Anxiety is a feeling most everybody has probably experienced here and there throughout our life. Whether is right before an exam in school, getting married, or conducting a speech in front of 100 people, asking for a raise, and many other occasions. Any one of those creates some level of anticipation or anxiety.
Then there is more chronic anxiety such as social anxiety some people experience whenever they go out and mingle with other people. Anxiety can occur only occasionally or situation dependent, but there are people that are stricken with it on a daily basis.
Anxiety is defined as an emotion wherein the person feels an overwhelming sensation of tension, and it can manifest physically. And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 18.1% of adults in the US experience anxiety at some point during any given year, and of these, 22.8% are classified as severe cases of anxiety. First signs of anxiety to a point where it becomes a statistic have been noticed in children as young as 11 years. Statistics show that people ages 30-44 have the highest incidence of anxiety compared to other age groups. According to the study, women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men by 60%.
According to researchers at NIMH, there are risk factors that may predispose individuals to develop anxiety disorders. Such factors include childhood shyness, poverty, social status (single mother, divorced or widowed etc.), mental illness within the family, or traumatic events early on in life.
There are different types of anxiety that have been identified and documented by the medical profession:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is characterized by an exaggerated level of worry and anxiety on every day basis without a solid reason for such anxiety. These individuals may feel like a disaster will happen at any moment for little or no reason. Symptoms include being easily startled, being edgy, excessive worry, trembling, sweating, overall body tensioning, and sleep disorders. They’re also susceptible to development of phobias, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Panic Disorder. People who have panic disorder experience intense fear that manifest physically through heart pounding, faster heart rate, palpitations, trembling and excessive sweating. Anyone of those symptoms may occur very sudden and at random which in itself could be cause of worry in anticipation of the next incident.
Social Anxiety Disorder, or what is popularly known as Social Phobia. These anxiety attacks are present during a social gathering or any activity that requires social interaction. While it is normal to have stage fright, people who have Social Anxiety Disorder often feel embarrassed, rejected and offended even before they start to interact, perform or socialize. They have an irrational fear of being judged by people and would usually spend days and weeks being anxious about an upcoming event. They are usually trembling around other people, they feel nauseous and they tend to stay away from crowded places.
What can we do to reduce or eliminate feelings of worry and anxiety?
For those of us that feel fear and anxiety as being part of their every day, even about minute situations or issues, it can majorly affect our life. When we have no control over those feelings, can’t turn that switch in our head to the “off” position we could experience helplessness and lose hope. That is hard to live with and some individuals may become dysfunctional with even easy tasks of daily life.
Here are some idea to experiment with to lower anxiety:
Get sun light for at least 30 minutes a day to stimulate your body’s Vitamin D production. Walk the dog, ride the bike around the neighborhood, sit on the patio, take a walk during lunch break. The body has a natural way of lowering stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety by utilizing the Vitamin D that is stored in the body.
Cut back on caffeine. People with anxiety are already jittery and edgy, Caffeine stimulates our body and brain which is helpful to wake us up in the morning, but it can also increase anxiety and irritability. Chamomile has apigenin and luteolin that decrease symptoms of anxiety according to studies at the University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center.
Exercise. Whether it’s high output sports such as tennis, squash, running or exercise tires your body and can help channel that nervous energy outward away from our mind.
Yoga and meditation. Needless to say that either calms the body and mind and encourages feelings of being grounded. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves sleep.
Essential Oils for anxiety. Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular. Herbs have natural properties that can help with a large range of ailments and issues. Certain hebs have been identified as reducing anxiety and stress. The Kandala Serenitiy Essential Oil Blend is specifically designed to do just that. It contains essential oils of lavender, spanish marjoram, cedarwood, mandarin, clary sage, and German chamomile.
Lavender and German chamomile are most commonly known to calm and relax the body and the mind which alleviates stress, tension and anxiety. Spanish marjoram is often used to relieve pain, but it also helps lower stress hormones in the body and encourages positive thoughts.
The clary sage herb also relieves stress and tension but it also has the effect on the mind of increased self-esteem and confidence. Cedarwood has a soothing effect on the nervous system and is known to be quite effective for spasms and restless leg syndrome. And aside from being an anti-septic and anti-spasmodic, Mandarin has sedative character which can bring relief to people dealing with hysteria, and high levels of anxiety.
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