As many of you will know, anxiety is one of the most common diseases of the century. But have we ever wondered what anxiety is and how can we try to alleviate it?
Anxiety is one of the endemic illnesses of our society; more and more people go to professionals for such disorders and use drugs to combat the worst crises. Unfortunately there are as many skeptics, those for whom anxiety is not a disease but only a way to attract attention, those who don’t want to come to terms with the idea of belonging to the category of anxious individuals.
But what is anxiety? Anxiety is a functional emotional state that, like fear, warns us of real dangers and stimulates us to overcome them. So why is it considered a disorder? Physiological anxiety turns into pathology when the warning and danger signals never fade out, so we are constantly waiting for the danger, even when it doesn’t exist.
The main reason why our society seems to be generating people with anxiety problems is the social pressure that we are forced to endure since we are very young, because we are educated to achieve goals and results, without taking into account the stress that this entails on an emotional level.
Various studies conducted by researchers have shown that anxiety is related to a part of the brain called striatum, which is responsible for the processing of emotions related to gratification in the future. From here it is easy to understand why an education set on achievements can alter emotional stability, especially at an early age.
In fact, anxiety can also appear among the youngest, already at seven, eight years old, precisely in conjunction with the beginning of social interactions, the pressures to which they are submitted by parents, guardians or the rules of society.
A peculiarity of this disorder is its transmissibility. In fact, when a person is seized with anxiety, this tends to be transmitted to those around him, if they don’t know or have innate ways to stem the emotional overflowing that comes from an anxious individual.
As can be expected from a problem of this type, anxiety also affects the physical, where it can cause hypertension (due to constant adrenaline in the circulation), tachycardia (often accompanied by the feeling of obstruction of the respiratory tract), short breathing (due to the momentary inability to lower the diaphragm, which causes a respiratory deficiency) and as a result of all this can occur vertigo, headaches and confusional states, along with episodes of trembling and copious and smelling sweating because of the hormones challenged.
So, how can you alleviate the symptoms of anxiety? First of all, it would be good to analyze the reason for this constant state of alert and try to block the answers that we ourselves try to give to the questions that our anxious mind puts us; in the meantime, however, it is very useful to know relaxation techniques, also called autogenous training, which can be used in moments of intense crisis.
There are basic diaphragmatic breathing exercises that help considerably and are easy to implement. Moreover, meditation, a technique that allows us to be witnesses and spectators of the present moment without projections about the future, gives us the possibility with time to calm our being and to allay the feeling of alertness allowing us to flow in the present instead of worrying about what still has to happen.
Other ways to ease anxiety may be to look for a new hobbie, to occupy time and stay in the present while we do it, music therapy and sound therapy, which release endorphins and improve mood and yoga (or any other type of exercise that keeps us anchored to the now).
So, then, what does anxiety for the future mean? The future is unpredictable and trying to answer the questions of the mind only increases the doubts that may arise. Trying to control it is only a great waste of energy and generates a very strong anxiety.
At this point, answering the question is quite simple: the anguish for the future comes from the habit we have of looking at the future through the eyes of the present. What does it mean? Let’s take an example: study for an exam. When we start studying, the amount of work is so great that if you look at it with the eyes of the present it may seem impossible to finish in time for the exam date. If instead we keep calm and study the whole program step by step, we realize that it was our mind to see it more than it was, simply because it had not been divided into smaller tasks, another useful way to combat anxiety. It is better to look at the future with the eyes of the future, allowing him to guide us instead of comparing it to the present situation.
And in the same way, it is very important to live the present with the eyes of the present, seeing the work we do as a small contribution that gives us the opportunity to build the future piece by piece, continuing without rushing to plant the seeds so that it is just like the one we want and changing our vision, so as not to wait to see what the future holds, but actively creating it here and now.
Because what happens in today’s society can be considered a paradox: we want everything and we want it right away. If we consider that in order to become an expert in certain sectors it is thought that we need 10 years of study in those fields, we understand the importance of the practice to become specialists.
Instead, we are led by the institutions’ too fast pace to want now what we can achieve only with time and training.
The advice I can give you is stop, take a deep breath and center yourself in the present moment; take your space and especially the time you need to relax and really understand how to live the present at best to create a better future, without anxiety.
Flavia from Flavia’s MIND.
¡¡IMPORTANT!! This is a very important subject for me, and I will certainly come back to writing it in various forms. If you want to keep up-to-date, subscribe to the newsletter, so you have a monthly report of the articles that have been published.