Anxiety is a mental health disorder defined by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are so strong & intense enough that they interfere with one’s daily activities.
Anxiety & panic attacks strike suddenly & abruptly with intense waves of fear and worry along with the physical symptoms of shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, sweats, trembling, tightness of chest, shallow breathing & nausea just to name a few. Quite frankly you feel as if your dying…feel as if you are having a heart attack.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder in America with over 40 million suffering.
I’m just one in those statistics that not only suffers from anxiety but from crippling anxiety attacks. Yet I often times feel very alone in my illness. It’s so much more than excessive worries & intrusive thoughts. It’s a real pain in my chest, a real lack to be able to properly breath, shakes, sweating, a real sense of being dizzy & about to pass out, headaches, fatigue….you name it. Then the aftermath of feeling stupid, worthless, that I’m simply overreacting.
Thankfully though in this day, anxiety is far less stigmatized & heard of more. In my opinion I feel a big part of this illness on the rise consists particularly due to how rushed and over competitive our society has become. The stress is simply unnatural. We are always being reminded we have to be faster, better, ect so we overload our plates. Force ourselves into becoming workaholics just to have a shot at being successful in this day & age.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about working hard & being productive. However that said, we need to take better care of ourselves & our minds so that we don’t let the stress corroded our health to the point that we can no longer be productive.
Coping mechanisms for me included many but absolutely nothing in world to combat my anxiety beats sleep. I mean I have to clear an entire day dedicated to resting & taking it easy & being gentle on myself. Typically my main anxiety attack trigger consists of obsessing over all the things I need to get done….. I obsess so much it literally obliterates my nerves. Clearing the day out & resting is the most important factor in healing my mind & myself.
Additional non medicinal options include;
Steam room, sauna, hot baths
Gentle yoga, specifically geared towards anxiety
Breath work – this doesn’t always clear an anxiety attack out but can work wonders in getting you through those horrible peak moments
Aromatherapy- Lavender, Rose, tea tree & eucalyptus are my favorite anxiety fighting oils.
Even with our children we must teach them to be cognizant of overloading themselves. For this very reason, my husband and I are adamant about our children only being allowed one extracurricular activity during the school year. We do multiple summer camp activities, but during the school year they are only allowed to choose one. So that they can focus their energy on their activity, school work, and finding time to relax & to just be kids. It’s normal for our children to want to do all the things but we must teach them it’s not healthy or feasible even to overload themselves. Remember that anxiety is just a serious to take care of as having a cold or any other infection
Your body needs rest, your mind & body need to heal! Be gentle to yourself.