For some the holidays can be filled with great joy and gladness. The music, the Christmas decorations, spending time with family and loved ones can bring a smile to one’s face. For others this can be a time of sadness or anxiety for various reasons.
Much can be said about anxiety which is defined one way as “painful uneasiness of mind usually over an anticipated ill.” A second definition is “an abnormal apprehension and fear often accompanied by physiological signs, such as sweating and increased pulse, etc.” For many people, anxiety is occasionally experienced when attempting to do something like public speaking or when they find themselves in an unfamiliar situation. For others, anxiety is a disorder that manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, including difficulty breathing and even insomnia. If you suffer from anxiety in any of its forms, you know how painful and limiting it can be.
Below are six types of anxiety disorder:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Long-lasting anxiety not specific to a situation or object.
Social anxiety disorder – Intense fear of social situations.
Panic Disorder – anxiety and fear accompanied by uncontrollable shaking and shortness of breath.
Specific Phobia – Fear or specific situation or object, i.e. public speaking, or snakes.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Repetitive behaviors based on unreasonable thoughts and fears.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Anxiety prompted by a traumatic event.
There are several ways to cope with anxiety and while the information presented here isn’t medical advice. These are some ways that are helpful when dealing with anxiety. Some were suggested, others were stumbled upon. Try one or two suggestions and you may discover they have an effect on how you feel and deal with your anxiety. If not, you may have a new found hobby.
Putting your thoughts down on paper can be helpful in two ways. If you make it a habit of journaling when or after you experience anxiety, you can determine if there are any patterns in your thinking and actions. You can also discover if there are any possible triggers that bring on your anxiety.
Cooking, creative writing, and painting are just a few ways to take your mind off of worrying or fear. Plus you get to have some fun in the process!
It’s been proven that physical activity has a direct impact on how you feel. During exercise your body releases endorphins that relieve stress and increase pleasure. With regular exercise, you may also find that you are able to get a better night’s sleep.
Enliven Your Living Space
The look, smell, and overall feel of your living space can have a direct impact on you. Make a few changes to truly make your home a haven. Once a week, place some fresh flowers on your dining table or on a nightstand beside your bed. Add some relaxing colors or pictures to your bedroom or living area. Lastly, experiment with aromatherapy. There are many essential oils known for their calming benefits.
Take a trip to a natural foods store which will usually have oil samples on display that you can smell. A few good choices are lavender, rose, clary sage and helichrysum oils. Don’t forget to do your homework on essential oils and aromatherapy before experimenting.
Since this is the holiday season instead of feeling down about your circumstances try and think of ways you can be a blessing to someone else. There are so many charities and volunteer organizations that need extra help during this time of year. You can volunteer to feed holiday meals to the homeless. Or visit an elder community and spread cheer to those who may not have loved one’s who visit often. Even children’s hospitals have people coming to give gifts and play with the sick children. There are so many things you can do! This will actually take the focus off of you and in turn bring joy back into your life. It always feels good to be a blessing to others.
If this was helpful please share this with anyone else who may be feeling anxious during this season. Do you have any tips for dealing with anxiety or depression? Leave them in the comments section below.