The Anxiety Cycle Can Be Broken

By: Benjamin DeFoor
Category: Stress Management

Anxiety, worry, panic attacks, dreads; all these words describe a psychological and physiological state caused by a stressor. There are varying physical symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, sweating, fatigue, nausea, headache etc. Anxiety differs from fear in that it is a mood condition and does not always occur as a result of a specific stimulus.

Anxiety often accompanies depression, either as a temporary or chronic condition. As depression bears the classic symptom of feeling powerless, anxiety can increase and therefore the individual may begin a vicious cycle of sadness and anxiety about not being able to end the sadness. The cycle can go on for a lifetime unless the individual can find a way to reach out for help. Sometimes the depression takes such a strong hold that the person believes there could never be an end or a solution to the anxiety. It is at this point that faith, family, friends and contacts can help the sufferer.

The first steps in recovering from anxiety are: identifying the anxious behaviours, their triggers, strategizing ways to avoid the same patterns of behaviour and building an anxiety tool kit. To ease the individual into avoiding the same patterns, they must first be relaxed enough to recognise the signs, so that specific 'tools' need to be learned. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, visualisation and diversion are all common tools for overcoming worrisome episodes. For example, visualizing the subject of anxiety as a machine, the individual can physically unplug something, thereby taking the power out of the problem. Meditation and hypnosis are common ways of creating an overall feeling of peace for anxiety ridden individuals. Through the regular use of meditative practices, the individual can build a foundation of peace and stamina to fight anxiety.

Traditionally anxiety has been considered a condition only affecting adults. Sadly there are more and more children exhibiting signs of anxiety disorders at a young age. There is no genetic evidence to suggest anxiety is passed down through the generations via DNA, but there is very clear evidence that anxiety behaviours are learned in the familial environment. Children emulate the behaviours of those around them. Depending on the age, they see it as 'normal' behaviour. Unfortunately those adults that are deeply in crisis with their depression and/or anxiety do not see the impact their behaviours have on the children around them - until it is too late. It is therefore extremely important to know the early signs of anxiety disorders and depression, and keep oneself mentally healthy as well as physically healthy.

Depression makes one feel tired, unmotivated, ugly, stupid, unworthy, unfaithful, and untrustworthy, and a whole host of other negative adjectives. Therefore, have a regular exercise program for both the body and the mind. Daily outings are important, even if it is just a walk. Spend time around other people everyday; go to church or the mall or visit a friend. Keep your living space tidy and clean. Dirt and clutter make our mind feel cluttered and uncomfortable. We are happier in a tidy living space. Eat food from all food groups, and with as much colour as possible. The more colours one eats the more vitamins and anti oxidants we ingest - which help fight mental illness. Deep fried, fatty and carbohydrate based foods make us feel lethargic, so avoid them. Read. Read whatever you can find whether it is a magazine, newspaper or novel; make an effort to read everyday. Stimulating the brain helps stave off depression and anxiety. Learning helps quell those irrational thoughts. If there is a worry that pops up, consider researching a solution. It just might help.

Anxiety can be beaten, so can depression. However, like in hockey, the best defence is a good offence. Protect yourself against the Worry Dragons by building a fortress of a healthful lifestyle around yourself and your loved ones. After all, depression and anxiety do not only affect you, they affect everyone in your life.

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Article Source: The Anxiety Cycle Can Be Broken
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