoid. As a result, they suffer from social anxiety.

Everyone can feel anxiety from time to time, however, anxiety is a mental health problem: if it affects your ability to live as fully as you would like to.

Do you often feel like this? Do you feel anxious very often with the feelings being very severe and lasting for a prolonged time? Do you worry constantly or are afraid that you feel out of control regards to a situation?

  • You avoid situations which might cause you to be anxious and your worrying makes you feel very distressed.
  • You experience panic attacks.
  • You find it hard to enjoy the day to day things. Anxiety could affect the way in which you look after yourself, work, enjoy leisure time, and form and develop relationships.

Self-care for anxiety

Time to pause

Avoid extreme build-up of stress by taking time to pause, relax and recharge yourself. It’s important to avoid over-working by doing long hours without breaks.

Control your breathing

Severe anxiety is often linked to poor breathing habits. It’s important to implement slow breathing techniques by breathing in slowly and gently through your nose for about 5-7 seconds.

Exercise

Exercise is good for your general health, including your mood, mental health and wellbeing. Engage in a regular weekly exercise which will help release the ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins. It will also help you relax and sleep well and it is a very healthy distraction.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Having a balanced diet will provide the right nutrients that your body needs, which will contribute to positive emotional wellbeing. 

Limit alcohol and caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can aggravate anxiety. 

Get enough sleep

Improved sleeping patterns enable you to recharge yourself. Common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems. Sleep helps you to feel better and boost your moods.

Acceptance

It’s essential to accept that you can’t control everything and it’s important to avoid being overly controlling. It’s important to have a vision or dreams and aspirations, but you can’t spend too much focus or time worrying about the future.

Know your triggers

Having an understanding of what triggers your anxiety will help you look for the patterns and keep your anxiety levels under control.

Talk about your issues 

Talking about issues that make you anxious will help you to think less and reduce over thinking which contributes to worrying and anxiety.

How to not lose yourself in your relationships

Being in love feels good, but always avoid losing yourself in another person. No one wants to be hurt within a relationship but every relationship we pursue is a risk, as you can never control another person’s behaviour or actions.

What is self-discovery? Most people would think that this is a strange question, as generally, people are more interested in learning about the behaviour of others rather than themselves. Unfortunately, many people lack self-identity and often build their esteem in their relationships, careers, financial status, or their appearance. Some of these individuals spend the majority or part of their lives looking for answers or acceptance but take very little time to understand themselves.

Learn to be more self-contained by following the tips below. Knowledge is power but always remember, knowledge without action is useless. Are you treating yourself in the same negative ways that your parents treated you when you were little? Are you punishing yourself the same way your parents did? If this is the case then it’s time to end the negative cycle. You are now the adult in your life so learn to comfort yourself, even if your parents didn’t know how to.

The past has no power over you and there is more power in the present moment.

How to rediscover your true self

Make a happy list

Make a list of things that you enjoy doing that makes you happy. It is essential to ensure that you participate in these hobbies on a regular basis. For instance, if you enjoy going to the gym, try and set aside regular days to go on a weekly basis to establish a regular routine.

Be honest with yourself

Write a list of all the different areas of your life including work, family, friends, hobbies, and relationships. Rate the amount of time that you invest in each area, from a scale of 0% to 100%. 100% is the most you could invest in each area and 0% is the least. Once you have established how much time you invest in each area, write down how much time you invest in your relationship with yourself. If you discover that the score is higher in other areas, then this is an indication that you have been giving very little to yourself. The main incentive is to ensure that you give the very best to yourself in order to give the best to others. For instance, it’s no point committing 100% to your job and committing just 10% to your self.

Make positive friends

It’s mandatory to have friends but more importantly, it’s more effective when your friends are positive friends. Positive people motivate, support and encourage you, particularly when you need emotional support or encouragement the most. On the other hand, negative people often celebrate the downfall of others. Consequently, they could project their negativity into you, which could make you feel worse about yourself or others. In addition, there are health benefits in relation to being positive or positive thinking; it could lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. The truth is, you attract people who are most like you. So the key is, if you want positive friends then you have to begin to be more positive yourself.

Become more self-reliant

It’s important to have a good support network of people in your life. However, it is also very important to draw strength from within and acknowledge your own personal power.

Here are 7 basic ways to become more self-reliant:

  • Accept responsibility for your own life choices
  • Make your own decisions – whether they’re good or bad. Indecisiveness is the root cause of low self-esteem
  • Learn more practical skills – the more practical skills you acquire, the more fulfilling your life would be
  • Look after your body
  • Recognise and accept your feelings
  • Find healthier ways to express negative emotions
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.

Get professional help when needed

Ensure that you get professional help if you have underlying issues that could be getting in the way of your best self. It is healthy to get help and support to deal with any negative issues with a professional, in a confidential and private space as opposed to trying to be emotionally dependent on someone to fix or save you. The only person that can help you be the best you can be is yourself, period.

