7 Steps for Managing Anxiety

steps managing anxiety
Photo (with some editing) courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/balamurugan/

I have talked openly about my issues with anxiety (Comfortable in My Own Skin) in the past.  If you suffer from an anxiety disorder as well, you will find that the first step to overcoming anxiety is to learn to manage it.

If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, anxiety is defined as:

a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks

When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms give way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenaline that can save your life. This is the fight or flight response.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways. Like the fight or flight response, it can save your life. In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If, like me, you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional. This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.  In addition, I have found counseling and group therapy extremely helpful (Anxiety Triggers).

2. Get a good night’s sleep. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.  I also take at least one nap on the weekends, or whenever I feel like I’m going to crash (Ripples and Aftershocks).

3. Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them. (The Sparkpeople website has lots of fun exercise videos).

4. Meditate. Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety. (I found a great app called Calm that has daily 10 minute meditations).

5. Manage the worry. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Don’t use alcohol. You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music (or blogging).

Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer in silence.

How do you manage your anxiety?

I’m Back to Milk With My Cookies!! #a2 #IC #ad

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

oatmeal cranberry butterscotch cookies

I LOVE cookies!!  I especially love a nice robust cookie that will hold up to dipping in a glass of milk.  The only problem is that whenever I drink milk, I tend to have tummy troubles soon afterward.  In fact, an independent study showed 1 in 4 Americans have discomfort after drinking milk; yet only 5-7% of the population has been clinically diagnosed with a lactose intolerance medical condition.

I was thrilled to find out about a2 Milk®. a2 Milk® may not disturb the tummies of those with dairy sensitivities.  But it’s real cow’s milk.

The A1 protein is the culprit behind many people’s discomfort after consuming dairy, and is currently in all conventional & organic milks on the U.S. market. a2 Milk® only comes from specially selected a2 cows, whose milk is naturally free of the A1 protein.

And because a2 Milk® is real milk, it’s a real replacement versus overly processed milks or nut-, bean- or rice-based beverages.

As for me, I had pretty much cut out milk altogether (I know, I know, but I have been taking a calcium supplement).

I whipped up a batch of Oatmeal Cranberry Butterscotch Cookies yesterday (recipe at the end of this post).  They smelled so good coming out of the oven!!  I couldn’t wait to try them with a glass of a2 Milk®!!

I was very patient and waited until the cookies had cooled completely so they would be strong enough to handle a good dipping.   Then I poured myself a glass of a2 Milk® and took the plunge 😉

The a2 Milk® tasted just like regular milk.  And I never had any tummy troubles, even hours afterward!!

Does milk give you tummy troubles (Post-Dairy Digestive Disorder)?  Check to see if a2 Milk® is available near you.  The a2 Milk® Companyhas partnered with U.S. family dairy farmers in upstate New York and the Midwest to expand the a2 herd.

And now, on to the recipe:

Oatmeal Cranberry Butterscotch Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

oatmeal cranberry butterscotch cookies

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups butterscotch chips

2 cups dried cranberries

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine: flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.

Gradually beat in butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Stir in oats, butterscotch chips and raisins.

oatmeal cranberry butterscotch cookies

Drop by rounded tablespoons (I used a cookie scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 11-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool cookies for 2 minutes on pan than transfer to racks to cool.

oatmeal cranberry butterscotch cookies

Enjoy!!