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Things That Will Cause Anxiety And How To Prevent It

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Anxiety is often…

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Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Anxiety is often a by-product of stress; which is something that we are all familiar with. Battling anxiety on a daily basis can be exhausting and even result in an anxiety disorder. Anxious feelings generally consist of the following:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Headache
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Stomach ache
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

Neurochemical changes in the brain and environmental factors are considered the two biggest contributors to anxiety. Scientists have vehemently rejected personal weakness, character flaws, or a lack of maturity as being legitimate causes of anxiety. Anxiety, if left unchecked, can affect our entire being; affecting how we feel, think and act, while having evident physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is relatively vague and uncomfortable, while severe anxiety can become debilitating.  Therefore, it’s important to know what causes anxiety in order to limit or prevent it. 

 

STRESS

Without a doubt, stress is the biggest contributor to anxiety. Anything that poses a threat to our well-being is a stressor. While some stress is indeed good for us, battling frequently with stress can destabilize our mental and physical health. Mental health professionals generally recommend three ways of coping with and treating stress: self-management, self-help, and medication. Self-management techniques include learning about stress and anxiety, stress management courses, and natural therapies such as aromatherapy. Self-help methods include: exercise, a healthy diet, being assertive (not saying yes to everything), breathing techniques, and expressing your thoughts and worries to someone. Medication should be considered a last resort, but if physical and mental symptoms are in advanced states, doctors may prescribe an antidepressant or a beta-blocker, which helps to counteract the physical symptoms of anxiety. From there, you can begin to work your way backwards through the other two methods, with the goal to end any medicated means altogether.

CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a stimulant that increases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. These symptoms are common when experiencing anxiety. Caffeine also fuels your “fight or flight” response, which can make anxiety much worse and even trigger an anxiety attack. Moderate amounts of caffeine can bring some mental benefits; increased alertness, motivation, concentration, memory, and attention. The key word is moderation; no more than 400 mg over the course of a day. Too much caffeine triggers irritability, nervousness, restlessness, upset stomach, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. As with nearly everything, use caffeine wisely and in moderation.

OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Common supplements such as weight-loss pills, fat burners, and pre-workout products can include heavy amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Other products that may initiate anxiety include headache and migraine relievers, cough medicines and decongestants. Some popular herbal remedies such as guarana and ginseng may also cause or increase the symptoms of anxiety. The best thing you can generally do here is avoid “energy boosting” pills and supplements altogether.

DEHYDRATION

Proper hydration is essential for healthy brain function. A study at Tufts University directly linked feelings of anger, confusion, fatigue and tension to mild dehydration in student athletes. All of these symptoms are common in people who experience anxiety. In addition to being an essential element in healthy brain function, hydration is also necessary for healthy physiological function. Mild dehydration can cause high blood pressure, fast heartbeat, facial tics, shaking hands, weak and shaking voice, excessive sweating and facial swelling. Professionals at the Mayo Clinic recommend that adult males drink 13 cups of water each day, and adult females drink 9 cups of water a day.

NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY

Proper nervous system function requires adequate amounts of certain nutrients. Nutrient deficiency has been directly linked with increased anxiety. B complex vitamins, omega-3, magnesium and calcium, potassium, selenium, Vitamin D, theanine and lactium, GABA, and zinc are considered essential for proper neurotransmitter and other brain functions. A well-balanced diet will generally provide these essential nutrients, but there are substitutes available to help supplement your diet if needed. Dietitians, naturopathy specialists, and nutritionists are all knowledgeable in this area. They may be able to provide some insight into specific actions that you can take to ensure that you’re getting the recommended amounts of nutrients.