 

 

Why ignoring negative emotions can be dangerous

Emotions are a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Your emotions represent who you are, it can help you to make sense of self, environment and the relationship that you have with others.

Emotions can be both positive and negative. Regardless of whichever one it is, it is important to understand and feel it. People who have grown up in an environment where they were not allowed to express their views or talk about their emotions, often struggle to deal with negative emotions. For instance, people who have anger problems may have suppressed their emotions for a long time, particularly towards people who have hurt them as a child. As result of this, they often get very angry at anything and everything as adults since they have not been allowed to express their views or emotions as children.

In addition to this, children who have experienced or been exposed to severe emotional pain during childhood, subconsciously develop a coping mechanism to emotionally shutdown, when feeling negative emotions, such as; fear, loneliness, vulnerability, sadness, jealously, failure, rejection or abandonment.

Often, individuals that do not know or acknowledge these emotions use, people or other things to distract themselves, including food, inappropriate sexual activities, drugs, alcohol, and even dysfunctional relationships. Our emotions represent who we are and often tell us many things about ourselves. It is not always easy to understand your emotions, but doing so will enable you to build your esteem and take more control of your

wellbeing. It is important for you learn to understand and take control of your emotions since avoiding them can lead your emotions to control you. If this habit is not tackled, it could lead to mental/ emotional issues such as: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, dysfunctional relationships, addiction, self-harm, and suicidal idealization.  

 How to deal with your emotions positively

It is important to identify and acknowledge the emotions, which you are feeling, rather than ignore them. Emotions are very powerful and can influence the way that we behave and the type of people we attract.

Keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions to gain a deeper perceptive and understanding of the root cause of what you are feeling or where it is coming from.

Try breathing or relaxation techniques, if you feel overwhelmed by your emotions.

Talk to positive family members or friends about your concerns and how you are feeling. If you feel that you want to speak to someone neutral, then seek professional help from a therapist to explore your emotions.

Emotions do not always represent the reality of what we feel. For example, you may feel that people will abandon you, this may not be the reality. However, there may be underlying issues that may be associated with your childhood or past that has not been addressed.

It is best not to respond immediately to negative emotions such anger in the moment. Always take time out to calm down or reflect before responding to negative situations. Often, you may say or do something that you may later regret.

Self-care can increase your ability to deal with negative emotions, such as exercising. Exercise can help to increase the happy hormones and help you to be more mentally at peace with yourself.

 

 

 

Anxiety and Relationships

Do you often feel anxious, on edge or constantly worrying about anything and everything?

If your answer is yes, then keep reading. Firstly, anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. If you find that your natural state is being anxious, then it is more likely that this emotion could be the result of past experiences or even picked up from your childhood.

Children, whose parent/s suffer from anxiety, are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorder. The reason behind this is that babies unconsciously mirror and reflect the moods of their parents. For example, if mum is constantly worried then the baby would pick up on her mood, since babies pick up on what they see and feel. So whatever their environment represents then that’s what will define or contribute to their characteristics.

Consequently, later on in life the child may grow up to being naturally worrisome and fret about things that are trivial, this could further lead to adults entering into relationships that would cause them to be anxious and even if there is nothing to worry about, they may create situations or scenarios in their mind that will make them worried. In addition, they may begin to lose concentration when dealing with day-to-day stuff, such as, work, watching a movie, or even have problems sleeping.

No matter what the reason maybe, you could be addicted to drama, as this may be your natural state and can hinder the relationships by creating a distance between you and your spouse. This experience can be very unhealthy in the long term as it leads to other mental health issues such as panic attacks or anxiety disorder in more extreme cases.

How to stop being anxious in relationships:

1. Let go of controlling others

It is good to come to a realization that the only person that you can control within a relationship is yourself. The fact that you want to control another person indicates that you are not in control of yourself. I appreciate that you don’t want anyone to mistreat you within a relationship and you want to figure out how you can control your spouse. The fact is you can’t, even if you could track his whereabouts every second of the day, you would still feel insecure.

2. Take responsibility for your happiness

In order to a have a more positive relationship, you have to begin to take responsibility for your happiness and invest in yourself.

3. Focus on other areas of your life.

When you make a relationship the center of your universe, you will spend a lot of time thinking about it, in a way that you are subconsciously distracting yourself from yourself. If you cannot focus on work, over analytical, stressing over what your spouse is doing, why he did not call or respond to your messages. This can be very stressful and could make you feel insecure. It is better to focus on other areas of your life, to get the balance.

4. Enjoy your hobbies

The world is a big place and there are so many things that you can you do, including starting a new hobbies or interest. It is also important to learn to enjoy your own company.

5. Let your partner miss you

If your partner knows your every move, you are always predictable, and always available to her/him. Consequently, you could be subconsciously allowing her/him to take you for granted. Let her/him miss you sometimes.