Managing your Anxiety

Written by Megan Colwell

 

Not quite overwhelming fear and not exactly stress, anxiety can be a normal reaction to an impending event that causes uncertainty and doubt. Sometimes, mild anxiety can be a trigger that compels us to act, but it can also freeze us into inaction. Other anxieties often lurk behind the surface of consciousness and can have a negative impact on our daily lives, preventing us from living to our highest potential. The key to overcoming anxiety lies in managing your anxiety instead of allowing it to "manage" your life.

Causes of Anxiety

The Australian Psychological Society identifies six leading causes of anxiety:

  • Hereditary factors may play a part in anxiety in some people.
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain sometimes cause chronic anxiety.
  • Previous life experiences can trigger anxiety attacks when similar circumstances arise later in life.
  • Personality factors such as low self-esteem make some people susceptible to anxiety.
  • Thinking patterns, such as excessive perfectionism or a need to feel in control, can lead to chronic anxiety.
  • Behavioural styles, such as risk avoidance, can lead to anxiety.

Managing your anxiety begins with recognising it as a problem. Sometimes anxiety can be self-managed, while at other times we need help from a professional therapist.

Self-Managing Your Anxiety

If an outside event such as an impending job interview, school examinations or other impending challenge is the cause of your anxiety, there are many ways to effectively self-manage it:

  • Massage and Meditation can relieve anxiety and help you more calmly tackle any preparatory work you need to undertake before facing the anxiety-provoking situation.
  • You can use meridian tapping protocols such as EFT and Thought Field Therapy to "short circuit" anxiety and put you back into action.
  • YogaTai Chi and other energising and stress-reducing exercises can be excellent ways to self-manage anxiety.

You may benefit from professional assistance if your anxiety seems to be chronic and without an outside cause.

Assisted Anxiety Management

Those anxieties that lie in the shadowy regions beneath consciousness can be difficult or even impossible to manage on your own. Depending on the type of anxiety you are experiencing and its underlying cause, one or another of many natural therapies may work better for you.

Anxiety that is hereditary or caused by a biochemical imbalance may require the assistance of a holistic doctor. Drug treatments are available that can help relieve anxiety, or you may respond to a natural treatment. Natural treatments that have the best record for effectiveness include:

  • Herbalists often recommend Kava, St. Johns Wort, Gotu Kola, Valerian and other relaxing herbs to combat anxiety. It's better to contact a qualified herbalist or homoeopath instead of self-medicating, especially if you frequently feel the need to resort to calming herbal treatments.
  • Acupuncture with Wendy is an effective treatment for anxiety. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy (Ki or Qi) throughout the body.

Chronic or persistent anxiety that has its roots in life experiences, personality, behaviour or thinking patterns will require persistance.

You don't need to be a victim of anxiety. Instead, start managing your anxiety by finding the help you need. You might be surprised by how quickly a solution can be found.