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Managing Anxiety Can Be Rough: Learn Simple Techniques To Help You Cope

Managing Anxiety Can Be Rough: Learn Simple Techniques To Help You Cope

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Managing Anxiety Can Be Rough: Learn Simple Techniques To Help You Cope

By: Your JNH Lifestylist

Mental illness is much more frequent than people realize. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will suffer from some type of mental disorder at some point in their lives [1]. Anxiety is the most common type of mental illness, affecting about 40 million adults in the United States alone [2]. Although it is often overlooked, this disorder can affect your quality of life, performance at work and social interactions. So it is vital to do anything you can to control these symptoms to lead a normal life.


How To Identify You Are Suffering From Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are a very heterogeneous condition, with many clinical presentations. However, something they share are their physical and psychological symptoms. The psychological symptoms can include feeling worried and tense and over non-threatening situations. These thoughts can be triggered even by everyday activities such as getting groceries. In other cases, like phobias, these irrational thoughts are related to a specific thing.

With regards to the physical symptoms, these can include palpitations, excessive sweating, chest pain and tremors. Some people experience anxiety in different ways, like body pain and headaches. If you have been getting sick too often, or if you have been experiencing pain for no reason, it could be because of anxiety [3].

When To Look For Help?

Some people have a hard time asking for help, with shame being the biggest deterrent. But you should know that there is nothing to feel ashamed about when suffering from anxiety. As previously stated, it is very common and there is no reason for not talking to someone about it. It is a known fact that talking about your mental health issues can potentially help alleviate your symptoms. The best thing you can do is contact a therapist who can determine if you require therapy and/or medication to control your condition.

Exercise!

Therapists often recommend physical exercise for patients who are suffering from anxiety. Exercise can help you get your mind off everything that is making you worried and helps you focus on the present. It also helps relieve muscle tension, which is a common condition for anxiety sufferers. Lastly, some researchers have found that exercise has some beneficial effects on our brains. For example, it increases the concentration of some chemicals that fight anxiety such as serotonin and GABA. This change in your brain's chemistry is something that is sought by psychiatrists through medication, but with exercise, you can achieve it naturally [4].

Just Breathe

Breathing exercises are very effective in controlling anxiety symptoms, especially when they are very severe, such as during panic attacks. There are different types of exercises, and one of the most frequently performed by patients is alternate nostril breathing. To do this, sit comfortably in a quiet room and use your right thumb to close your right nostril. Breathe in through your left nostril. Then, close your left nostril with your left thumb and exhale through your right nostril. Do this a couple of times until you feel calm and relaxed [5]. We know, it sounds strange, but don't knock it till you try it!

Watch What You Eat

Every day, we find new reasons why having a healthy diet is important. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how some foods have an effect on your mood and can help control certain mental conditions. For example, nutrients like magnesium and zinc have been linked to an improvement in anxiety. Therefore, you should increase your intake of leafy greens, nuts, egg yolks, oysters and cashews [6].

Find A New Hobby

Finding something you enjoy doing can help you disconnect from thoughts that make you feel anxious. Activities like painting, journaling and creative writing have been particularly beneficial for these patients. You should keep in mind that the more the activity demands your attention, the better it is at distancing you from your anxiety.

Try Infrared Saunas

A trend that has been garnering many followers lately is infrared saunas. These revolutionized the wellness industry when they first appeared, offering many benefits such as weight loss and improved skin complexion. They increase your body temperature by using infrared waves that penetrate your tissues; rather than the traditional method of heating the air around you, which in turn, heats you.

As time goes by, more and more benefits have been linked with infrared saunas, and one of the latest discoveries has to do with mental health. In 2016, 9 patients with anxiety were treated with a single session of infrared light. Two weeks after this one session, these patients reported an improvement in their symptoms [7]. Other studies have reported improvement of anxiety symptoms after several sessions with infrared light, which indicates that constant exposure might be the best way to go [8].

Anxiety is hard to treat, so patients often resort to any measures that can help with their symptoms. However, it is vital to find ways to deal with anxiety that have been scientifically tested, and infrared saunas are a great example of this. The effects of a regular sauna plus the wonders of infrared therapy might be just what you need to feel better.


Resources:

[1] "Mental disorders affect one in four people." Who.int, World Health Organization, 4 October 2001, https://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/.

[2] "Facts & Statistics." Adaa.org, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.

[3] Konkel Lindsey. (2018). "What Are Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?" Everydayhealth.com, Everyday Health, 31 January 2018, https://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety/guide/symptoms/.

[4] Ratey John. (2019). "Can exercise help treat anxiety?" Health.harvard.edu, Harvard Health Publishing, 24 October 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-exercise-help-treat-anxiety-2019102418096.

[5] Esposito Linda. (2017). "3 Essential Exercises to Calm Anxiety" Psychologytoday.com, Psychology Today, 24 January 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-zen/201701/3-essential-exercises-calm-anxiety.

[6] Naidoo Uma. (2016). "Nutritional strategies to ease anxiety" Health.harvard.edu, Harvard Health Publishing, 13 April 2016, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441.

[7] Hamblin Michael. (2016). "Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, October 1, 2016, https://behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1744-9081-5-46.

[8] Tanaka Y, Akiyoshi J, Kawahara Y, Ishitobi Y, Hatano K, Hoaki N, Mori A, Goto S, Tsuru J, Matsushita H, Hanada H, Kodama K, Isogawa K, Kitamura H, Fujikura Y. (2011). "Infrared radiation has potential antidepressant and anxiolytic effects in animal model of depression and anxiety." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, April 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21511206.

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