Miss. YJ: Managing anxiety

Anxiety is something a lot of people deal with. That is why for this week’s article, I want to talk about how to deal with and work through anxiety. Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional as I talk you through this, but this is what I find has worked for me and for other people in the past.

Anxiety comes in many different forms.

There is social anxiety, panic disorder, specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder. It is hard to say that one is more common than another because they are all pretty evenly distributed. Anxiety is also different for every person who has it, and it affects people in different ways.

For some people, anxiety comes with panic attacks that include hyperventilation and dizziness. For other people, it comes with freezing up or “choking” so to speak.

No matter what form of anxiety one may experience, it is important to know the limits and the signs of when your anxiety is kicking in. Once you know your limitations, the next step is to be able to control the anxiety and to calm yourself down.

There are two methods that medical professionals suggest using in high stress or particularly anxious situations. These methods are mental imagery and deep breathing.

Mental imagery is the practice of being able to separate oneself mentally from the situation one is in. Essentially what this means is that when one begins to feel anxious, one should close one’s eyes and imagine oneself in a “safe-place” or “happy-place.”

Some places where I often picture myself are at the beach and at home with my family.

Mental imagery basically helps your mind to release positive and relaxing chemicals to counteract the negative ones that are tricking your body into being anxious or into having a panic attack.

Deep breathing was the other method I mentioned above. When people get anxious, they tend to shallow their breathing, making it harder to take in air. Shallow breathing or hyperventilation can cause fainting and dizziness which could be really dangerous.

It can also cause rapid heart beating that, in older people especially, can cause cardiac arrest.

Because of these reasons, it is really important to steady your breathing. You should breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth in deep long breaths.

This type of breathing will lower your heart rate and tell your body that you are okay, once again counteracting negative chemicals being released in your body.

These two methods are not the only ways to deal with anxiety, but they are two of the most common ways to learn to control it.

It is important to remember that if your anxiety gets serious, you should talk to a medical professional or a therapist who can help you work through it and/or prescribe you medicine if necessary.

Anxiety is not something that you should take lightly, but it is something that can absolutely be controlled and lived with. Practice makes perfect in these situations, so the next time you feel anxious, try to apply these two methods to yourself to control and calm the anxiety. I hope you found this helpful, my fellow Yellow Jackets.

Love, Miss Jacket

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