SKIPPING MEALS

A healthy diet is the best way to ensure that you’re getting proper nutrition. Because of our frenzied, overworked, and stressed out work culture, it is common for people to skip meals. The negative effects are cyclical in that people who live a frantic lifestyle are much more prone to anxiety and stress, symptoms which may cause them to not feel hungry. Not feeling hungry leads to skipping meals which throws off the body’s blood sugar levels. A prolonged drop in these levels results in increased anxiety and stress. The answer is to change your eating habits. If you find it difficult to eat a full meal for whatever reason, make sure to have at least a healthy snack available. Snacks that contain healthy carbs and proteins are highly recommended.

NICOTINE AND ALCOHOL

Nicotine is a stimulant that raises blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to anxiety. Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide which can result in breathing problems, this can lead to the body reacting in a way that resembles oxygen deprivation. When we are deprived of oxygen, neither the brain nor the body can function properly. The use of nicotine and alcohol is an incessantly negative cycle. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, people who suffer from an anxiety disorder are two to three times more likely to abuse legal and illegal substances. Multiple studies have shown the detrimental effects of nicotine use, especially smoking. Quitting any kind of nicotine use is the only viable alternative to counteract these effects. Medical experts recommend that if you choose to drink alcohol that you do so in moderation. For healthy adults, this means no more than two drinks a day.

 

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5 Lifestyle Changes You Should Do in 2020

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Doing various lifestyle changes can be difficult especially when you attempt to initiate huge modifications that merely remain unfulfilled over time. Experts assert that planning small changes is more practical and achievable in real life.

Drink more water

The regular intake of water provides a multitude of benefits. Water helps reduce the frequency of migraines; it helps slow down aging; it aids in digestion; it assists in weight loss, among others. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day provides you with more energy, enabling you to manage the daily grind.

Go for daily walks

We all know that exercise helps keep us healthy, as well. However, not everyone has the time—or inclination—to start a rigorous and time-consuming exercise routine. Nonetheless, you can still keep yourself healthy by taking daily walks. You can start by taking a walk after you get up from bed each day and then do another round when you get home from work in the afternoon. If you are working from home, take several breaks and walk in your front yard or garden for a few minutes each time.

Begin writing a gratitude journal

Stress gets accumulated due to the many upheavals of daily life. There is a lot to complain about and work can become too stressful at times. You should know, though, that stress and worry can be debilitating to your health. Starting a gratitude diary allows you to destress yourself, realize how blessed you are, and allow catharsis to unfold.

Do a few minutes of reflection and meditation

Because you tend to be so busy each day, you forget to find time to reassess all the things that you are already blessed with. Worries are everyday facts of living. However, you do not have to dwell on them all the time. Find a few minutes to reflect upon the good things in life. Stay still and silent for a bit. Listen to the birds and smell some flowers if you can.

Ask for help when you need it

The funny thing about most people is that it is considered a crime to ask help from others. Most people think that admitting the need for help is tantamount to admitting weakness—a terrible blunder for one’s dignity. However, it is essential to remember that no one’s perfect and that a lot of us need assistance from time to time. Learning to lower yourself and admit the need for aid ultimately lightens your soul—and even helps you learn the virtue of humility.

In essence

It is necessary to plan some changes in your life. These changes can help lighten your everyday burden and eventually welcome more positivity in the different aspects of your existence. However, you should start with doing small modifications. Keeping them small allows you to easily fulfill them because big goals tend to be too difficult especially when you’re too busy trying to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle. Also, laugh a little. Accept your frailty and be at peace with the world.    

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8 Ways of Dealing with People You Don’t Like

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It always helps to note that no one in this world is perfect, according to the author of “A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles to Success,” Deep Patel. That means that everyone, including you, is filled with various weaknesses and strengths that need to be considered when attempting to understand someone else.

Patel highlights several tips for dealing with people you don’t like. He asserts that it is essential for everyone to learn—and remember—these tips, especially since the failure to do so may only mean limiting oneself in the process.

Accept that you cannot deal with everyone

Patel says that it is normal not to like everyone. Each person has his own personality. Some may have a dominant personality, and others may have a timid one. However, this does not mean that you are a “bad person,” which does not mean that the other person is one.

