The Stress of Anxiety

The Exhausted Woman's Handbook(Excerpt taken from The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook)

Ziana struggled with worry, anxiety, and panic attacks ever since the accidental car death of her twin brother 7 years ago. Her mind often raced with imagined future accidents, her response, and the ensuing added sadness. Driving on highways was still not possible for her and she was unable to remain silent when others were driving.

Her panic attacks were debilitating. Her heart would start pounding and racing, her stomach felt like it was in her throat, her palms became sweaty, she got lightheaded and dizzy, her breath became shallow and her thoughts were out of control leaving her completely exhausted. Since medical conditions were ruled out, it was diagnosed as a panic attack. Worse yet, the fear that the attack could happen again (as it frequently did) had a lasting exhausting effect.

Perhaps you’ve had a panic attack recently. Maybe you encountered someone unexpectedly, witnessed something on TV, were in the middle of a presentation or simply were eating out. All of a sudden, your heart started pounding and you were filled with anxiety. It seemed to come out of nowhere when in reality it was triggered by something. The anxiety attack could indicate a major unresolved event still causing problems in your everyday life. Fortunately, there are things you can do:

Mental Solution. Look for an unusual distraction around the room to minimize the intensity. Just focusing your thoughts on something else other than the attack is helpful. The odder the distraction, the better, but it usually isn’t enough to stop it completely. For instance, you might notice a picture that is not straight or a child laughing.

Physical Solution. Next, focus on your breathing. Breathe in for a count of five, hold it for another count of five and let it out for a count of seven. Try this for at least four times in a row. Be aware of the tension in your face, shoulders, hands and even toes and use the breaths to bring relaxation. Don’t beat yourself up when your breaths are short. Do the best you can and try practicing this exercise when you are not in the middle of an attack.

Emotional Solution. Close your eyes and remember a place of serenity and calm. Try going deep into your memory, remembering colors around you, peaceful weather, gentle sounds, the feel of something soft or an enticing smell. Smells are particularly calming as they are easily remembered and can bring about almost instant relaxation. Strangely enough, drinking a very cold glass of ice water (or my personal favorites: an Icee, a Slurpee or a Frappuccino) in an attempt to get a brain freeze can also be very effective. Your brain must wake up first before dealing with the anxiety.

Spiritual Solution. Say a prayer or recall a verse to help ease your emotions. You can also make a mental list of the many things you are thankful for or the numerous blessings in your life. Keep a card in your wallet or a note in your phone to aid your recall when under stress.

Psychological Solution. After the intensity of the attack is over, ponder the cause. There is usually a reason the anxiety was triggered and resolving the underlying issue will lessen future attacks. Triggers like strong emotions of fear or anger, the pressure created by certain people, or perceived potential danger can contribute to an attack. Identify the trigger, and then allow it to point you to a life-altering moment in your history. You may need assistance to process the root cause of your anxiety.

Ziana knew the source of her anxiety, but she had not fully grieved the loss of her brother. Though it was hard at first, she confronted her fears through therapy and her panic attacks eventually disappeared. You can experience the same success; it takes courage to tackle the anxiety caused by a tree ring moment. While it may be difficult at first, the new lasting impression is worth the effort.

 

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

 

You may purchase The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook at Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Or just click on the picture on the right.

How to Avoid Emotional Eating

Molly has tons of wonderful suggestions about how to avoid emotional eating that everyone could benefit from applying!

 

http://www.liveinnanny.com/blog/how-to-avoid-emotional-eating-when-you-have-kids-who-make-your-crazy/

Panic attacks

If you have ever wondered whether or not you have had a panic attack, here is a good article explaining one.

http://news.health.com/2012/09/19/did-i-have-a-panic-attack/

For more information on how to handle a panic attack, see the post titled “Unexpected anxiety attacks”.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Help for When You Feel Discouraged or Unsatisfied

Have you ever begun a project knowing that it was the right thing to do but everything seems to be working against you?  Without even realizing it, discouragement overtakes you and what appears to be a good idea has now been put on the back burner.  Maybe the discouragement came in the form of criticism by a loved one or in the form of diminished enthusiasm from co-workers or in the form of last-minute emergencies that consume excessive amounts of time.  Regardless of the source of discouragement, it is there and the once great project is no longer getting any of your attention.

There is a story in the Old Testament about a group of people who tried to rebuild the Temple after it was destroyed but got discouraged (book of Haggai).  Several governmental officials went out of their way to prevent the rebuilding from happening and slow the efforts of the workers.  The workers in turn got distracted with building their own houses, planting crops and tending to the day-to-day responsibilities.  The irony is that the more distracted they became, the less productive they were and consequently the less satisfied they felt.  God’s solution to the problem is outlined in the following steps.

Be Strong.  Even if others get in the way of what God has put into your heart, stay strong in your conviction.  Make sure that your conviction is from God first, but once you have the assurance, rest in it and don’t allow others to steal your joy.

Get to Work.  Re-prioritize your life and put the most important things at the top of your list.  For instance, if God is first then how much of your daily time is dedicated to Him?  If your family is second, how much of your time is dedicated to them?  Work on your priorities in the order you have them, then if there is time left over you can do the extras.

God is with you.  Even when things do not go as planned or when things seem to be bleak, God is there.  He does not put ideas on our hearts without giving us the means to carry them out.  How do you know if an idea is from God?  Test it.  It will be consistent with His word and consistent with the advice of Godly people.

He keeps His promises.  Take a moment to remember how God has kept His promises to you in the past or to others around you.  Be thankful for what He has already done and patient in waiting for His timing for the future.

Don’t be afraid.  Fear is one of our greatest enemies and can paralyze even the strongest of Christians.  We are not called to be a people of fear but rather a people of strength.  There are many Christians who have accomplished much for God, look at their lives for motivation and keep moving forward.

Discouragement can creep up in our lives without notice and can prevent us from doing what we know is the right course of action.  Once you recognize the discouragement, the steps above can help you to overcome it and return back to the work you have neglected.  The satisfaction of completing the project despite the discouragement will become a memorable event for you to recall one day.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.