27 Mar WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE ANXIOUS THESE DAYS AND WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE
In a recent poll by The American Psychiatric Society, 37% of respondents described their mental health as having been poor in the previous month. Over 70% stated that they had been struggling with high levels of anxiety and panic. Canadian surveys in the past few months have come up with similar results. That means that millions of Americans and Canadians are struggling with anxiety.
If you are wondering why so many people are anxious, read on.
While every person has their own anxiety-provoking issues, and some describe themselves as “anxious people,” an overwhelming number of respondents reported financial difficulties and the state of the global economy as their no. 1 concern. But there is cummulative evidence that points to the Covid-19 pandemic as an even bigger cause of anxiety. We are still carrying the emotional effects of our lives having been upended by the pandemic. Many of us suffered various losses and lived through isolation and uncertainty for over two years. We are all carrying these scars. And when there is global financial uncertainty like we’re experiencing these days, it adds to our already stressed out psyches.
Other issues of concern mentioned by the polled were family stress, work stress, health issues and the global climate change. Last but not least, was the high-paced, high-expectations lifestyle that so many of us have come to live.
These, of course, are real causes for concern. But we can still learn to soothe ourselves and manage our anxiety because living with high anxiety is detrimental to our health, takes away from our ability to enjoy life and does not help us to solve our problems.
So how can you manage your anxiety and panic under the given circumstances?
The most effective way to do that is to increase physical activity and to learn to quiet the mind. Two very different strategies, which go hand in hand to lower levels of anxiety.
Physical Activity and The Way it Works to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is produced in the brain as a response to perceived threat. Too much stress of any kind can cause your brain to act as if you are in real physical danger, even when you’re not. When your brain perceives you’re in danger it activates The Stress Response, otherwise known as the Fight-Flight or Freeze response.
When the Stress Response is activated in your brain, you may feel anxious or even panicked. This happens because you body is flooded with Adrenaline and Cortisol, hormones which are there to help you to save yourself from danger. In the absence of danger, those hormones circulate in your body, causing rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Moderate to intense physical activity helps to expend excessive Adrenaline and Cortisol and bring about a sense of calm. In short, if you are feeling anxious, hit the gym or engage in any kind of sports that you like or at least don’t hate. Exercising on a regular basis 3-5 times a week has been proven to result in a marked decrease in anxiety.
Learn to Quiet Your Mind to Feel Less Anxious
Many people who struggle with anxiety describe their mind as being busy. Many have worried thoughts about the future; the kind of thoughts that start with “what if…”. Maybe you do too.
These kinds of thought fuel anxiety and can trigger a vicious cycle. But learning a few techniques, such as breathing retraining, mindful meditation and progressive muscle relaxations can help your mind become calmer and less busy.
Identifying your anxious thoughts and learning to change them, can also help.
If you would like to use my online program for overcoming anxiety and panic, check out The Complete Panic-Buster Blueprint.
If you would like one-on-one therapy to overcome anxiety and panic, you may book an appointment with me.