Anxiety and Stress

Money, traffic, work, family life, not to mention with Christmas around the corner are all factors that go to make up stress and anxiety. While anxiety is an everyday feeling it can become a problem when there is no obvious reason for that anxiety or when anxious feelings persist for more than a couple of weeks. Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterised by an uncontrollable and unrealistic worry about everyday situations. You might find you're not able to enjoy the things you normally would. You find yourself feeling uneasy and on edge, you are worried or have a constant feeling that something bad is going to happen. Even when you are trying to relax you are unable to switch off these feelings and thoughts.

Along with anxious thought come physical symptoms

Dry mouth and/or difficulty swallowing, nightmares, difficulty getting to and staying asleep, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension and headaches, rapid heart rate and breathing sweating trembling and diarrhea.

Along with seeking treatment to manage your anxiety disorder there are a number of things you can do that may help when you are feeling anxious. . Try to remember that getting to grips with managing anxiety take time and you might have good days and not so good ones, but it's very possible to get to a place where you can manage it really well. Medication can be an effective and immediate treatment for anxiety, as many of the symptoms are alleviated very quickly. It has been found to be helpful as a short-term treatment for anxiety.

Eat well and be active - even though you might not feel like it, exercising and eating well can help when you are feeling down. Exercise helps stimulate hormones, such as endorphins (known as the happy hormones), which help you feel better about yourself and your life. Evidence shows that when you have some sort of contact with nature, such as pets, plants, gardens or parks, your mood improves and you feel less stressed. Even just going for a walk in the park or at the beach may help.

Writing down your feelings, or keeping a journal, can be a great way of understanding your feelings and a situation. It can give you some clarity while helping you think about alternative solutions to problems.

When you are feeling down it may be hard to socialise or motivate yourself to do things. It may help to make a list of all the things you enjoy doing and then plan to do something from this list each day.

Try some breathing exercises - when you are anxious, your breathing can be quick and shallow, which reduces the amount of oxygen going to your organs. Learning how to breathe efficiently can help reduce some of the physiological symptoms of anxiety.

Talk to someone - although it may seem hard, sharing how you feel with someone you trust can help you get through the hard times.

What is CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Cognitive behavior therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years with both mental health consumers and treatment professionals. Because CBT is usually a short-term treatment option, it is often more affordable than some other types of therapy. CBT is also empirically supported and has been shown to effectively help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors. Cognitive behavior therapy has been used to treat people suffering from a wide range of disorders, including anxiety, phobias, depression, and addiction. CBT is one of the most researched types of therapy, in part because treatment is focused on highly specific goals and results can be measured relatively easily

The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behavior. For example, a person who spends a lot of time thinking about plane crashes, runway accidents, and other air disasters may find themselves avoiding air travel. The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to teach patients that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment.

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