Anxiety – what is it and how to deal with it!
Anxiety can present itself in many forms. Most people can identify a feeling of anxiousness by an increased heart rate of “butterflies in the stomach.” You often experience these feelings of anxiousness when you have to address a group of people, or before you compete in an event. This is quite normal and actually needed as this feeling helps the body getting “ready” for a big event.
But then one day, while walking from your office to your car, you experience a feeling of awful dread. So much so that you are convinced that something bad is going to happen to you, or worse, you are going to die. Your heart starts to beat so fast, you are convinced you are having a heart attack, your breathing becomes shallow, your palms sweaty. This is classified as an anxiety disorder, such as a panic attack. This feeling is not normal and can actually have life altering effects.
Panic attacks are normally caused by a traumatic event which was not dealt with properly. For instance, being in a vehicle accident where you were injured, or being hijacked. People suffering from an anxiety disorder tend to start avoiding certain situations, people and places as they start fearing that they might suffer another panic attack. They start to alter their daily pattern, avoid certain areas or situations, normally the same situation that brought on a previous panic attack.
However, some people might experience a panic attack “out of the blue” with no trigger. In such instances, the person can exclude himself totally from society, withdrawing from even the closest family and friends.
To see if you might be suffering from anxiety, answer the following questions:
If you have answered yes to several of the above questions, you may be suffering from anxiety.
The good news is that there is help available. For more serious cases or if you feel that you have been experiencing panic attacks more frequently, it might be a good idea to see a professional such as a Clinical Psychologist.
Read other articles in our stress series:
Happiness with Homeopathy
Why exercise makes you happier
Mindfullness as a stress reduction practise
Common complications in men due to stress
Stress and weight gain
Every person seeks happiness. Millions of quotes are dedicated to being happy. More books are written about finding happiness than any other topic. If you Google the subject of happiness, you get over 39 000 000 hits in 0.39 seconds. So then why is it so hard to be a happier person?
The shortest answer to a very complicated question is that we are human. We have different perceptions, different actions, and different backgrounds that we use as a frame of reference which influence our emotions. And the truth is, because we are unique, no one set of “rules” will work for everyone. It can even be said that, you might find your own true happiness if you do not follow any set of “rules”.
So do not look at the following habits as “rules” to follow in order to be happier. Instead, see them as guidelines, and adjust as needed. Try to do those that work for you to the best of your ability and never feel guilty if you do not seem to be able to make a habit out of them. This simply means that it does not come natural to you, or in other words, it is not suited for your personality. Move on without regret. Find your own unique set of “rules” that works for you!
1. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
As previously stated, we are all different, we are unique. We do not think, do or feel the same. So try to not compare yourself to others. Embrace your uniqueness. Do not apologise for who you are, but rather celebrate who you are.
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
Distance yourself from people that always find a reason to complain. Be selective in your choice of friends. It is hard to be happy when your friends cannot be happy with you or always bring you down.
3. REALISE THAT YOU DO NOT NEED OTHERS APPROVAL
The saying: “You can’t keep everyone happy” is very true and can be very tiring. So accept that you are not responsible for others happiness, but for your own. Once you do not have to carry that weight around with you, you will feel happier already.
4. BE HONEST
Lying causes a lot of stress, so try to avoid lying and rather be honest. Honesty may hurt a person’s feeling for a moment, but lying has far more devastating effects as well as not being good for your health. You can be honest while being considerate.
5. LET GO OF GRUDGES
We all make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can hurt us and others. Holding on to that hurt hampers the quality of our lives. So resolve a matter as quickly as possible and let go of it. If the person that did you wrong, do not want to resolve it, try not to dwell on it. Make peace with your emotions and go on with your life. If you do not let go, you allow negative emotions to dictate your life.
6. TREAT OTHERS WITH KINDNESS
Try and always treat others with kindness and respect. Do not judge as you do not know what is happening in other people’s lives. Being kind to others also boost your own happiness and you never know what a kind word or smile can mean for another person.
7. ACCEPT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE
You should understand that you will not have a perfect life. There will be problems and there will be days that you feel unhappy. Accept that it is part of life, and that nothing in life is permanent. The cloudy days will pass, and the sun will shine again.
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. - Groucho Marx
· Cooking spray
· 1 cup chopped onion
· 500g bone-in chicken breast half, skinned
· 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
· ½ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken stock
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 250g baby marrow, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
· 250g patty pans, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
· 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
· 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
· 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
· 1/2 cup grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided or any hard white cheese
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add chicken, meaty side down, to pan. Cook 6 minutes or until browned; turn chicken over. Add stock to pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan, reserving broth in pan. Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a large bowl.
