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7 Tips to Calm Anxiety
Once again, Stacey has posted an excellent article on her her blog.  The following extract is the first paragraph and the full article can be read at the link to her blog.
Stacey Freedenthal Wrote:Anxiety is fear. It is a message from our brain that something is wrong and we are in danger. Often, the danger is not truly present, at least not to the degree that our mind is telling us it is. But the body does not know this. The body reacts as if the danger is genuine, immediate, a profound threat to our physical integrity, even our life.
Anxiety (or anxiousness) is a normal state of our lives.  As Stacey points out, it can be a lifesaver - what do we do when we see someone in our rear view mirror who's obviously 'under the influence' and approaching much to fast and erratically?

But all too often, it's not the here and now that rouses our anxiety, it's the memories of situations that may not be all that similar.  For example, when we find ourselves stressed because we're short of spending money - a normal circumstance to everyone, at least once in a while - what brings on the anxiety is the memory of a father who spent too much on his intoxicant of choice and then to relieve his stress, beats the hell out of anyone in reach.  We're not acting on the normal stress of today's situation, we're reacting to the memories of our past.

My examples are my own, not taken from Stacey's article ... which I think you'll find interesting...
We live by each other and for each other. Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.
-- Helen Keller
Severe anxiety and chronic insomnia were the first thing I was diagnosed with more than 30 years ago.  My problem is that I know all about what I can do to help myself, but I just won't do most of it (though, I always do belly breathing because it's so easy and has such an immediate relaxing and calming effect and reminds me of meditation).  Unfortunately, when my severe depression; self-destructive, suicidal ideation and nagging chronic pain are in charge, I don't want to help myself, I want to hurt myself - until things spiral out of control, and my arm is twisted.  This is probably my most serious problem.  I know how my life drastically changes for the better when I meditate twice a day, but instead, I do nothing - I remain in a state of constant distraction from myself and all my baggage, a state of chronic procrastination, and the hole's just getting deeper.  I am beginning to think that doing a month or two in the laughing academy might be necessary to break myself out of this perpetual funk.  Normally, I would have been there at least twice already, but since My Beloved made me promise to live if not for myself, then for him, and since he seems free from the death curse I have on my friends and partners (so far), I'm utterly lost.  I've never had a long term relationship in my life because they all died within four years (unless you count my suicidal, depressed family), and I've never lived without being able to top myself whenever I damn well pleased, either.  I just seem stuck in this death-wish-self-destruction mode, yet perpetually denied the catharsis of getting on the bus stop, not to mention a little of the psychiatric "ultra violence" to shake things up. 

        (You want some cheese with that whine?  Tongue )

    Back on topic.  What I find intriguing is the research that shows that the source of anxiety is not always as straight forward as we thought.  It's not always caused by fear - real, imagined or remembered - but can be a result of genetic changes, inherited genes, head trauma, cognitive rewiring, etc.

Anxiety - links to some very interesting scientific research:

Brain injury patterns linked to post-concussion depression, anxiety

Biology of anxious temperament may lie with a problem in an anxiety 'off switch'

Researchers identify new spectrum disorder called ALPIM syndrome Clarifies relationship between anxiety, physical disorders

Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder

Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children's genes

Depression, overwhelming guilt in preschool years linked to brain changes

Childhood trauma causes life-long genetic alterations

    Since we're on the subject, I thought I'd list two very good self-help pages for anxiety from among the hundereds of articles you can find all over the web.  The first is for panic attacks but it works just as well for GAD, etcetera; and the second is a very good DBT Distress tolerance how-to.

How to Calm Yourself During an Anxiety Attack

DBT - Distress Tolerance & Self-Soothing

Peace & Love,

P.S. Oh, belly breathing is a deeper, slower form of breathing that enables oxygen saturation and tells our bodies and our brains that everything is ok and we are not in danger. When our brain gets that message it stops kicking out stress hormones and slows our heart rate back down, thus relieving anxiety.

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