Research shows that over 8 million of us in the UK will develop or experience anxiety throughout our lives. The sad fact is that in modern day life, it will usually happen before the age of 24. Anxiety & stress can take control of our lives without us even realising, slowly manipulating our thoughts, confidence and life decisions. Stress can cause hypothyroid symptoms such as weight gain, blood sugar swings, fatigue, decreased immunity, and restlessness.
Find your root cause
Fear – “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm”.
The fear of failure in the past, present or the future is everywhere and is overwhelming our thoughts. Previous studies of anxiety in the brain have focused on the amygdala, an area known to play a role in fear.
Lack of Autonomy – Autonomy “freedom from external control or influence- independence”. Research shows that we crave a sense of control in life in order to be happy and healthy. Don’t be scared of taking charge.
Not living in the moment – The dreaded ‘what if’. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 18% of adults suffer from anxiety disorders, characterized as excessive worry or tension that often leads to other physical symptoms.
46% reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress. 29% reported that they started drinking or increased their drinking. 16% reported that they started smoking or increased their smoking.
51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed. 61% reported feeling anxious.
Tips to help stress
- Work smarter, not harder – Prioritise! Make a to do list, colour code the most important. You can only tackle so much at one time.
- Have a support network – Have people you can turn to for advice or to help you relax
- Have some YOU time – Even if you have 1000 things to do
- Exercise- Exercise releases serotonin, boosting good mood and productivity.
- Accept the things you can’t change – and focus on what you can!
- Have confidence that you can and WILL get things done – Trusting in yourself is calming and prevents fear.
- Be positive – Take control of your thoughts. Glass half full?
- Take action – Feeling out of control is a huge cause of stress. Take hold of your life, don’t run from it!
Tips to avoid anxiety
- Avoid caffeinated drinks – caffeine is an anxiety inducer!
- Avoid or limit alcohol consumption – although at the time it may seem to be cure. Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain causing anxiety symptoms to worse. Ever felt down or emotional the day after a heavy night?
- Meditate – Even as little as 10mins a day. (head space app is great)
- Use of fragrances in your house – Lavender is known for its calming properties.
- Be ok with not being ok – It is a feeling that can & will pass.
- Drink more water – Dehydration can trigger heart palpitations making feelings of anxiety worse.