Anxiety is a terrible feeling. Not only does it trigger a seemingly endless wave of worry, but it can cause headaches, sleeplessness, and muscle tension throughout your whole body. Unfortunately, it tends to arise during menopause because of hormonal changes, which directly affect your brain chemistry.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to overcome those unnerving feelings and thoughts. Next time paranoia and uncertainty start making you concerned about things of the past, present, or future, allow these relaxation techniques to bring you a sense of calm.
Yoga doubles as exercise and deep emotional healing. While strengthening and stretching the body, yoga calms and vitalizes the mind. Through postures that focus on one's breath and movement, individuals release a buildup of lactic acid in their muscles, which otherwise causes stiffness and tension. Also, the increased awareness of your body with each and every movement increases the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, a neurotransmitter that induces deep tranquility.
One thing that happens during an anxiety episode that can worsen your symptoms is shallow breathing. Individuals often start quick breathing from their chest as a sign of distress. While this is the body's natural reaction to anxiety and panic, it can lead to dizziness and unconsciousness. To counter this, try to practice deep breathing every day for 15 minutes. Inhale slowly and deeply into your belly for five seconds, then with a controlled exhale for five seconds.
Be with Nature
People have retreated to nature to find relaxation for millennia. There is an intrinsic connection that humans share with the earth, so too much time away from it can cause distress. Whether a waterfall, the ocean, a great big tree, the sights, sounds, and scents are deeply therapeutic. Try to spend up to an hour away from the noisy streets and with nature each week to reestablish this organic bond. As an added bonus, vitamin D - which your body produces in sunlight - is known to lift mood and fight depression.
Talk to Someone
Talk with someone whom you respect. Make sure this person is not a negative influence--someone who will feed into your worries, complain about theirs, or fail to even listen. Rather, reach out to someone you truly admire and trust. With this person, you can express how you are feeling inside, and the act of speaking your thoughts can relieve a lot of blockage in your mind. Thereafter, you can experience the warmth and love of that friend or family member, and they can help you find peace. Establishing strong bonds with positive people will help bring more serenity to your life.
Do not let stress build obstacles in the way of your relaxation and happiness. Anxiety may be a strong force that can make it hard for you to function, but there are ways you can overcome it. Rediscover your ability to focus and think clearly, sharply, and creatively with these deeply relaxing techniques.
- Harvard Health Publications. (2009). Take a Deep Breath. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/May/Take-a-deep-breath
- Harvard Health Publications. (2009). Yoga for Anxiety and Depression. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/ Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
- Li, G. et al. (2013). Efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in depression in adults: a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 2, 64. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-64
- National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). What is Anxiety Disorder? Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Vitamin D. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-d