Imagine waking up to a huge black bear, face to face, your breath rate drastically raising, you’re sweating, your heart is pounding and fluttering, maybe you start running like crazy (bad idea).
This anxious feeling is not bad as it helps in you safeguarding yourself and is completely normal.
However, when anxiety erupts in every living moment, like a bear hunting you for breakfast, that’s the time you need to put your foot down and put up a fight!
The resulting lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic has been mentally strenuous as suggested by many researches, as per an article in Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience, anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric conditions. There is a sense of anxiety as loved ones pass away, isolation, joblessness and the virus spreads.
It is important to look out for common symptoms in you and your loved ones arising from, worrying constantly and excessively about everything going on in life, and finding it very difficult to control this worry, restlessness, fear, difficulty in sleeping, eating, and concentrating.
So, never sweep anxiety under the rug as a ‘weakness’ that needs to get over with as anxiety is much more than that, what makes it even more difficult is that it leaves no marks, scars, or bruises.
Apart from some tips that can be useful while acting when anxiety strikes, let us discuss the coping methodology as suggested by Olivia Remes in a Cambridge research, to overcome this in the long term.
Feeling like you’re in control of your own life “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly”, said GK Chesterton, the reason why this can-do wonder is because people with anxiety question almost every decision they make, having a nit-picking attitude to an overwhelming extent. By proceeding with an attitude of “doing it badly” ease up this decision-making process and, helps in pondering less on the consequences.
This “doing it badly” motto gives you the spark needed to try out new things and eventually adds a little fun to everything. This motto of doing it badly today and improving down the line (tomorrow, or day after tomorrow or after that) is primarily for liberation.
- Forgive yourself
Imagine having a friend who constantly reminds you of what you’re lacking, what you are doing wrong or incorrectly and endlessly pointed out every shortcomings and weakness you have, wouldn’t you want to get rid of them, as soon as possible, that is precisely how someone with anxiety thinks of themselves.
So perhaps it is time to change that attitude and start letting go and forgiving yourself, for those mistakes. Realize that you have the innate habit of criticizing yourself at an impulse, and redirecting to the task at hand.
This will primarily avoid that situation of triggering anxiety.
- Finding a purpose in life by helping others.
Being socially linked has frequently been shown to be one of the most effective defense mechanisms against mental illness, moreover, this motto will also help in building a sense of self-importance in others' life, which consequently helps in deriving greater value in your life.
Lastly, it is worth remembering what the neurologist Viktor Frankl wrote in his book Men's Search for Meaning, “For people who think there’s nothing to live for, nothing more to expect from life … the question is getting these people to realize that life is still expecting something from them."
- Breaking the loop
It can be highlighted that every time you have an anxiety attack, it has a specific pattern to it, a loop!
Before which you should understand three components liable for an anxiety attack, starting with uncomfortable physical feeling, which you perceive as a threat hence upsetting thoughts, resulting in distressing emotions, and an anxiety attack.
Now, initially, these upsetting thoughts make you feel anxious, which intensifies and triggers fearful thoughts, like I am losing my mind, etc....., and in turn, makes you feel more anxious and the loop starts to evolve.
It may seem obvious to say acknowledging these attacks, but when you take them on the face of it and change your reaction to it, this may help in breaking this loop and overcoming It.
Apart from the coping mechanism following tips can be effective when anxiety hits in.
- 3-3-3 Rule
Take a look around you and name three things you notice it can be a trivial thing. Then, describe three of the sounds you hear. Finally, move your ankle, fingers, or arm. This mental trick will help you center your mind and bring you back to the present moment if your mind is racing, according to Chansky.
- Fact-check your thoughts.
People who suffer from anxiety often fixate on dwelling on the worst-case scenario, according, in that case, consider how practical you fear to help you overcome them. In these hard times seeing the death rates going up may trigger that anxiety but it’s important to look at the positive aspect of the situation including recovery rates, vaccinations, etc. For which you shall accept the fact that you feel anxious, but and believe that you are prepared for it, and some things may go wrong some things may not.
- Writing out and talking
These can be effective measures to explore how you fell, identifying triggering events, in a study conducted by Dr. James W. Pennebaker, currently chair of the psychology department at the University of Texas, Austin, wherein he asked 46 healthy college students to write for four days, for 15 minutes about either personally stressful life experiences or trivial topics. Students who wrote about stressful experiences visited the campus health center less often and used pain relievers less often for six months after the experiment than those who wrote about unimportant topics. Hence, expressive writing initially may upset people but eventually helps them to relax.
Talking to a friend will assist you by pointing out something that might have served as a trigger. But there are moments when it's just nice to vent to someone who understands how you feel.
- Exercise and walk
Even a thirty-minute stroll every day (or as often as possible) will help to relieve your anxiety and stress (can also be quite scenic). Just as chronic anxiety and stress release excess hormones that wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being, exercise (and walking, specifically) release feel-good endorphins that serve as natural painkillers. Endorphins also serve to balance adrenaline and cortisol in nerve-wracked systems, as well as providing a slew of other health benefits.
