by Helen Mawson
Most people will experience some sort of anxiety at some point in their lives and this condition can vary from severe to less severe with a whole host of symptoms included.
I want to share some tools and techniques that you can start using immediately to help you reduce anxiety and stress in your life and become calmer and more balanced.
What is anxiety?
The body responds to a stressor by interpreting it as a threat, when we feel threatened our nervous system responds to this by flooding our bodies with stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones get the body revved up to take flight or to stay and fight. This response is a primitive one hard-wired into our nervous system and for most of us, this response is firing a lot of the time. The result of this is that our bodies are being flooded with stress hormones on a regular basis which can cause a whole host of problems including anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety
We all respond differently to stress, trauma or threatening situations so our symptoms will also differ. The symptoms experienced will also be different when the anxiety has been present for longer.
Some common symptoms of anxiety may include;
Increased heart rate / palpitations
Changes in behaviour
Feeling overwhelmed / overloaded
Dizziness / light headedness
How I work with anxiety
I will often use a combination of the therapies that I practice in order to treat anxiety and its symptoms. The Bowen Technique, for example, has several procedures that are very effective in helping the body recover from anxiety. Often the trauma of a stressful event is locked into the body at a cellular level which might be causing the anxiety. Bowen seems to work well to release these memories and patterns that can be causing problems, sometimes even years after the trigger. I may also offer advice and test clients for specific remedies and nutritional supplements that could help with the symptoms that they are experiencing. I will also most likely recommend self-help techniques that clients can use for themselves on a daily basis to help ease their symptoms.
Self-help tips to help with anxiety
Change your posture
If you are feeling anxious, changing your posture could help you come out of that feeling quickly. For example, when you are feeling in a difficult space emotionally or mentally, gently pay attention to your posture. Next, remember a time when you felt in a good space and notice how your body posture changes. Then notice how your mood changes and that good feeling grows.
The super-hero pose:
Stand upright and tall with your legs hip distance apart, place your hands on your hips and gently expand your chest so you are standing even taller. Hold this posture for 2 -5 minutes.
It has been proven that adopting this posture for as little as 2 mins will decrease the amount of cortisol whizzing around your body and increase levels of testosterone. Essentially this is helping you feel less stressed and more confident.
The de-stress points are located on the forehead and the middle of the head. When these points are held, the stress response is diluted. These points are physiologically wired into our stress and fear response and when held help reduce anxiety and fear.
The first points are located on the forehead about a thumb width from the hair line on most people you will feel a bump on either side of your forehead. The second point is located on the midline of your head on your crown. If you are finding it difficult to locate these points, simply put your head in your hands by placing your palms on the forehead and hold your head.
While holding these points or with your head, in your hands, you need to think about the stress that you are facing i.e. the situation that has occurred or that is yet to occur. It is useful to get as stressed, upset or wound up as is possible while holding the points so it can diffuse as much of the tension as possible.
The remedies I use for anxiety, stress and calming the nervous system include;
Rescue remedy / 5 flower remedy – This is a great remedy to have in your medicine cupboard or handbag. It is a combination of 5 of the Bach flower remedies.
Mimulus – A Bach flower remedy used to treat fears, particularly fears of known things like upcoming exams, driving tests, meetings or other events you fear.
Argent Nit – A homeopathic remedy that is used to treat apprehension and anxiety especially regarding an approaching event.
Aconite – A homeopathic remedy that is excellent for intense fear, shock, and anxiety.
Sometimes when we are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals the symptoms of stress can be exacerbated. A mineral that is often deficient and that can be used to very good effect in treating symptoms of anxiety is Magnesium. Stress seriously depletes magnesium levels so it really is essential in treating this problem. I will often test clients using Kinesiology muscle testing for deficiencies and recommend the supplements they can use in order to help.
by Helen Mawson