It’s that time of the year: The holidays are upon us.; the end of the school semester is upon us; daylight Savings Time is upon us. We are in the last quarter of the year. Do you feel it? Do you feel the anxiety of it all?
More Americans experience anxiety more than any other mental health disorder and that number is climbing. Maybe you experience anxiety daily or in certain situations. Or maybe you don’t. OR…maybe you don’t know if you experience anxiety.
For me, I’ve always had this unsettled part of me that is chomping at the bit for more. The anxiety I experience is a subtle gnawing at my unconsciousness that is very restless and unsettling. I’m generally anxious at any given time during the day (or night). My dentist said that I grind my teeth which means I have anxious energy that I am trying to release while sleeping. I believe that I used substances for the longest time to compensate for the anxiety I’ve had. I have never quite fit into my own skin. There is somewhere that I always need to go. Now, I have been better and more responsible at how I manage and decrease my anxiety but it still shows up randomly throughout my day and week.
What the hell is anxiety?
- Excessive worry that is difficult to control
- Could show up as perfectionism and the need to control situations
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating and mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance (trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or unsatisfying sleep)
Some of these symptoms come from The DSM-5. More than likely, if some or most of these symptoms resonate with you then you may be experiencing anxiety. Most of us experience some form of anxiety with varying intensity, frequency, and duration. Social anxiety is also very common and can lead to obsessive-compulsive behaviors like using alcohol and drugs to alleviate anxiolytic symptoms. It’s not uncommon for dependency on alcohol and drugs to develop as a result of self-medicating.
What if I have anxiety? I will offer a list of options for overcoming the anxiety that does not include medication. Most medications for anxiety only address the symptoms of anxiety. Plus, a lot of anxiety meds can be easily abused and can lead to addiction.
- Try Neurofeedback
- Mindfulness meditation
- Low to moderate exercise
- Limit caffeine and energy drinks
- Avoid stimulants
- EMDR therapy
- Simple breathing exercises
- CBD/hemp oil
- Lower expectations for self and others
- Try being playful and have fun
These are a few things that can have an impact on relieving symptoms of anxiety. Also, stop taking yourself so seriously and laugh a little! Laughter is good medicine.