Even five minutes of exercise–a short walk around the block, a quick jog–can help to alleviate the negative and taxing consequences of those illnesses while also encouraging deeper and more consistent sleep patterns. Our brains are more effective at protecting us and giving us the mental clarity we need to get through our days, especially in stressful ones, when we get more sleep. Studies have consistently demonstrated that consistent and regular exercise can reduce the chance of mental health illnesses by up to 25%, with the amount rising as the pattern continues.
- Avoid Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar
Drinking coffee and alcohol becomes such a customary routine in your life that you forget how sensitive it can be.
according to a 2008 study, caffeine boosts alertness by blocking a brain chemical (adenosine) that makes you feel fatigued while also activating the production of adrenalin, which is known to improve energy, and also acts as an anxiety inducer,
Ironically the same drug people use to relax, boost confidence and lower their inhibition can be a cause of their anxiety, stress, and other mental ailments. Specific anxiety disorders have been linked to substance abuse, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A 2021 study shows the link between anxiety and alcohol intake, there being several explanations for this link including genetics, personal environment, and brain mechanisms related to anxiety symptoms. what alcohol does is, depresses the central nervous system (CNS).
alcohol alters the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, exacerbating your symptoms. In reality, once the alcohol wears off, you can feel much more anxious, similarly, you may crave to eat something sweet when stressed but it can do more harm than good and aids in worsening the anxiety.
Try proven herbal remedies against anxiety
Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals found in cannabis plants that number in the hundreds. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant cannabinoid, is well-known for its psychoactive effects, while cannabidiol (CBD), the second-most abundant cannabinoid, is a non-psychoactive compound that may help with anxiety and a variety of other issues. CBD has a proposed novel role in the management of anxiety owing to its actions on the endocannabinoid system (eCB system)
As the eCB system is integral to the regulation of emotional behavior, being essential to forms of synaptic plasticity that determine learning and response to emotionally salient, particularly highly aversive events.
CBD is known to have interactions with several receptors including in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, which are known to regulate anxiety and fear, while this receptor activation has also been thought to mediate the ability of CBD to regulate long-term learned fear processing.
Another potential mechanism through which CBD helps in relieving effects in anxiety is due to its ability to inhibit FAAH enzymes to anandamide in the brain, providing a promising therapeutic approach for reducing anxiety-related symptoms.
Several studies assessed CBD using contextual fear conditioning. Briefly, this paradigm involves pairing a neutral context, the conditioned stimulus (CS), with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US), a mild foot shock. After repeated pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the US, and subsequent CS presentation elicits freezing and other physiological responses. Systemic administration of CBD before CS re-exposure reduced conditioned cardiovascular responses.
Further according to the 2015 review CBD interacts with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and other brain receptors that regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors.
While in a 2019 study efficacy of CBD on Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) was assessed. In which 37, 18-19 years old Japanese teenagers were with social anxiety disorder were given CBD oil for 4 weeks, as a result CBD significantly decreased anxiety and indicated that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety.
More recently in the 2020 review, research was conducted in New Zealand on 397 individuals, wherein after 3 weeks of treatment, people who received CBD for anxiety or depression showed changes in their ability to perform everyday tasks as well as a reduction in pain and anxiety or depression symptoms. And 70% of the participated individuals reported some level of satisfaction from the treatment.
Also in a 2020 study, it included eight articles: six small randomized controlled trials, one case series, and one case report. The role of CBD in the anxiety response of healthy participants, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and the anxiety component of posttraumatic stress syndrome was investigated in these studies. In general, CBD was well tolerated and associated with few side effects, with fatigue and sedation being the most frequently reported side effects. CBD has shown positive results, as an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders.
Finally, the most notable benefit of cannabis as a form of treatment is safety. WHO reports that CDB oil can be generally a safe way of treatment, There have been no reports of lethal overdose with either of the cannabinoids and, outside of concerns over abuse, major complications are very limited.
Administration of CBD via different routes and long-term use of 10 mg/d to 400 mg/d did not create a toxic effect on patients as well as doses up to 1500 mg/d have been well tolerated.
Our products are made from Hemp, which are grown for their fibers and high levels of CBD that can be extracted to make oil and having zero THC.
The truth is that you don’t get rid of anxiety at all as it’s a human emotion, by inculcating some of the above mentioned tips. you may still experience anxiety but you may no longer suffer from anxiety, and the key to achieving this shift is to continue looking for a solution.
CBD can be a viable alternative due to its cost factor when compared to the therapy sessions and medication cost, it can also help relieve muscle pain, chronic pain and help reduce overall inflammation in the body, moreover, currently available pharmacotherapies for anxiety disorders have a high rate of side effects and low effectiveness. Neurologist Victor Frankel says “He Who has a Why to live can bear any How.”
Hence, don’t stop trying and experimenting with different things and figuring out what works for you. Giving in to the feeling of anxiety by retreating from the world only serves to make life difficult in long run.
Author: Mustafa Vilaity