There is a difference between fear and anxiety. We may have fear or worry about lots of things- a pending deadline, a certain upcoming situation, when in the presence of potential danger. The difference is that anxiety tends to be fear produced by imagined or wandering thoughts- fear directed at a thought or situation that is not always based upon our current reality. We are often caught off guard by the onset of anxiousness and panic. We can't often specify the origin of this angst- it just takes hold. This is because the root of anxiety tends to be internal rather than external- in our minds and then experienced in our bodies. Anxiety often relates to thoughts and fear about not being in control of yourself, experience, or surroundings.
Anxiety effects your whole being. It is physiological, psychological, and behavioral all at once. Thoughts produce a fight/flight/freeze response, leading the body to respond as if it were in immediate danger- rapid heartbeat, a flood of adrenaline, muscle tension or tingling, disorientation, rapid breathing. It can cause you to feel detached from yourself and overall, it's just plain scary.
But here's the thing- anxiety is so common, so human, and it IS manageable. You can overcome chronic anxiety by understanding what it is, why you're struggling with it, and how to reduce or diminish the most severe forms of anxiety and panic disorders. Anxiety is something needed to be faced head on and right away. Anxiety becomes a conditioned response in our minds and bodies, and becomes more severe over time. The sooner it's addressed, the better.
There are many ways to get relief from anxiousness and panic. And, it's important that all aspects of how anxiety resides within us are addressed- mentally, intellectually, physically, even spiritually. In treatment, we safely confront anxiety like we would do with a specific fear or phobia, so that you can see for yourself that with breath and other grounding tools, you can stop anxiety in its tracks. Using relaxation training, somatic therapy (body mindfulness), interoceptive exposure, you can learn how to recognize when you're heightened and pass right by the fear and urge to panic. The more you fine tune these skills, the less and less anxiety you feel. Be it social anxiety, driving anxiety, existential anxiety, claustrophobia, fear of lying, fear of water, heights, trauma, PTSD etc., the right kind of therapy can help you to rewire your neural pathways and regain control over your peace and wellness.
An important piece of overcoming anxiety is preventative measures. Many people struggling with anxiety also deal with insomnia. This is common because an anxious mind races and makes falling asleep and staying asleep a challenge. With the right therapy, you can learn to calm the mind and let thoughts go so that you can get the restorative sleep you need every night. A regular sleep schedule can make a world of change and is one of the most effective parts of maintaining a balanced, calm mood and disposition. If you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, try having a small protein snack an hour before bed- like some nuts, a little Greek yogurt, a slice or two of turkey. This helps keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night and will help you to sleep more soundly.
Diet is so very important for people with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It's important to limit sugar and caffeine intake in general but especially at night. The link between blood sugar spikes and drops and our pysiclogical well being is not discussed nearly enough. Did you know that blood sugar drops produce the same symptoms as anxiety- headache, fatigue, dizziness, naseau, disorientation? Simple adjustments to your diet and eating schedule can yeild incredibly powerful changes towards your mood and general outlook. Avoiding processed foods that tend to be high in sugar and preservatives is important. Eating high protein foods every few hours (something every 3 hours ideally), will help curb anxiety, increase focus, and general improve your general disposition. As long as your're choosing healthy, low- sugar, high-protein foods, you don't need to worry about weight gain here- this food schedule actually helps with weight loss or weight maintance, as well as sleep.
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Merediths's mission is to help others reach their potential and achieve their personal vision of a fulfilling human experience. She uses an array of therapeutic cognitive and hypnotic methods to relax the mind, revitalize the spirit, and promote health and well-being to pave the way for your personal success. Hypnotherapy is an effective, natural, drug-free type of therapy that helps you to create noticeable improvements in your thoughts, outlook, mood, behavior, and all-around wellness. You can contact Meredith directly through her MyWellbeing profile or through her website.