0
In Anxiety/ Well-Being Blog

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety

how to relieve stress and anxiety handy tips

Learning about anxiety attack symptoms is an important step in the recovery process if you suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anyone who suffers from such a disorder is certainly well versed in the types of symptoms that frequently accompany anxiety attacks; however, in order to learn to cope with and even overcome these symptoms, it is imperative that one must first learn why these symptoms occur in connection with anxiety disorders.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress

The most common symptoms of any anxiety disorder is fear itself. This fear often occurs as a result of a perceived threat. In many cases, this fear may only result from a threat that is perceived only and not a real threat. This; however, has no effect on the results of the anxiety attack. When the human brains senses fear, whether it is real or perceived only, it responds with certain biological responses. These responses prepare the body to either stay and fight the threat or flee from it. This is commonly known as the fight or flight response.

Some of the most common symptoms that can be associated with an anxiety attack as a result of this perception of threat include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the hands or feet
  • Feeling as if you can’t breathe
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Fear of losing control
  • A feeling of impending doom
  • Feeling as if you are out of touch
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling as if you are about to die
  • Trembling

In most cases anxiety attack symptoms begin to peak within 10 minutes of the attack beginning and the symptoms will begin to subside within a half an hour of the attack starting. In some cases; however, it could take several hours for all of the symptoms to completely subside.

In many cases anxiety attacks seem to appear for absolutely no reason. In this regard, they may come completely from out of the blue. Unfortunately, the individual may associate their location at the time of the attack as a cause for the symptoms they experience. As a result they may then begin to avoid that particular location or even situation as a result of fearing the occurrence of another attack. This avoidance can then lead to even further problems such as the development of another disorder known as agoraphobia.

The intensity of the symptoms associated with an anxiety attack can be quite frightening. That intensity level can vary from one person to the next and even from one attack to the next. With that said; however, it is important to understand that while the intensity of these symptoms is often very frightening the symptoms themselves are not dangerous. Even though the symptoms of an anxiety attack can certainly feel life-threatening it is important to understand they are not. Understanding and accepting that the symptoms of an anxiety attack will not hurt you is one of the first steps toward recovery. In addition, there are techniques that can be used which will reduce the severity and even the frequency of anxiety attacks.

By taking the time to learn about anxiety attack symptoms you can overcome anxiety disorder.

10 Simple Ideas to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Ricky Gervais and the BBC’s stunningly successful sit-com “The Office” has been a huge hit around the world spawning countless spin off’s and remakes.

The fact is that the comic situation transfers across cultural barriers. The exact idioms of the language may alter but essentially we see people in the show that we relate to in our own workplace – sometimes we even see ourselves.

The people are not the only aspect of the show that transfers, so do the situations the characters find themselves in. Do these two quotes from The Office strike a chord?

Jim Halpert: Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train.

Michael Scott: This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she’s cute now, you should have seen her a couple years ago.

These lines may be funny yet they point to something basic and fundamental pertaining to the work place: stress and more specifically work related stress.

The UK Health and Safety at Work Executive (HSE); the UK government’s work-related health and safety body define work-related stress as “the adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.”

A certain degree of stress is healthy, it keeps us on our toes and drives us to achieve. In essence, stress will cause us to lead more fulfilling lives. The difficulty is here, however, is how do we create a healthy balance of stress because too much stress and anxiety is certainly harmful to your health and well-being? What techniques can we apply to encourage stress and anxiety relief in our lives? Stay with me for a short while and we’ll look at 10 simple ideas to initiate stress and anxiety relief at work.

Tune Into Your Body

A simple idea it may be, but one that is the key to unlocking the box to the other stress and anxiety relief techniques that we shall examine. Be aware of the degree of stress that you’re experiencing at any one moment in time. First of all you need to know when your stress levels are rising.

Measure your stress level on a scale of 1-10. While you’re at home find a time when you are alone and when you can lie down with your eyes closed. Put on your favourite music for relaxing or just sit in silence, whatever works best for you. Just let your mind wander and do not seek to hold your thoughts, no matter how fleeting. After 10 minutes or so you should be aware of level zero stress.

This is the gauge for measuring all other stress levels. During the day check into the scale and not the level of tension that you’re feeling: are your shoulders hunched and tense; how does your gut feel, is it tight and churning; is your jaw clenched?

Take Time to Move

Movement is a great way to reduce stress levels. Just by getting out of your seat and moving around you will find that you will feel a measure of stress and anxiety relief. A brisk walk during your lunch break and a short jogging session at the end of the day will reduce tension. Generally aim to keep fit anyway.

Take time for Deep Breathing

Simply breathe deeply, inhaling through the nostrils, after holding the breath for a count of three exhale slowly through the mouth.

