The Silent Scream of Anxiety
Anxiety is that sinking or swirling feeling we all get in our stomach from time to time when we’re nervous or worried about an upcoming event or situation which has arisen in our lives.
For people who have anxiety it can often feel like you’re the only person in the world that feels like this. As your head swims, your stomach is in knots or full of butterflies, your palms are sweaty, your is heart pounding and you can feel your blood pressure rising, your mouth goes dry, your breathing becomes shallow and rapid, leaving you feeling as if your head is full of cotton wool, you feel dizzy, unable to concentrate and words seem to escape your mind, leaving you with feelings of apprehension, you’re unable to cope and something bad will happen. Well I’m here to tell you that at some stage we’ve all felt at least some of these feelings at one time or another. It can be healthy to have some anxiety, such as a deadline at work; assignments; public speaking; or going on that first date.
However, it’s when anxiety starts to rule your life and you find you’re unable to carry out day to day tasks without that feeling of impending doom, worry or busy mind which is still going at 2am, preventing you from the sleep you need to function at important work meetings or just to get through the day. It can also stop you from doing the things you enjoy because of fear or lowered self esteem.
This is when anxiety can become a real problem especially if this has been going on for months. For some, anxiety is a brief experience which only lasts for a few days or weeks but for the unlucky ones it can go on for months, years or a life time. This can cause all sorts of emotional and physical problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression, panic attacks and if left untreated can lead to serious health concerns.
Anxiety can be caused by factors, such as emotions, underlying personality disorders, work pressures or in some cases can be a learnt behaviour from childhood.
You are in luck as there are many natural alternatives for easing anxiety. Such as a herbal tonic or tea, flower essences such as the Australian Bush Flower essences or Bach flowers, supplements, Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique.
Some at home tips for anxiety
Have a relaxing cup of herbal tea such as Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Skullcap and Passionflower.
Take flower essences such as Rescue Remedy or Emergency Essence. Rescue Remedy now comes in an oral spray or pastles so can be taken out in public with no one being wiser. You can also have a personalised flower essence remedy made.
Use essential oils such as lavender, neroli, bergamont, geranium and ylang ylang.
Have a relaxing bath with epsom salts.
Many people who suffer from anxiety can often be shallow breathers, meaning – they breathe more with their chest rather than all the way down into the stomach. A sign that you are a shallow breather is sighing often. Here is a simple breathing technique that you can use when you’re feeling anxious:
When you’re first learning this breathing relaxation exercise you may find it easiest to practice lying flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and eight inches apart. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.
Slowly breathe in and count to 10
Breathe out and think ‘relax’ to yourself
Then inhale slowly through your nose for three seconds. The hand on your abdomen should rise whilst the hand on your chest should stay relatively still.
Exhale through your mouth for three seconds, making a whooshing noise as you breathe out. Think “RELAX” as you exhale. The hand on your abdomen should fall as you exhale.
After a minute of breathing in and out in a six second cycle, hold your breath again for 10 seconds
Keep repeating this process for five minutes.
Once you feel you have mastered the technique lying down, then start practicing slow breathing whilst sitting or standing. Then you will be able to do slow breathing to relax yourself wherever you are in public.
Do this deep breathing for 20 minutes a day and any time when you feel yourself becoming anxious. Depending upon your commitments you might need to break up your 20 minutes during the day into four lots of five-minute segments or two lots of 10 minute segments.
If anxiety is a problem for you, don’t let it rule your life. Come in and see us at The Herbal Dispensary. There are a lot of options which will aid in reducing anxiety and allow you to live the life you were born to live. Don’t suffer in silence and remember to breathe – all is well!
As assistant manager of our store, Patricia is an integral member of our team. As well as being a Medical Herbalist, she is our resident Aromatherapist, Flower Essences practitioner and Reiki Master.