If you have ever had an anxiety attack or suspect that you may suffer from a general anxiety disorder, this information will be quite helpful to you. 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. Another 35 million people with anxiety suffer mild to moderate symptoms.
On average, 70% of all people with a general anxiety disorder will consult with more than 10 physicians before the cause of their symptoms is accurately diagnosed. A recent study at Harvard Medical School reported that patients who cope poorly with stress become ill four times more often than those with good coping skills.
If you are not sure if you suffer from a general anxiety disorder, the following is a list of the most frequent signs of anxiety. They are: trembling, rapid heartbeat, lump in throat, frozen smile, neckaches, indigestion, insomnia, overeating, preoccupation with illness, fear of embarrassment or rejection, and fear of being ugly or fat.
Have you ever experienced any of these? If so, don’t worry. We all go through stress at some point in our lives. As long as you don’t have these feelings on a daily or weekly basis, you are probably fine. If you do experience a good portion of these signs of anxiety, read through the list below for strategies to developing inner peace.
Movement- Physical activity helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Walking is especially good for anxiety. Try not to push yourself to the point where it’s unpleasant…if you are straining or pushing yourself to hard, it will not be as beneficial in reducing anxiety.
Relax- Scientific studies have demonstrated that when viewing natural landscapes (sky, trees, greenery, water or flowers) people tend to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Remember, you deserve to enjoy your life and there is no reason to feel guilty about relaxing!
Eat right- It is important to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Balancing the diet helps to balance the levels of neurotransmitters involved in keeping stress and depression in check.
Take charge- A major cause of anxiety is the feeling of a lack of control. Helplessness is a huge component in depression and anxiety. It is a good idea to ask yourself questions like, “Why am I doing this?” or “Do I have to do this?” or “Will the world end if I don’t?” Most importantly, don’t be afraid to say “no” if you don’t feel comfortable doing something.
Take inventory on what causes you anxiety. Take the anxiety test I found in natural health magazine below.
0= no anxiety
1= mild anxiety
2= moderate anxiety
3= severe anxiety
____ confronting a loved one about a problem
____ making a major purchase or investment
____ making a mistake, failing
____ being seen naked or in a bathing suit
____ sexual preference
____ keeping things neat and orderly
____ heavy commuter traffic
____ deadlines, evaluations or tests
____ financial obligations, unpaid bills
____ feeling stared at
____ going to a public restroom
____ being criticized
____ talking to people in authority
____ the sight of blood
____ socializing at a party
____ giving or receiving a gift
____ making cold calls at work
____ being on time for appointments or events
____ packing for a trip
____ waiting in line
____ being in enclosed places
____ eating along in a restaurant
____ speaking to a group
____ taking a business call
____ the thought of death
____ being in a crowd
____ entering the elevator
____ going in an airplane
____ driving a car
____ going to a doctor or dentist
____ going to sleep or waking up
____ coming home to an empty house
____ rejection in love or at work
Add your score up. Which category do you fall in?
0-19: you have no to mild anxiety.
20-39: mild to moderate anxiety
40-59: moderate anxiety
60 and over: a possible anxiety disorder
If indeed you suspect that you suffer from a general anxiety disorder, please consult your physician. You can also try taking Kava or Siberian Ginseng supplements to help relax you. I also recommend reading “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Walter Maltz. This incredibly life-changing book discusses the power our mind has on our self-image and happiness.
Anxiety and stress are very real components in our lives. It is amazing how much they wear on our body, not to mention our mental health. If you do experience high levels of stress or general anxiety, get it under control as soon as possible. See your physician and begin to take inventory of your life. You are important, so take care of yourself!
Yours in healthy living,
9217 Douglas Fir Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15239