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Anxiety and stress are increasing in our society, yet it still remains a very closed-off topic. For your health, it certainly isn’t something to keep inside. Here’s just a few simple ways of relieving that unhealthy tension. Regena Margaret– Wellbeing Editor “I was about 9 when I first felt it. I’m in now in my late twenties and am only just learning how to control it.” Maria 28, Narre Warren. “It happens to me when I have to speak in public. The first time it happened, I honestly thought I was having a heart attack.” Mark 45, Pakenham. “My hands sweat, my heart pounds, my breathing slows and quickens at the same time.” Raquel 32, Bundoora. Feeling anxious in situations such as a first date, the first day at school or a job interview is perfectly natural, and is in fact the body’s way to keep you slightly alert during what it perceives to be a stressful period. When anxiety begins to impede on your everyday life and interfere with your activities, however, is when it is time to take control of your anxiety rather than letting it control you. As anxiety itself is a combination of different reactions, both physically and mentally to a situation it is hard to pin-point an exact definitions, however there are a number of similar symptoms that people who suffer from anxiety experience. The most commonly reported physical symptom of anxiety is a drum-like thumping of the heart and a rising in blood pressure. Rapid, shallow breathing follows and many people also experience sweating in places such as their palms, brows and backs. On a physiological level anxiety can cause your Sympathetic Nervous System to “kick into over drive” and enables the body’s fight or flight response. Chemicals such as adrenaline and catecholamine are released into the body allowing for a quick response to a stressful situation. Anxiety and anxiety attacks are commonly used as interchangeable definitions in everyday discussion; however there are distinct differences between the two. Feeling anxious can have effects on the body such as described above and can also include trembling, shaking, tightness in the chest and stomach and other symptoms which vary from person to person. An anxiety attack is a much more severe physiological reaction to a situation and can encompass all of

the aforementioned as well as lead to a person having trouble breathing to the degree in which medical professionals need to be called, or they may even fall unconscious. Anxiety is most commonly treated as a learned physiological reaction to external stimuli and there are many ways to begin to move through it. Within my own client group, the most shared feeling towards anxiety is a loss of control. There are numerous methods I use with my clients to help them to overcome these emotions, and I hope that by sharing them that may help you too. The first activity is a preventative measure. It is a very simple activity which only needs to be prepared once and can then be carried on your person for when you feel the signs of anxiety begin; I call it “The Calm Card”. Get a piece of cardboard and cut out a business card sized rectangle. On one side write down your three most noticeable anxiety symptoms – for example; drumming heart, lip biting and shallow breathing. On the other side write down a way to counter each of these – for example; counting slowly to 60 with a clock or watch (this helps to modify the heart rate and reduce the pace), taking some deep calming breaths and going for a 5 minute walk if possible. You can put as many as you can fit on your card and then simply place it in your wallet so it will be accessible at all times.

April 2014

Profile for Positively Transforming World

PTW: April 2014  

Roger Federer Foundation, Jamie Oliver and Kyle Smitley give us a good insight into charity, health and education. PTW is a magazine for hea...

PTW: April 2014  

Roger Federer Foundation, Jamie Oliver and Kyle Smitley give us a good insight into charity, health and education. PTW is a magazine for hea...

Profile for ptwmag
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