What is Anxiety
Anxiety is characterized as a state of hyperarousal. present in other anxiety-type disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, mania or bipolar disorder, personality disorders, PTSD, or phobias to name a few. Emotional symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, irritability, dream, insomnia or trouble sleeping, easily startled/distracted and difficulty in concentrating. Physical symptoms of anxiety are often overlooked; these include muscle twitching, restlessness, shakiness, fatigue, muscular aches or tension.
How does your body experience anxiety?
Anxiety is the heightened response of the Autonomic nervous system; the ANS controls the heart, gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems (including sexual health and libido), and parts of the Neurologic system. It is quite possible to suffer from heart palpitations (a fluttering feeling in your chest), shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, a sensation of choking, heartburn/nausea/vomiting, stomach aches, frequent peeing, dizziness and or headache, while experiencing anxiety or an anxious episode.
Canadians are anxious.
In 2016, nearly 4 million Canadians had been diagnosed with a mood and/or anxiety disorders
In Ontario, about 10% of the population has a mental illness and receives only about 7% of health care funds
Don’t Panic! Anxiety is manageable and treatable. Check out these tips for managing grounding and managing anxiety:
- Avoiding stimulants like coffee, caffeinated drinks, stimulating drugs
- Stabilize blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar can trigger feelings of anxiety. Eat a meal or small snack every 2 hours if you find that feelings of “hanger” trigger anxiety.
- Removing other foods that trigger anxious feelings
- 4-7-8 Breathing
Inhale for 4 seconds. Pause for 7 seconds. Exhale for 8 seconds. Closing your eyes if you feel comfortable, practice this type of breathing throughout the day and during periods of anxiety and stress, starting with 3-5 cycles. Exhaling for twice as long as inhaling reminds us that no matter how much we take in, we must always let go of more.
- Toe Wiggling
In a standing, seated, or laying down position. Wiggle your toes; focusing on how they feel in your shoes or socks. Are you bare foot? How do they feel rubbing against each other? By bringing your attention downwards to your feet, you are bringing attention from your thoughts and into your body.
- 5 Senses
Name 5 things you can SEE.
Name 4 things you can TOUCH.
Name 3 things you can HEAR.
Name 2 things you can SMELL.
Name 1 thing you can TASTE.
Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals
Dr. Usman takes extra care when it comes to your health. She may recommend specific supplements or nutrients (individualized to your treatment plan) that will help you to manage your symptoms and to improve your mood and energy. Note: any botanical, herb, supplement, or vitamin that Dr. Usman prescribes, is specific to your health needs and takes into account any medications you’re currently on or underlying health conditions. Self medicating can be dangerous; just because its natural, doesn’t always mean its safe. Consult Dr. Usman, ND, prior to trying any new supplement, herb/botanical.
Dr. Usman may recommend a course of an acupuncture treatment weekly for 4-8 weeks to help improve and stabilize mood, improve energy, and lessen symptoms of anxiety.
Yes, when anxiety happens it can feel like your thoughts, emotions, and sometimes your bodily functions are running away without you. There are effective ways to manage the underlying root cause while improving the uncomfortable symptoms. If this article resonated with you and/or you think someone else may benefit from it – please do not hesitate to share this blog! The better we understand anxiety and mood disorders and how they fit in the greater scheme of wellness.
Ready to take the next step in your health journey? Get back to feeling great, book an appointment with Dr. Anousha Usman today!