When you are suffering from GAD, anything can get you worried. More often than not, you end up worried about things that do not even make sense. So much so that you end up feeling silly and embarrassed at acknowledging that such trivial things can nag you and keep you awake at night.
But these worries are anything but silly. Feelings of worry and dread are as real as can be and apart from leading to insomnia, you could also end up depressed.
Over time, people can get their anxiety symptoms under control more easily when they understand the neurological underpinnings behind their anxiety. Whenever anxious thoughts or feelings kick in, the natural response is to try to figure out the reason behind the anxiety.
In most cases, this is where we start thinking, “This is silly,” or “You have no justification for worrying about this.” In the process, we fail to realize that even though these things could be true, the brain is also searching for things to worry about.
An anxious mind automatically scans the surroundings for anything to worry about. As soon as a source of worry is located, the body reacts.
Granted, our bodies react differently, but worry usually makes your body experience the same signs and symptoms that you would experience if faced with a dangerous situation or threat.
Consider your reaction when watching an intense or scary movie. As your brain and senses take in the information, your body starts to respond to the chemicals being released as a result of the stimuli. You might feel your stomach tightening, your breath quickening, and your hands getting clammy. This is actually what happens to you when you are worried or anxious. If there is no relief to these symptoms, the tension becomes chronic.
Common Anxiety Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety could be classified into three broad categories. These three categories also help define the three different ways of dealing with anxiety. The first category is the physical arousal which leads to panic. The second category is comprised of dread, tension, and stress. The last category is where ruminating and worry fall.
This article focuses on how you can use Body Management to deal with the first category of anxiety symptoms.
Use of Body Management to Deal with Panic and Physical Arousal
Anxiety symptoms refer to what you feel whenever anxiety hits. A panic attack can make your body to experience an accelerated pulse, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Anxiety and panic attacks can come out of the blue, and this can make them frustrating and terrifying in equal measure – especially if you do not understand them.
Other symptoms include tension build up in the shoulders, jaws, and neck, and stomach pains.
Taking care of your body
Getting your body under full control is the first step in dealing with the physical symptoms of anxiety. There are a number of ways to achieve this. First and foremost, you need to take good care of your body and health. This means exercising, proper diet, and lots of rest everyday.
Too much caffeine and alcohol also make your body more susceptible to anxious arousal. Sleep deprivation and lack of exercise can cause this. A healthy body is a powerful way to ensure you attain control of your body to avoid anxiety and panic attacks.
Using diaphragmatic breathing is a proven method of calming and resting the body. Practicing this type of breathing makes your body accustomed to being in this state. This comes in handy when living with anxiety because you can easily use it on a daily basis. However, it can be even more beneficial whenever you notice the symptoms of anxiety creeping in.
Diaphragmatic breathing helps by either shifting or even stopping the stress response. It is a good idea to practice diaphragmatic breathing daily because it will make it easier to use it whenever anxiety kicks in.
The practice of mindful awareness is another strategy you can use to put your body under control. Most times, the physical symptoms are so vivid that you can’t help but think about them – and this worsens the situation. Mindful awareness will help you to stop thinking about your body and instead focus your thoughts on your environment.
This strategy will help you regain control over your body. The first thing you do is to turn your attention from the symptoms of anxiety to the experiences of your body, e.g. the way breathing feels or your heart rate. After this, you should shift attention away from the body onto something that you can smell, hear, or feel, such as any sound in your immediate environment or how your clothes feel against your skin.
As you go through this back and forth, you get the experience of having control over your body. It reminds you that you can be present in the prevailing moment without becoming a slave to the feelings.
Gaining control over your anxiety symptoms is possible. If you would like help in overcoming your anxiety, feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to meet with you to help you experience the freedom and peace you desire.
“Alone,” courtesy of Tyler McRobert, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Empty,” courtesy of Eddy Lackmann, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Breathe,” courtesy of Matthew Kane, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Freedom,” courtesy of Alexis_Fotos, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License