The Road to Wellness Part 3: Anxiety, “The Earthquake” on Your Road to Wellness

Written by Gizelle Jones LISW-S, VANTAGE Director of Behavioral Health Solutions. This is the third part of a four-part series.

There was a new movie coming out last spring called “US”. The trailer looked REALLY scary; it gave me the creeps and I felt tension building every time I looked at it. I tried to look away when the commercial came on!

Then there is my “bee phobia”! Of all things, who would have a phobia about bees? Well, that would be me! My friends know that if we are outside eating and a bee comes along, you might find some food or drink on your lap bee-cause I am up and running.

In both incidences, the symptoms discussed are forms of anxiety. Anxiety can literally feel like “an earthquake” in your body. It can start as a feeling of tension. You can develop shakes, nervousness, and uneasiness. You worry, become apprehensive, fearful, and your blood pressure may increase. You may hyperventilate or have trouble breathing. There is a sense of impending doom or danger. Sometimes, you can break out in a cold sweat and feel like you are having a heart attack. We all suffer from anxiety in various forms. It is treatable.

There are several types of anxiety. Generalized Anxiety is a chronic form of anxiety. People with this anxiety are characterized as “worry warts”. You have excessive, long-lasting anxiety. You worry about non-specific events, objects, and situations. You often cannot identify the underlying causes of your anxiety.

Panic disorder is another form of anxiety. This is a brief or sudden attack of intense terror or apprehension. You may experience difficulty breathing, shaking, nausea, and dizziness. Many have gone to the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack to later find that they were experiencing a panic attack. It can be a very frightening event.

Phobias are irrational fears or avoidances you may have about a particular object or situation. It may be illogical or extreme, but you are unable to control feelings of anxiety that trigger the phobia.

So, how do you treat anxiety? The same way you treat depression: exercise, good nutrition, and consistent sleep. In addition, there are some other techniques to consider. The practice of good relaxation techniques can treat anxiety. Yoga, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and meditation are excellent ways to treat anxiety and cost very little to practice. Just Google these on your computer and you will find many activities you can do from home. There are even apps on your smart phones you can use at work during those much needed breaks.

Aromatherapy is a great alternative for relaxation. Lavender is an easy find these days and it really works! I have a spray that I use in my bedroom at night; it really helps you have a good night’s sleep.

So whether you have depression, anxiety, or both, if you incorporate some of the techniques into a healthy coping lifestyle your symptoms will improve. The road to wellness is always filled with bumps, earthquakes, and sometimes mountains. But practicing these techniques will help navigating the road easier. Make a commitment to try one of these techniques today.

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