Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Anxiety affects everyone at some point in their lives, and it affects a large percentage of the population more than occasionally. Sometimes anxiety is mild, sometimes it is completely debilitating. Striking at times when you would expect it, but also at times when you least expect and even without an obvious reason. The list of situations that can cause anxiety is a numerous as the stars, as unique as a fingerprint, and as difficult to hold onto as the wind.
Anxiety stimulates our “fight or flight” response, where your body prepares to either run away from danger or stand and fight. We produce a burst of adrenaline, which increases heart rate and the release of more sugar into the bloodstream. This is a vital physical response in times of danger when we need to have fast reflexes but can be very frightening when there is no perceived threat.
When anxiety becomes a daily issue that is when problems arise. These can show as emotional changes such as anger, aggression or crying, or can be physical e.g. increased blood pressure, increase in blood sugar levels, increase or decrease in sleep, chronic fatigue, depression, weight gain or loss, can cause changes in a woman's menstrual cycle, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, sweating, feeling smothered or claustrophobic, to name just a few.
There are lots of options for coping with anxiety, in my professional opinion gaining an understanding of why someone is anxious is the most important of all, as it gives a much-needed solid picture of the cause, or the reason.
The best way to find the cause is to talk about it, and talk about it often, as simple as this sounds it is vital, especially if you aren’t sure of the cause. No one should ever feel like their anxiety is stupid or silly, or unimportant, and should never feel like they have to “get over it” although there will always be times when we have to suppress it for short periods in order to get on with our day, there comes a time where it becomes necessary to tackle the problem. Working out the cause tends to give more relief than any medication or supplement ever could.
Talking to family and friends is as important as speaking with a professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or councillor. A professional should always be included as they have the training to guide their clients to an understanding and then give them the tools they need to improve their quality of life.
Be kind to yourself, you are important, don't let anyone put you down or tell you to ''get over it''.
Seek help and advice from a medical professional help and advice.
You need to feel comfortable enough with a health professional to be able to share a lot about yourself. It might take a few visits to start to get to know each other so give it a few sessions before you decide if you feel that the person is a good fit for you. If you are unhappy with the health professional you are speaking to, don't be afraid to ask to speak to a different person.
Get a good night’s sleep. Trust me a good night’s sleep can make you feel better just on its own. Getting a good night’s sleep is not always straight forward, so again, don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether that is a natural sleep aid or a prescription from your doctor, find something that works for you.
Keep a diary of how you feel, what you have done in the day, what your sleep quality has been like. This can often give you a good picture of what can be causing your anxiety. As we can forget little details during our often very busy days.
Talk to your family and friends, this gives both you and your loved ones a chance to give and take a bit, so you tell them how you feel, and they gain a better understanding of your behavior, which can cause as much anxiety for them as it does for you. These simple conversations can reduce anxiety on their own through improved understanding on everyone’s behalf.
Lastly, there are several supplements which could possibly aid you in your anxiety management, it's important to speak to a health professional that is qualified to give advice on supplements as taking the wrong one can cause more harm than good. Read our blog for recommendations on supplements that may help reduce your anxiety.