Helpful Information and Articles
Coping With Anxiety/Stress/Panic Attacks?
Tips to Calm the Nervous System
Anxiety is a natural and common human emotion characterised by feelings of worry, unease, or fear about future events or situations, especially those that are perceived as threatening or uncertain. It is a normal response to stress and can be adaptive in certain situations, as it can help individuals prepare for challenges and stay alert. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, prolonged, or irrational, it can become a mental health disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that involve excessive and persistent anxiety and can significantly interfere with a person's daily life. Some common anxiety disorders include: Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD); Panic Disorder; Social Anxiety Disorder; Specific Phobias; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
If you are struggling with anxiety, the short description below will help you understand a little more what is happening in your body and how to calm it.
What happens when we are having an anxiety / panic attack? Quite simply, the nervous system goes on full alert as a reaction to a perceived threat or if we are experiencing excessive/chronic stress. This can trigger a cascade of stress hormones that produce physiological changes such as heart pounding, quickening of breath, tensing of muscles, etc. This combination of reactions to stress is known as the “fight-or-flight” or "freeze" response and it has evolved as a survival mechanism. Unfortunately, the body can also overreact and become activated to stressors that are not life-threatening, such as work/exam pressure, family difficulties, traffic jams etc. However, while such life stressors are not life-threatening, the body reacts as though they are. Over time, this can cause anxiety, fear and/or depression.
There is a need to dampen down your reactions if this happens in order to avoid the nervous system becoming activated to the extent that it takes you outside your “Window of Tolerance” (a state in which feelings and reactions are tolerable, we can think and feel simultaneously, our reactions adapt to fit the situation). Should we be taken outside our Window of Tolerence, it can lead to hyperarousal (emotional overwhelm, panic, hypervigilance, defensiveness, feeling unsafe, reactive, angry, racing thoughts) or hypoarousal (numb, “dead”, passive, no feelings, no energy, can’t think, disconnected, shut down, “not there”, ashamed, can’t say No).
There are 4 basic steps which can help calm our nervous system. Please click on the link below for more information.
The Masks we Wear
Is your Mask Holding you Hostage?
Written by Evelyn Barlow
Most people are familiar with presenting a certain face to the world. In fact, we all do it to some extent. During the course of any given day, we can use a variety of different masks as a social disguise to help get us through a variety of situations. It’s part of human nature.
The reasons for wearing a mask can be both positive and negative and some of the reasons might include:
To hide fear
To hide anxiety
To be liked and accepted
To hide vulnerability
To hide sadness/depression
To hide happiness
To hide anger
To show masculinity/femininity
How many of us live life behind a mask – a mask of self-assuredness, confidence, authority, perfection, efficiency etc, while all the while hiding who we truly are? The problem with masks is when they become the norm and we lose ourselves in the process of trying to please others.
What mask do we show to the outside world - to family, friends, employers, employees, teachers etc? Are we showing things like “I’m confident”, “I’m fine”, “I’m in charge”, “everything’s good”, “I’m happy”? But, do you smile to hide the pain in your heart? Do you laugh to conceal the tears in your eyes? What is behind your mask? What are you hiding? Could it be that you are actually feeling “I’m not good enough”, “I’m useless”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m feeling really anxious”? Maybe you behave in an outgoing manner at a party with your friends, but you may actually feel somewhat shy. Maybe you are the last person others would say has any problems, but you are actually crippled with anxiety. Maybe you are really struggling in your relationship, but you put on a mask of happiness around others. Have you been wearing the mask for so long that you have actually forgotten who you are underneath?
Cont'd..../ please find the full article by clicking on the link below.