All of us have worries at different times of our lives, and especially the past year with the all the job losses and financial problems, many of us have been worried about what the future will hold. What happens when the worries become overwhelming and interfere with your lives? Worries may lead to anxiety such as panic attacks or avoidance of things that cause us to feel anxious. Some symptoms that worries are becoming overwhelming are:
- Sleep problems, often because of thinking about the problems
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Repeated thinking about the worries often most of or many times during the day
- Panic attack- a sudden onset of fear or apprehension which may accompany shortness of breath, heart palpitation or choking sensations
A few of the ways to help with anxiety are:
- Relaxation exercises, particularly progressive muscle relaxation. We hold a lot of tension in our muscles, and by relaxing the muscles, the whole body starts to calm.
- Breathing deeply and fully (exhaling as long as possible). When we are nervous our breaths become shallow, but by deliberately doing deep breathing, our mind and body relaxes.
- Changing our worry thoughts into thoughts that are more productive or using self-soothing thoughts, such as “this will all work out”, “I am safe”, “all is well”.
- Exercise is an amazing tool to use for releasing tension and reducing the “stress hormones” in our bodies. Any type of exercise is effective for reducing anxiety, both low intensity (walking, yoga, stretching) and high intensity (running, biking, dancing).
If you need outside assistance with your anxiety, Kettle Moraine Counseling is here to help! We are experts in helping people learn to free themselves from their anxious thoughts and to feel more calm.