Are your palms sweaty? Knees weak? Arms are heavy? Is there vomit on your sweater already?
In all seriousness, in this section of my mental health series, I’m going to be talking about Anxiety, and ways that I personally overcome it every day.
*Disclaimer*: If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is not to say that you are suffering from said illness. Please do not self diagnose. If you are feeling symptoms of anxiety, please speak to a trained professional about what could possibly work for you.
are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a worry about future events, and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and shakiness.
The most common categories of anxiety are;
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Panic Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
When we talk about mental illness, we often wonder “why?” There are many reasons why someone may experience anxiety.
• Stress due to an illness
• Stress buildup
• Other mental health disorders
• Drugs or alcohol
Below, are some “icky” feelings we may feel when we are feeling anxiety, and a “Healthy Habit” (HH) to try when we want to get rid of the “ick”
Some anxiety symptoms may include;
F - Panic, fear, and uneasiness.
HH - STOP take 10 breaths, slowly and try locating where you feel this in your body. Whether it be your stomach, tightness in your neck, or sweating in your palms. Take a second and ask yourself if your fear is rational. Most cases in anxiety, our fear takes over, and we start to react irrationally without taking a second to ask yourself if you need to be worrying in the first place, or if you can let it go/make an action plan.
F - Sleep problems.
HH - Try deep breathing before bed, turning off all devices, and doing a calming activity 30-45 minutes before you attempt to sleep. Creating a healthy sleep routine can make a huge difference in your mental state during the day.
F - Not being able to stay calm and still.
HH - Meditation would be amazing for this. Personally, I had an issue with always moving — bouncing my legs, picking my fingers. There are tons of apps that help and teach you how to just be in the moment. Headspace is what I’ve been using recently.
F - Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet.
HH - Put some warm socks on, shake out the tingles and take 10 breaths.
F - Shortness of breath.
HH - I know I’ve mentioned this at least 5 times already, but as you notice, deep breathing is very useful for anxiety. Try taking deep belly breaths, in through the nose out through the mouth. Try putting your left hand on your belly, and your right hand on your heart. Your belly will bring your attention to your deep breaths, and your beating heart will remind you that you are alive!
F - Heart palpitations.
HH - stress bursting activities can help in this case. An example would be, taking a large in-breath, tensing all your muscles and on your exhale, you release all your tension. This makes you feel as though you are getting rid of those unsettling feelings.
F - Dry mouth.
HH - Stay very hydrated. Drinking the appropriate amount of water every day is not only important to your physical wellbeing but your mental wellbeing as well.
F - Nausea.
HH - Gravol works, but if you don’t take medications, try drinking water and doing something productive to take your mind off of it.
Like I said, I am not a medical professional. I speak from years of experience and research.
Some resources for you could be;
Fear - Thich Nhat Hanh
The Untethered Soul - Michael A. Singer
Buddhism For Dummies