Attempt to find positivity in the other’s words

It is always essential to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is out to sabotage you, and you aren’t always about to hurt anyone, too. Hence, even when someone else says something hurtful, it may not be meant that way for the other person. Learning to pick through the other’s words of the other person may be helpful, as well.

Stay in touch with your emotions

Patel also mentions that our emotions play a significant role in understanding the people around us. Our feelings can affect how we view others. As they say, when you are in a bad mood, you also tend to see the world as ugly. In contrast, feeling good tends to make us see the world in a more benevolent light.

Try not to take things personally, and put some space

Taking things personally all the time can also hinder understanding. Emotions play a massive part in analysis. Staying objective lets us see the bigger picture and permit empathy to arise. Put some space between you and the person you don’t like, as well. This will further allow you to look at things more objectively.

Calmly express how you feel and find a referee

When you’re about to burst, try to relax yourself first. Spontaneity can be good at times, although saying what you feel when you feel so may further damage communication. Try to soften your words and say things in a quiet, relaxed voice. You can also find a mediator to help you communicate your thoughts better.

Choose your battles

Remember also that not all battles are worth your time. As they say, try not to go down to the other’s level. If you can still ignore them, then you are free to do so.

Never be defensive

Defensiveness means you are on your way to the losing end. It is always best to state facts and avoid having to explain everything you say. As long as you aren’t doing anything wrong, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to explain yourself to anyone.

You are in control of your own happiness

In the end, you are the one in control of yourself—and your own happiness. Never let anyone dictate how you act or feel. When you let others irk you to no end, you are merely allowing them to control you.

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Covid -19 and its Effects on Nightmares

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 Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the study conducted by researchers showed that after crowdsourcing the sleep and stress data of over 4,00 people in Finland. It was found that around 800 shared information on how the virus has contributed to their anxieties. According to Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, head of the Sleep & Mind Research Group at the University of Helsinki, she claims that it was quite thrilling to observe various dream content associations of individuals who have shared their thoughts on the chaotic ambiance of the COVID-19 lockdown. Personen also added that the results had enabled them to track dreaming in extreme circumstances, which showed visual imagery and memory traces of dreams sharing a mindscape across individuals.

Interpretation of Dreams

Transcribing the dreams from Finnish to English, Personen and her team then fed the data to the A. I algorithm, which scanned for word associations that frequently appeared. The computer then came up with what researchers called “dream clusters,” which were dream particles instead of the entire dream. 

After collecting the information, over 33 dream clusters were built in which twenty percent of these were grouped as bad dreams while fifty-five percent of those were pandemic related. Content such as coronavirus, social distancing failures, dystopia, personal protective equipment, and apocalypse were classified as pandemic specific. Word pairs that were labeled under “Disregard of Distancing” like hug-handshake, mistake-hug, handshake-distancing, handshake-restriction, distancing-disregard, distancing-crowd, crowd-party, and crowd restriction. 

Personen also claimed that they hope to see more assisted A. I helped dream research in the future as the computational linguistics-based, AI-assisted analytics that they used was a novel approach in dream research.

How it goes down

Aside from providing information on how the pandemic was related to a person’s dreams, the study also offered insights into people’s sleep patterns and stress levels during the pandemic lockdown. More than half of the respondents claimed to be sleeping more than before the lockdown, while ten percent claimed to have a much more difficult while more than a quarter reported having more frequent bad dreams. 

More than half of the participants also reported having an increase in stress levels, which could explain the sleep patterns of having less sleep or bad dreams. Most of them even claimed to have numerous pandemic related nightmares. The study can provide valuable information for medical experts and researchers regarding the effect of COVID-19 on a person’s mental health. According to Personen, sleep is the main factor in mental health issues, wherein intense nightmares come from post-traumatic stress. Although things happening in dreams aren’t entirely random, they can also help determine how experiencing any form of stress, trauma, and anxiety contributes to nightmares Personen added. 

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