October 4, 2016
Did you know that one in every six young Australians is experiencing severe anxiety? Chances are if it isn’t you, you would at least know someone who is. According to Beyond Blue, anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings when we feel under pressure is normal, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed. It’s time to seek some help when these anxious feelings don’t subside – when they’re ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety as a condition, these feelings can’t be as easily controlled.
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What you can do:
There is a range of health professionals and services available for the treatment and support of anxiety conditions. Plus there’s also a number of things you can do to help yourself. Beyond Blue states that effective treatment helps you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you. Not all anxiety conditions are the same, so the type of treatment will depend on the type of anxiety you’re experiencing.
For mild symptoms, your health professional (this could be a doctor or psychologist) might suggest lifestyle changes, such as regular physical exercise and reducing your stress levels (an Exercise Physiologist can help here). Where symptoms of anxiety are moderate to severe, your health professional might prescribe medication. The important thing is making a start, speak out or book an appointment – the sooner a person with an anxiety condition seeks treatment, the more likely they are to recover.
4 Easy Tips for Reducing Anxiety Naturally:
1. Take a big breath in – and out:
Take a moment, step out of your own head and notice how your emotions also affect your body. Are you tense and aching, or are you feeling strong and centred? The easiest way to stop and reset is to control your breathing.
According to ESSA’s Exercise Right, continuous feelings of worry or stress can create shallow, ineffective breaths and the brain will respond accordingly with more panic. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, start by separating what is real and what is a response. Take a big deep breath in, hold for 2-3 seconds and slowly release. Give it a go and see how your body responds.
2. Get Up, Stand Up!
Did you know that just 10 minutes of walking (even better if it’s outside) can lift your mood and decrease fatigue levels?! Sometimes this isn’t always possible so if you can’t do a quick walk of the block, stand up, stretch your arms out, look up at the ceiling… and accept that you are feeling anxious.
Movement and exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which are your body’s natural painkillers. They also play a role in regulating mood and relaxing the mind. Use the feelings of anxiety as a motivator and make a point to stop anxiety in it’s tracks.
If you work or study predominantly at a desk, set an alarm every 30 minutes to stand up – your mind and body will thank you!
3. Get a Routine
You have the power to break an anxious cycle, whether it is with a deep anchoring breath or a quick walk around the block. Remember not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself, which can create more worry. Start by adding just one thing to your day – set aside time for breathing, or schedule in a lunchtime walk.
4. Build a Health Team
When you’re feeling anxious, you might feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. This is where your health team comes in. Start with one, this might be a doctor or other health professional and slowly build a team that helps you stay strong and centred regularly. Pick people and activities that work for you, and do it because you know that it helps you feel better. Your team could include:
- Psychologist or Coach
- Sports team
- Yoga or meditation group
- Hobby group
- Allied health/Exercise Physiology team
Bodyfit NT specialises in chronic condition prevention, exercise therapy, mobility and athlete development. Our team is trained getting clients back on track with lifestyle and behaviour change support. Click here to get in touch or find out more about our Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning services.