What is anxiety?

Over recent years, discussions about mental health have become more commonplace and people are starting to open up more about how they are feeling. One of the most common mental health issues that people are facing is anxiety, which has become increasingly more prevalent in our lives, especially because of the struggles that we have all faced during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Anxiety can occur when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.

Anxiety can be triggered by environmental stressors such as difficulty at work, relationship problems or family issues, genetics, medical factors, brain chemistry and withdrawal from an illicit substance. We have all felt anxious at some point in our lives, and this is completely normal. However, if you are finding it hard to control your worries and feeling anxious consistently, it will start to affect your everyday life.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

It is important to remember that levels of anxiety can vary from person to person, which means that symptoms will be unique to the individual. However, some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Restlessness
  • A feeling of being “on-edge”
  • Uncontrollable feelings of worry
  • Increased irritability
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Dizziness or heart palpitations
  • Panic Attacks
  • Sleep difficulties, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

What can cause anxiety disorder?

Research has shown that the onset of anxiety disorder is likely to be a combination of the following:

  • Overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour
  • An imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which control and regulate your mood
  • The genes you inherit from your parents
  • Having a history of stressful or traumatic experiences
  • Having a painful long-term health condition
  • Having a history of drug or alcohol misuse

How can you prevent anxiety?

It is really important to take care of your mental health and wellbeing, as much as your physical health. Spending time each day relaxing, unwinding and removing any unnecessary worries and stresses from your thoughts will really help to keep any anxieties from building up over time. Along with this, small changes to your lifestyle can help to prevent anxiety disorder such as; reducing your intake of caffeine, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, keeping to a regular sleep pattern and avoiding alcohol and drugs.

Top tips for anxiety self-treatment

It is possible to treat anxiety at home without clinical help, but this may not be effective for severe or long-term anxiety disorders. Here are some things you could try at home:

Relaxation Techniques: Activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, long baths, resting in the dark and yoga.

Stress Management: Managing stress can help limit potential triggers. Organise any upcoming pressures and deadlines you have coming up and compile lists to make daunting tasks more manageable.

Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones: Make a list of negative thoughts that keep occurring and then write another list next to it containing positive, believable thoughts to replace them.

Exercise: This can help to improve self-image and release endorphins in the brain that trigger positive feelings.

Support Network: Talk to people you are familiar with and who are supportive such as a family member or friend. There may also be support groups available in your local area or online.

Herbal Remedies: There are so many different alternative herbal remedies that you can use to help relieve your anxiety symptoms. If you are suffering with anxiety, and would like some advice on how you can control your symptoms using natural herbal remedies, please book a consultation with Louise or pop in and see us at our shop.