Thursday, June 08, 2006

health magazine: Dealing With Stress and Anxiety the Natural Way

ever had an anxiety attack or suspect that you may suffer from a general anxiety disorder, this information will be quite helpful to you. 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with gen...

by Colleen Palati

If you have ever had an anxiety attack or suspect that you may suffer from a general anxiety disorder, this information will be quite helpful to you. 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. Another 35 million people with anxiety suffer mild to moderate symptoms.

On average, 70% of all people with a general anxiety disorder will consult with more than 10 physicians before the cause of their symptoms is accurately diagnosed. A recent study at Harvard Medical School reported that patients who cope poorly with stress become ill four times more often than those with good coping skills.

If you are not sure if you suffer from a general anxiety disorder, the following is a list of the most frequent signs of anxiety. They are: trembling, rapid heartbeat, lump in throat, frozen smile, neckaches, indigestion, insomnia, overeating, preoccupation with illness, fear of embarrassment or rejection, and fear of being ugly or fat.

Have you ever experienced any of these? If so, don't worry. We all go through stress at some point in our lives. As long as you don't have these feelings on a daily or weekly basis, you are probably fine. If you do experience a good portion of these signs of anxiety, read through the list below for strategies to developing inner peace.

Movement- Physical activity helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Walking is especially good for anxiety. Try not to push yourself to the point where it's unpleasant…if you are straining or pushing yourself to hard, it will not be as beneficial in reducing anxiety.

Relax- Scientific studies have demonstrated that when viewing natural landscapes (sky, trees, greenery, water or flowers) people tend to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Remember, you deserve to enjoy your life and there is no reason to feel guilty about relaxing!

Eat right- It is important to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Balancing the diet helps to balance the levels of neurotransmitters involved in keeping stress and depression in check.

Take charge- A major cause of anxiety is the feeling of a lack of control. Helplessness is a huge component in depression and anxiety. It is a good idea to ask yourself questions like, "Why am I doing this?" or "Do I have to do this?" or "Will the world end if I don't?" Most importantly, don't be afraid to say "no" if you don't feel comfortable doing something.

Take inventory on what causes you anxiety. Take the anxiety test I found in natural health magazine below.

0= no anxiety

1= mild anxiety

2= moderate anxiety

3= severe anxiety

____ confronting a loved one about a problem

____ making a major purchase or investment

____ making a mistake, failing

____ being seen naked or in a bathing suit

____ sexual preference

____ keeping things neat and orderly

____ heavy commuter traffic

____ deadlines, evaluations or tests

____ financial obligations, unpaid bills

____ feeling stared at

____ going to a public restroom

____ being criticized

____ talking to people in authority

____ the sight of blood

____ socializing at a party

____ giving or receiving a gift

____ making cold calls at work

____ being on time for appointments or events

____ packing for a trip

____ waiting in line

____ being in enclosed places

____ eating along in a restaurant

____ speaking to a group

____ taking a business call

____ the thought of death

____ being in a crowd

____ entering the elevator

____ going in an airplane

____ driving a car

____ going to a doctor or dentist

____ going to sleep or waking up

____ coming home to an empty house

____ rejection in love or at work

Add your score up. Which category do you fall in?

0-19: you have no to mild anxiety.

20-39: mild to moderate anxiety

40-59: moderate anxiety

60 and over: a possible anxiety disorder

If indeed you suspect that you suffer from a general anxiety disorder, please consult your physician. You can also try taking Kava or Siberian Ginseng supplements to help relax you. I also recommend reading "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Walter Maltz. This incredibly life-changing book discusses the power our mind has on our self-image and happiness.

Anxiety and stress are very real components in our lives. It is amazing how much they wear on our body, not to mention our mental health. If you do experience high levels of stress or general anxiety, get it under control as soon as possible. See your physician and begin to take inventory of your life. You are important, so take care of yourself!

Yours in healthy living,

Colleen Palati

9217 Douglas Fir Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15239

About The Author

Colleen Palati

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