The consequences of anxiety is widely acknowledged, and yet not many are quick to take action to address this condition. Without proper care, anxiety may progress to depression. Anxiety may also make sleeping difficult and indirectly lower immunity. Mind charity cautions that in either case, the individual may reach such state as to be unable to maintain jobs, healthy relationships or a sense of enjoyment of life.
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Needless to say, early recognition of the symptoms of anxiety is essential. As explained by Mind chief executive, Paul Farmer: “Many of us lead busy, stressful lives and sometimes it can feel like things are spiralling out of control. Responding to symptoms early is vital so that they don’t become more serious and complicated.”
Steve Buckley, also of Mind, highlights the difference between regular stress and anxiety: “Being under pressure is a normal part of life. It can be a useful drive that helps you take action, feel more energised and get results… But if you often become overwhelmed by stress, then these feelings could start to be a problem and can cause mental health problems like anxiety… We all know what it’s like to feel on uneven keel. But if your feelings of anxiety are very strong or affecting your ability to live your life the way you’d like to, it’s time to reach out for support.”
These tips from Mind provide ways with which to cope with experiences of anxiety:
1.Talking: Speak with family, a friend or your doctor and ask for their help and support in dealing with what you are experiencing.
2.Being active: Physical activity such as exercise can help create a better condition for both mind and body. Such activities may help regulate mood and sleep patterns, and allow increase in energy.
3. Healthy diet: Healthy and balanced selections of food, including fruits and vegetables help keep both body and mood healthy. Avoid stimulants, which may increase anxiety and stress. In the same way, avoid excessive consumption of fats and carbohydrates, which may heighten any sense of lethargy.
4. Spending time outdoors: Engaging in outdoor activities such as garden work or even just going for a little walk can provide immense benefits. Research from the University of Essex indicate that being outdoors is beneficial to maintaining mental and physical health, improving self-esteem and managing any sense of isolation.
5.Regularly practising mindfulness: Mindfulness is prescribed to facilitate a healthy understanding of human thoughts and feelings. This leads to a better awareness and a healthier management of both the positive and the negative occurrences in ones daily life.
6.Sleeping sufficiently: Insufficient sleep has been known to aggravate mental issues and disorders, especially if this happens frequently. Getting sufficient sleep is essential to maintaining a good mental state.
7. Finding online support: Online forums – particularly support networks such as Mind’s Elefriends – may provide vital assistance especially for those who, for one reason or other, are unable to speak with family or friends.
8. Crying: A good cry is often cathartic and is a vital means of coping.
9. Contacting professionals: Help and advise for those who suffer from anxiety or those who know people that suffer from this condition may be sought from such hotlines as the Samaritan NY network 1-212-673-3000 in the US or by texting ‘ANXIETY’ to 70660 in UK.
Remember: you are not alone. Other people may be going through similar struggles. Anxiety comes in different forms and levels, and may affect anybody, even famous people and celebrities.
Lean Rimes and Abraham Lincoln suffered from a generalised anxiety disorder.
Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Emma Stone, Joey Votto, Kim Basinger, Charlie Beljan, Scarlett Johansson and Adele suffered from panic disorder.
Howie Mandel, David Beckham and Fred Durst were diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.