Hope you are all well.
This blog post I will dedicate to a few close people of mine, and to anyone that suffers from/ or knows someone that suffers from, feelings of excessive anxiety.
Today I will talk about excessive anxiety, what it is, and why it has come to have such a strong impact on our well-being and life nowadays. I will finish this blog post by jotting down natural ways that help – to some extent – in decreasing feelings of such excessive anxiety.
So let’s look at and define anxiety in its natural light.
When referred to naturally, anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations. Everyone suffers from normal anxiety at some point in their lives. To give you an example of normal anxiety, imagine that you are a student and that you are about to have your final exam ever at university. Naturally, you will have ‘nerves’: you will be stressed as you will want to do well. As a consequence, you will sweat or start moving your legs or another body part of yours to release and lessen that inner tension. Personally, I have experienced this type of normal anxiety and I’m pretty sure most of us have during our school/university years!
Now let’s move on to psychology and the more severe type of anxiety: the one that can have extremely serious consequences on your physical and mental well-being, and your life in general.
In psychological terms, anxiety is a chronic emotion characterised by excessive worry and tension. To give you an example of excessive anxiety, let’s recall the scenario that I’ve given you guys for normal anxiety. Again, imagine that you are a student and that you are about to have your final exam ever at university. Imagine looking at your paper, keep changing pages, staring at it with feelings of terror. Your brain has blacked out resulting to you shaking excessively. Your heart is racing, giving you a high blood pressure. Your face becomes very pale, and along with feelings of panic and terror, you start crying. An invigilator approaches you, and you both decide that it’s best to walk out the exam to allow yourself to get some fresh air as you’re unable to think straight or breathe properly. This isn’t the first time you’ve experienced this. This happens every time you have a test in class, and has been happening ever since you were young. It’s a chronic reaction to a stressful situation.
If you guys read through the definitions and scenarios I’ve given for both normal and excessive anxiety, you will realise that, after all, anxiety is naturally hardwired into our brains and that excessive anxiety is not – rather it is a medical condition and like all other diseases needs caution and treatment! There’s a major difference between normal and excessive anxiety and no one should ever level those two up.
Unfortunately, excessive anxiety can have damaging consequences not only to your physical but also to your mental well-being.
Excessive amounts of ‘nerves’ or stress, can lead to someone losing their appetite. Without knowing it, that person stops eating and can lose a lot of weight without even realising it. This sudden loss of weight can lead to further problems such as: the weakening of their bones, the weakening of their immune system. Girls stop having periods – and it takes a long time to get your hormone levels up to normal. Serotonin, that is, the hormone that makes one naturally happy, dies. This is where anxiety and depression meet. Behavioural changes are very common. One may be happy one second and start screaming and crying, contemplating about their lives the other. Excessive stress leads to insomnia. It gets difficult to get decent sleep, or sleep at all. The thoughts and concerns become bigger and bigger, leading to restlessness, nervousness, and trouble concentrating on anything else. You lose interest in dealing with your physical appearance, you may even stop showering or looking after yourself and your hygiene. You also lose interest in doing things, you become isolated, and prefer being locked up at home, and this is yet more damaging as your brain never rests from those thoughts – the demons – that spread feelings of terror and anxiety to each and every fiber of your being.
I have been unlucky to witness a few of my closest people suffer from excessive anxiety. And all the symptoms and consequences I have mentioned above, are all what I’ve seen. I’m sure there’s many more to add to that list, unfortunately. Excessive anxiety is real damaging. One may not realise it, but it can lead one to death – if it’s an extreme case. So be aware, talk openly about it, read about it. Don’t assume, and mostly, don’t think of excessive anxiety as normal or even as nothing. IT IS A THING. AND IT CAN COMPLETELY DESTROY YOU OR THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE. It’s high time we all realised this.
Finally, I’m going to conclude this post with a few natural ways with which we can reduce feelings of excessive anxiety, but only to an extent. Most people who suffer from excessive anxiety are usually given personalised prescriptions as sometimes it is impossible to overcome such depressing feelings with natural ways alone. And this is why medication is opted.
