Anxiety is not just a word that is thrashed around in everyday chatter as a loose equivalent for stress, pressure, or worry. Anxiety is a serious mental health concern affecting more than 40 million people around the world. Most of which are women.
Anxiety disorders are disabling conditions that take their form from irrational fears and worries. Women, in general, may go off into series of anxiety attacks in the face of increased pressure and biological changes such as monthly periods, pregnancy, or menopause.
To manage these anxiety attacks and their corresponding symptoms, here are 5 easy steps that every woman can put into practice to change her life.
1. Sweating Stress Away
Doctors often lecture about the physical benefits of exercise. But, rarely do the psychological benefits of increased physical activity being promoted. Because of this, scientists hold studies to test their hypotheses.
As a result, researchers have discovered the indisputable link between exercise and improved mental health condition. They revealed that engaging in aerobics, cycling, running, swimming, or any another form of physical activity helps relieve stress and works as well as medications in reducing anxiety. This is because exercise does not only train the body to learn new skills and new patterns of movement. It also trains the brain to become more anxiety-resistant.
The physical stress that working out puts the body into creates a lot of the same effects that mental stress does to the body. Therefore, as the body becomes more attuned to the effects of working out, such as increased heart rate, breathing pattern, blood pressure and sweating, the brain becomes more able to handle these changes as well. So when anxiety strikes, the body recognizes the changes similar to that of working out and becomes more able to handle the changes.
2. Sound Nutrition
A good diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and fish is found to act almost like medications to the brain. Experts say that with a solid foundation on good nutrition a lot of women will unlikely experience anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders.
During stressful times, proper nutrition reinforces the body’s resistance against the effects of stress. The vitamins and minerals absorbed from the diet act as buffers as well as boosters. They help support and stabilize the entire nervous system and adrenal glands from the damaging effects of stress. Moreover, good nutrition prevents inflammation to the brain and blood vessels that could lead to neurotransmitter imbalances and blood pressure spikes, common to anxiety sufferers.
With this fact, it is then absolutely important that women not only invest on their make-up but on their diet as well.
3. Soothing Aromatherapy
There is still little research to prove the truth behind the anxiety-reducing effects of aromatherapy. But preliminary researches show that this ingenious practice can alter a person’s brain waves and behavior.
Aromatherapy is the kind of therapy that uses essential oils and other scents to improve physical and mental state. The soothing scents of various essential oils like lavender, grapefruit, bergamot, ylang ylang, and peppermint help to reduce the perception of anxiety and stress. Their aroma, when inhaled or massaged on the skin, evokes pleasant memories and positive physiological responses that pave the way for the release of tension from the muscles and joints.
Aside from relieving stress, aromatherapy is also known for its medicinal benefits. It can be used as a first aid kit for minor burns and cuts. For women’s problems such as menopausal distress and PMS, these oils are particularly helpful, too. They decrease muscle spasms and enhance circulation. In addition, they are also known to induce sleep in people who have trouble sleeping or staying asleep.
4. Stabilizing Sex Hormones
Little do women know that sex hormones act on the brain to directly influence mood, cognition and behavior. With an imbalance of any of the sex hormones, women nearing menopause are likely to experience some anxiety and symptoms of hot flushes as an effect.
With low estrogen (when normally there was a surge before the menopausal stage), women are at risk for anxiety and depression. Estrogen is important to the integrity of the brain since this chemical promotes the production of neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, which is responsible for reducing depressive moods.
Progesterone is also an important sex hormone. A drop in its levels leads to an increase risk for anxiety and insomnia.
Correcting these problems then through hormonal replacement therapy is an option worth looking at. By replacing the lost hormones, women can avoid the unpleasant effects of aging as well as anxiety.
5. Seeking Professional Help
When lifestyle changes prove to make little difference in creating a better, anxiety-free state, women experiencing anxiety attacks need to visit their trusted general practitioner and/or psychiatrist.
The expertise of a doctor can greatly shed light to the fears and anxieties that one feels. Through a complete physical examination, history taking, and symptoms checking, a doctor can eliminate any medical condition as a cause for the anxiety episodes. Once physical causes are ruled out, referral to a psychiatrist or therapist can follow.
The psychiatrist can prescribe certain drugs or perform psychotherapies that help alleviate anxiety symptoms. Over time, the combination of drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapy proves to restore the chemical imbalances in the brain, modify negative thinking, and reinforce better ways of coping with anxiety.
Anxiety disorders and its symptoms no longer have to be a problem as long as one takes appropriate measures to correct them. With the 5 easy steps of managing anxiety listed above, women can take power and rise above the troubles of anxiety.
Guest Post by Ryan Rivera:
Ryan Rivera survived his battle with anxiety using these steps and more. To learn about the other steps and techniques on managing anxiety, visit CalmClinic.com.