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Sometimes the hectic life and the issues that we face cause us to feel tired and also make us anxious. When we have issues that we do not deal with, these can then cause anxiety.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness such as; worrying. Anxiety can be caused by a big event such as; having a medical test, however, it can also be a build-up of events or leading a stressful life. Anxiety can be triggered by the death of a close friend, work related stress or from certain personal issues such as; relationship problems. When one feels anxious, common symptoms might include: nervousness, feeling restless or being unable to sleep at night, having panic attacks or even having recurring thoughts.

For instance, this year many have stated that they were suffering from anxiety due to pandemic fear. This can be explained as an escalation of overwhelming fear of losing a job, or that someone from the family falls sick and we cannot visit them or stay near them. Nevertheless, there are many types of anxiety and when anxiety is not occasional but becomes excessive, it is best to seek help to understand which type of anxiety you are suffering from.

If anxiety is severe then it can be identified as being a disorder. In this case one needs professional help. Though the causes of anxiety disorder might differ, such as; it runs in genetics, due to environmental stress or even medical conditions, there are risk factors that lead to anxiety. The risk factors may vary and range from trauma, severe illness, sexual abuse and even low self-esteem. In certain cases, medications might be needed but therapy and mindfulness are effective and can help.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation which helps the person to focus on being aware on the surrounding and the senses. The purpose of mindfulness is to relax both body and mind and reduce stress by focusing on the present moment. Mindfulness techniques through therapy can help people deal with their experiences including painful ones.

The following are some basic techniques of Mindfulness that can be done at home:

  • Breathing exercises – breathe in, hold it for a few seconds whilst counting from 1 to 5 and then exhale slowly. Repeat for a couple of times. Close your eyes whilst doing this and feel your feet connecting to the ground.
  • Drink water, hot water with some lemon or herbal teas. Take time to taste it, smell it and enjoy the moment!
  • Do one thing at a time; if you’re eating focus only on your food
  • Sensory soothing (See, smell, taste, touch)
  • Turn off all distractions and listen to some music

Practice this at least for 5 minutes per day. This is just some little love to your body but it can go a long way!

Rachel Osmond is a Family Therapist with Willingness who works with individuals, couples and families. She also has experience with children and adolescents.

References:

Armstrong, C., and Hoge, E. (2020). Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved on 24th Feb, 2021 from https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/mindfulness-meditation-anxiety

WebMD, LCC. (2020). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved on 24th Feb, 2021 from https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/anxiety-disorders