I know that some people are scared of the medication – the medicine is indeed very damaging itself and can have many unwanted side effects, but such medicine must be consumed to treat excessive anxiety along with natural ways of treating it.
Here, I will list some natural ways of lessening feelings of excessive terror or panic.
- Exercise regularly. Yes it may sound stupid, but it does make a difference! By exercising you make sure that your bones remain healthy or at least, active. Isolation does not do anyone good, lying around in bed all day trapped in your own mind has severe consequences on your body, especially your bones, if you don’t move at all. Try walking 10 minutes every day. Or roller skating, if you like it. Any form of movement helps.
- Incorporate small meals into your diet and drink lots of water. Now I am aware that most people that suffer from excessive anxiety do not eat at all. Their appetite drops suddenly, resulting in them losing tons of weight quickly. Instead of continuously nagging someone with excessive anxiety to eat, you can have small meals always available for them to munch on. Keep reminding them to eat. Sometimes, as they’re lost in their thoughts they forget to do basic things like eat or drink water. Encourage them to drink lots of water, have small bottles of water available in your house, and next to them as they are more likely to drink when they have water in their sight.
- Talk, talk and talk. I know this sounds overly cliche, but talking and opening up about what you’re thinking can lessen your burden. Call your best friend, chat to your mother or father. Let it all out. The more you hide thoughts and feelings the more they will consume you. Learn to talk from a young age. Parents teach your children to speak up their thoughts and feelings before it’s too late.
- Spend time outside. Isolating yourself won’t do you or your excessive feelings of anxiety any good. Spend some time outside your home, in the garden maybe. Or if you’re lucky enough to live in a warm country, go for a walk to breathe some fresh air. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for 10 minutes. It’ll do you a great deal of good to get some fresh air and distract yourself from your thoughts by connecting with mother nature. If you know someone who suffers from excessive anxiety: be a pain in the ass. Keep telling them to meet up outside for a picnic or something. It’ll definitely help.
- Limit your time on social media. In the digital era that we live in, it is almost impossible to not get bombarded by millions of data. Distance yourself from FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter. Do not keep comparing yourself to other people on social media and what they project with their accounts. Digital is not real. Some time off the media will help you retreat and focus on the real and little things. It will be an eye opener.
- Listen to upbeat music. Now music has that magical ability to either lift you up to the 9th cloud or drag you down like you never imagined. Prefer to choose songs that will lift you up. With what’s going on in your head, you need that upbeat music to be distracted for a bit. Shake your booty to that Shakira track that you love, delete the unhappy music, and let the happy and upbeat rhythm make you feel like you wanna dance – even if that’s just for a little bit, it will make you feel more energetic especially if you sing them lyrics out and go along.
- Write. Some people, like me, believe that writing can be a good way to let out your inner thoughts and feelings without the social embarrassment of not being understood when telling people how you feel. An easy way will be to grab a notebook, or a journal, and write your thoughts down. Your deep and darkest thoughts. It’s some sort of self-therapy that I have personally tried and it works for me. So it might also work for you? So why not try this one out too.
To finish off this post, I’d like to highlight that excessive anxiety is real. And it’s among us and the people that we love.
When I first saw people that I love go through it, I could not believe the damaging consequences it can cause. It’s no fairy-tale, it’s all real. Unfortunately. If it weren’t for those people, I would never have researched into anxiety. I would never have learnt so much about it and most importantly and sadly – I would never be able to understand them or give them a hand in their darkest times.
This is a totally genuine post. Each and everyone that suffers from excessive anxiety suffers it differently. The consequences aren’t always the same. But some of them are quite common.
With the help of medication, lots of love and understanding from their loved ones, and some natural ways to decrease feelings of extreme terror and panic, excessive anxiety can be dealt with temporarily – but not fully be recovered. It takes lots of patience and determination to come out of this dark state of your life: the only thing it takes is to realise you suffer from excessive anxiety, and be willing to fight it instead of letting it consume you.
This is a rather different post, but it is of utmost importance to me.
If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or know someone who does, I hope this post urges you to speak up about it.
The only way to beat this beast is to recognise it lives within us.
Until next time,