I have close friend who was writing a professional licensing exam two months ago in another city. She was so anxious that she asked me to go with her. She demanded me to have everything from acupuncture needles to B12 shots on me, to manage her anxiety. During those three days of exam, she fidgeted so much that there were occasions that I thought she is able to hypnotize me. I even told her, that I would have killed her, if I were writing an exam with her, as she moved her legs uncontrollably. She aced the exam at the end. However, I can tell you one thing for sure, she would have done better without anxiety. Her anxiety prevented her to sleep, eat or think logical during her exam time.
Her passing the exam, prompted me to write this blog. In 2009, Health Canada reported, 1 in 10 Canadians experience anxiety. This is almost 10% of the society.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety by definition is a chronic condition that can present with persistent nervousness, apprehension and sleep disturbance. The physical symptoms manifest as increased sweating, shortness of breath and increased heart rate.
Let me tell you one thing: I have never seen two people describing their anxiety symptoms the same way. The best description I have ever heard was last year, when one of my patients told me: “Dr. Z, think of your grandfather sitting on a rocking chair. He is constantly moving without achieving anything.” Interesting enough, this visual picture makes me feel anxious and dizzy.
Is there any magic pill or instant miracle cure for anxiety?
The answer is NO.
My most important advice:
Let go of being a control freak. (This will be the take home message from this blog post.)
We live in a society that our every single move gets judged. Starting in childhood, we learn to take control of our situation. We become good liars and experts in masking how we feel, to get accepted socially. This need to control and fit into social norms, sometime interfere with us being honest with ourselves.
I always say, think of a spring. If you exert constant pressure on it, at one point it will overcome your powers, and it will go free. If you suppress and/or ignore your feelings, at one point it will manifest as anxiety.
What else can you do to treat anxiety naturally?
• Sleep 8-9 hours every night.
• Every morning wake up 5 minutes earlier than what you normally do. - Do not jump out of the bed and run. - Let you body wake up naturally - Take 3 deep breaths and get out of the bed.
• Pay attention to your diet. Eat small and frequent meals to balance your blood sugar. - Make sure your diet has a correct ratio of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Avoid refined sugar and aspartame as much as possible. Minimize your caffeine intake. Make sure you are not deficient in Vitamin D and Bs
• Take care of yourself: Take a lavender or ylang-ylang essential oil bath Visit your massage therapist
• Make sure you do not have food sensitivities
• Exercise 4-5 times a week
• Every night do a mental dumping of what is happening in your brain.
Next time you are anxious, take a moment to see if any of the above tips can help you gain control over your feelings.
Picture taken from: http://consonantlyspeaking.com/posts/2013/08/the-journey-to-becoming-and-accepting-who-i-am-living-with-panic-attack-anxiety
Author resumes no liability for incorrect information or any action reader decides to take based on the information on this blog post. This blog post is only author’s personal input on the topic and by no means entails any medical advice.