Use your Mind’s Power of Imagery

This is another great way to bring stress and anxiety relief into the workplace. Just take a moment or two to imagine that yo are somewhere else. Hear the sound of the sea, create the vivid colours of the sky in your mind, soar of to your favourite place and do not wait for that distant vacation; go there today. The more vivid the images the better this stress and anxiety relief technique will work.

Challenge Irrational Thoughts

Be aware of your inner voice and the messages that it is sending to you. Often these thoughts are based on previous mind conditioning and the thoughts will be harmful and create unnecessary levels of stress. For example, if you are under pressure to get something done by a particular time you may find yourself thinking” I must get this done or else I’m fired and I’ll need to find another job!” This is probably not the case and if it is then you’re probably better looking for another job anyway.

Plan work into Smaller Manageable Tasks

A large task can be overwhelming and may need to be broken down into simpler easier to complete jobs. We meet more step by step targets this way and feel a greater sense of achievement after each step is finished. Give yourself a reward for completing the smaller tasks and do not wait for the final task before you give yourself a pat on the back.

Reduce caffeine intake

Have you ever seen a two-year-old completely wired after chomping through a few cookies or drinking cola? Well, that’s exactly what happens to all of us when we take in too much sugar or caffeine. However, unlike the nipper at home we can’t very well run around the office making aeroplane noises, we just carry the excess stress.

Take time to have a Play Break

Some professionals keep “squishy” balls, or stress balls, in their workspace a simple squeeze is all that is needed for rapid relief of stress and anxiety. Other choose app games on their smartphone or there are online anxiety games. They’re quick (less than five minutes), easy to play, and many don’t require a download.

Blow Off Steam – but fairly

Don’t think that you can’t vent a little, but just remember words spoken in anger can haunt you for a long time if theyíre read or overheard by the wrong person. Donít put anything in an email you don’t want the whole office to see.

Take time to understand that a little stress is worthwhile

Finally, remember that it’s natural to feel stress when you leave your comfort zone. Some stress must be endured as you expand your horizons, learn new tasks and earn new responsibilities. That kind of stress may not be much fun, but in the long run, itís worth it!

A Healthy Diet to Combat Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety. In fact, being unable to do so can be a sign of a serious psychological problem. In our hazardous world, anxiety is a strategy the body uses to help the mind recognize danger and keep well out of its way. As with most mental illnesses, it’s not the presence of anxiety alone that creates problems. It is more about how severe it is and how much it gets in one ís way of life or quality of living.

Most people feel anxious at some time in their lives.

However, only about five per cent of people experience severe anxiety and rarely seek professional help. Anxiety is a mixture of physical and mental symptoms. They are part of what psychologists call the fight or flight response.

When the body is under threat it automatically prepares either to defend itself or run.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, or remain focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope with the tasks and demands of everyday life. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can become a disabling disorder.

Fortunately, effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is yielding new and improved therapies that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive and fulfilling lives.

However, studies have shown that having a healthy diet may reduce signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Although food can’t cure an anxiety disorder, consider some diet changes and that would benefit a severely anxious person:

Avoid or limit caffeine intake as much as possible

Caffeine is present in many soft drinks, not just in tea and coffee and it can set up its own vicious cycle. It can speed up heart rate and disrupt sleep — which later on become prevailing signs of anxiety. Trying to overcome tiredness by drinking more caffeine only makes the long-term problem worse.

Avoid too much alcohol

Similarly, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of anxiety, and disrupt sleep. Many people reach for a drink to calm their nerves, but the consequences of overindulgence can outweigh the benefits of initial relaxation. For some, a hangover, insomnia, and dehydration make one feel worse than before one had a drink. In excessive amounts, alcohol can actually act as a depressant, making the drinker feel sluggish or more anxious.

Alcohol, like a simple sugar, is rapidly absorbed by the body. Like other sugars, alcohol increases hypoglycemia symptoms. It also causes mood swings.

Eat complex carbohydrates, also known as carbs

During anxious times, turn to comforting carbs. These foods act as a mild tranquillizer by increasing the amount of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. Complex carbs such as potatoes, wholewheat bread, and pasta take longer to digest than sugary simple carbs like white bread.  That way, one can stay fuller longer and blood sugar is likely to stay steady, eliminating stress and anxiety.

Be sure to drink six or more glasses of water a day

Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and stress. One should be well-hydrated and drinking lots of water a day can decrease symptoms of anxiety.

Take multivitamins and mineral supplements

B vitamins, whose role is to unlock the energy in food, are crucial. Vitamin B-6 helps manufacture serotonin in the brain. Choose a daily supplement that supplies 100 per cent of the daily recommendation of all vitamins and minerals.

Although tension and daily stresses are unavoidable, one can relieve tension and manage stress and anxiety better by watching out for what one eats and what one does not eat.

Remember that a healthy body and a healthy mind are often one and the same thing.

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

You Might Also Like