Anxiety is highly prevalent throughout both Australia and New Zealand, with stress and anxiety leading to all matter of health issues that extend far beyond procrastination and a lack of productivity. There are many different anxiety-related conditions and no two experience will be the same. According to the Anxiety New Zealand Trust, conditions include:
• Agoraphobia – where panic attacks or anxiety are followed by an avoidance of the places where those attacks occur.
• Body dysmorphic disorder – where a part of a person’s physical appearance provokes intense anxiety and negative thoughts.
• Panic attacks – a sufferer may feel out of control and suffer physical symptoms including a pounding heart, sweating and, potentially, shaking.
• Generalised anxiety disorder – chronic and exaggerated worry about often everyday tasks.
• Obsessive compulsive disorder – where people become trapped in a pattern of repetitive behaviours that are senseless and damaging.
• Post-traumatic stress – distress following exposure to a traumatic event.
• Social phobia – an intense fear of social situations where the person feels that they will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.
• Trichotillomania – the compulsive urge to pull hair.
• Compulsive hoarding – hoarding that is undertaken secretly and can lead to distress and dysfunction.
If you are suffering from excessive worries or a crippling self-doubt that is holding you back from being the best version of yourself, we have tips to help you overcome your fears and bolster productivity.
According to Dr Marc Cohen, Professor of Complementary Medicine at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, when your response to an event is negative or ‘stressful’, your blood pressure rises, platelets become stickier, white blood cells mobilise and cortisol levels increase. Meditation is an easy way to confront these demons and actively seek to readjust your mindset, and calm your body as a whole. Whilst it can be hard to tune out negativity, or excitement and overstimulation, factoring meditation into your day can make dramatic improvements to your mental wellbeing.
Calm The Body
Anxiety can manifest itself in physical forms too. When we are stressed, anxious or worried, our bodies respond accordingly. Our heart rates increase, we sweat more, out mouths become dry and our gut health can even be affected. By calming your body you are on your way to calming your mind. Go for a run, take a walk, participate in a yoga class or simply do some stretches. Any exercise or meditative process can not only help to distract the mind, but it can help bring clarity to an often overwhelming situation.
Whilst this may sound counterintuitive to how you are feeling, embracing your fears and giving in to self-doubt can ease anxiety surrounding the constant pressure to not think about it. When you know that something is damaging, or stressful, your first instinct is to tell yourself not to think about it. This pressure to keep your mind off what is bothering you, can add to the anxiety and increase the issue. By accepting that you feel anxious or worried, you are allowing your body and mind to deal with the situation and your intrusive thoughts could actually become lessened.
By writing a list of worries, you can separate the things you have control over, and the things you don’t. Once you prioritise the issues that can be changed, you can start actively seeking to overcome them. Wherever possible, turn your negative, oppressive thoughts into productive drive. You will be amazed at how effective ticking off a list can be for your mental wellbeing.