Cold hands and feet, difficulty breathing, muscle tension, dizziness, shakiness, depressed mood, insomnia, chronic fatigue ... sound familiar? These are the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Ratchet it up a notch or two by adding heart palpitations, intestinal distress, sweating, faintness, a sense of unreality and of losing control and we're talking about full-fledged panic disorder.
Whether your challenges these days are great or small, here are some strategies to consider.
Center yourself. At any given moment, focus on your breath to draw awareness away from externals and toward a core peace within yourself.
Stay connected. Spend time with family and friends. Surround yourself with a loving, supportive environment. Become involved in church or community activities.
Express your emotions. Become aware of your emotions as an ever-changing part of yourself, rather than a definition of who you are. Practice noticing each emotion as it comes and goes to give yourself the perspective of objectivity.
Practice relaxation. Daily relaxation in the form of yoga, deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation, prayer or journaling can provide an oasis of tranquility you can draw from throughout the rest of the day. Remember that there are two free ten-minute relaxations you can listen to and/or download from A Higher Perspective.
Engage in relaxing activities. Listening to music, walking the dog, reading novels, taking lavender baths and spending time in nature need to be at the top of your list, not the bottom.
Take care of your body. Avoid turning to alcohol for comfort and limit stimulants. Check out natural calmitives in the form of relaxation-formula teas. Remember to exercise regularly, in a form you enjoy.
Help others. There are countless organizations and causes that could benefit from your participation. Turning your focus outward shifts your perspective in a healthy way.
Take a news break. Avoid TV news as much as possible, and definitely before bedtime. Be discerning about your news sources and avoid avenues of coverage that dissect every morsel of information from every possible negative direction.
Keep the faith. Cultivate a sense of something greater than yourself working in your life. Explore the possibilities of religious and/or spiritual communities, groups and classes. Inspire yourself with uplifting books, music, art and movies.
Recognize your own resilience. Take a broader perspective on what is happening and realize how resilient human beings are. There have always been catastrophes and somehow humankind prevails, if not triumphs.
Stay in gratitude. Keeping your focus on what is working is essential in times of challenge. End each day by writing down at least three blessings you noticed that day.
Know when to get help. If anxiety, depression, panic persist and interfere in your daily life, seek professional help.
Since 1992, hundreds of adults and teens have celebrated the benefits of A Higher Perspective. My tools have become their tools: custom relaxation CD's, hypnotherapy, The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), The Vimala System of Handwriting, and extraordinary opportunities for spiritual development. Please call 925-820-1949 or email me at email@example.com to find out how my work can help you keep your balance in these uncertain times.
Until next month, remember that all is moving toward the good!
Lucy Grace Yaldezian, CHT, CHC
A Higher Perspective
2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 254
San Ramon, CA 94583