It has happened to all of us at some point: we have a job interview, the defense of our degree thesis or a date with a love interest. We feel an emptiness in our stomach, we tremble, our hands sweat, we blush, our hearts are racing a thousand minutes. These are all completely normal physiological reactions that alert us and prepare us for something that our brain tells us is important.
Now, can you imagine living in that state of nervousness, every day, every minute of your existence? Living, eating, sleeping worried, with well-founded or unfounded fears, and that prevents you from developing normally with your family, your friends or at work, or even leaving your house? That is what is known as a generalized anxiety disorder. Believe it or not, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than 40 million Americans suffer from it, and it is more prevalent in women. We are practically talking about an epidemic and the most common mental disorder in the world.
Because of the seriousness of the condition, my first advice is to seek specialized help, either from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or cognitive behavioral therapist. But there are also other things that can be done to begin, at least, the path to a full recovery from anxiety.
How to modify physical exercise at age 40
Better than fighting, accepting: sometimes anxiety feels like a fight against your own body and mind. You want to beat them to be able to calm down, but what this fight does is increase the severity and frequency of the episodes. It is best to accept it and think that in the same way it appeared, it will go away; in the very fact of acceptance there is relaxation.
Facing your fears to overcome them: within the anxiety picture, there is a tendency to magnify fears in such a way that they seem insurmountable. For example, for a person with social anxiety, a simple gathering of friends can become an absolutely intolerable event. Gradually exposing yourself to that fear will help you realize that it was unfounded in the first place.
Cultivate good habits of thought and attention: I recommend mindfulness because it helps you immediately recognize and become aware of anxiety symptoms. Another thing that works is thinking about what is the real probability of that catastrophic scenario that you have in your mind happening; If you look at it objectively, you will notice that it is usually very low.
Lastly, I recommend trying some herbal teas with anxiolytic properties such as chamomile, valerian, linden and passion fruit juice.