What are Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety?
- Increase in heart rate
- Increase in muscle tension
- Stomach upset
- Shortness of breath
- Shaky, trembling
- Hot or cold flashes
Typical Thinking - "What if"
- Negative thinking pattern
- Fear of dying
- Fear of going crazy
- Fear of losing control
What Can Trigger Anxiety or a Panic Episode?
- Significant Personal Loss
- Significant Life Change
- Stimulants and or use of Recreational drugs
What Lifestyle Changes Are Helpful to Reduce Anxiety?
- Regular practice of deep relaxation including, abdominal deep breathing, Progressive muscle relaxation or meditation.
- Regular exercise i.e. Walk, swim, bike, dance, yoga etc.
- Reduce or eliminate stimulants from your diet i.e. Caffeine, sugar, nicotine
- Learn to acknowledge and express your feelings especially anger and sadness
- Learn ways to have a calmer, gentle and soothing self talk
How Do I Cope With Anxiety?
- Leave the situation for awhile and then return
- Talk to someone
- Move around
- Do a simple repetitive activity - rub thumb against a key or tines of a comb
- Do something that you can focus on - sudoko puzzles, crossword puzzles, knit, sew
- Do something that brings you pleasure - hot bath or shower, get a hug etc.
- Practice thought stopping to interrupt negative or anxious thoughts ie. The 'what if' thinking starts, you say the word STOP or visualize a huge STOP sign, Practice doing about 5 abdominal deep breaths and replace the anxious thought with a calming, soothing statement like - this is just anxiety, I'll handle it, I've handled it before - I'll handle it again
- Practice abdominal deep breathing
- Practice muscle relaxation
- Use breathing in combination with positive self talk.
How do I learn more about Anxiety?