3. Bring stock to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Add stock mixture to chicken. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add to pan, sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add baby marrows and patty pan mixture, rice, and minced rosemary to the chicken mixture, and toss gently to combine.
4. Place flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup cheese; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, milk mixture, and salt to chicken mixture; stir to combine. Spoon chicken mixture into an oven-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over rice mixture; bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove casserole from oven
5. Preheat grill.
6. Grill casserole 5 minutes or until golden.
Nutritional Information Amount per serving
· Calories: 337
· Fat: 9.7g
· Saturated fat: 5.7g
· Monounsaturated fat: 2.7g
· Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
· Protein: 23.9g
· Carbohydrate: 38.2g
· Fiber: 2.8g
· Cholesterol: 56mg
· Iron: 2.3mg
· Sodium: 592mg
· Calcium: 331mg
· 4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
· 5 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
· 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
· 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
· 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
· 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 500g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2 x 2cm pieces
· 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken stock
· 1 tablespoon brown sugar
· 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
· 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
· 2 teaspoons chilli paste (from Woolies)
· 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
· 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
· 1 cup diced onion
· 1 cup diced green bell pepper
· 1 cup diced medium red bell pepper
· 1/2 cup slices green onions
· 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1. Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; stir well to coat. Set aside.
2. Combine chicken stock, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chilli paste, and sesame oil.
3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, bell peppers, and green onions to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and spread in an even layer; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is done.
5. Return vegetable mixture to pan. Add soy sauce mixture and pineapple, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.
6. Serve with grilled veggies and egg noodles.
Amount per serving
· Calories: 132
· Calories from fat: 0.0%
· Fat: 3.8g
· Saturated fat: 0.6
· Monounsaturated fat: 1.7g
· Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
· Protein: 12.7g
· Carbohydrate: 12.2g
· Fiber: 1.4g
· Cholesterol: 31mg
· Iron: 0.9mg
· Sodium: 304mg
· Calcium: 26mg
Stress can be described as a circumstance that disturbs, or is likely to disturb, the normal physiological or psychological functioning of a person. The body react to stress – which can be defined as anything (real, symbolic, or imagined) that threatens an individual’s survival. The body puts into motion a set of responses that seeks to diminish the impact of the stressor and restore homeostasis. Many stressors occur over a prolonged period of time or have long-lasting repercussions, for example the loss of a loved one or divorce or struggling with finances etc. A stressor can also be the anticipation of something happening.
The body has stress-responses to a broad array of stressors. If you repeatedly turn on the stress-response, or if you cannot turn of the stress response at the end of a stressful event, the stress-response can eventually become damaging. Stress increase your risk of getting diseases that make you sick, or if you have such a disease, stress increases the risk of your defences being overwhelmed by the disease.
From a psychological point of view stress can thus eventually lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, relationship problems, problems at work, sleep problems, eating problems, aggression, etc. From a physiological point of view, stress can lead to a wide array of physical problems. Thus stress influences the individual’s functioning (emotions, cognitions, behaviour, perceptions and personality) and is also responsible for the beginning of psychological and physical symptoms.
Due to the complexity of the human being, the most effective way to deal with stress is with a multi-disciplinary approach. Thus combining the physiological part (ex. homeopathy) with the psychological part (psychotherapy). Psychotherapy is therefore a key component in the treatment of stress. A major goal in the treatment of stress is to mobilize the client to change behaviour in ways that optimize the process of healing. It is consequently very important to work with the “barriers” or “reasons” why the client finds it difficult to deal with their stress/ disturbed rhythm or why the client cannot find balance in their life and bodily system.
SHIP® (Spontaneous Healing Intrasystemic Process) is an experienced psychotherapeutic process that focusses on the concept that chronic, physical and emotional dis-eases are spontaneous healing messages from the individual’s system indicating internal imbalance. Knowing the cause of the dis-ease is not enough and lead to a short-term solution. SHIP® is a practical form of psychotherapy that does not focus on pathology, but on healing and growth. It is an integrated and holistic approach by focussing on the cognitive, behavioural, emotional and bodily experiences of the client.
Information throughout the person’s life that is too threatening (stressors) may become disconnected, with this information migrating from the emotional to the physical. This information lodges itself in the bodily system. In response to current everyday stressors, this information may be re-activated and represented in the form of bodily dis-eases and emotional dis-eases.
SHIP® creates an environment where the client can connect with repressed information/stressors to assist the client to achieve balance on a physiological and psychological level.
1. JOS. 1998. SHIP® Overview.
2. JOS. (2002). SHIP®, The Age-Old Art of Facilitating Healing. Pretoria: A JOS Publication.
3. Sadock, B.J. & Sadock, V.A. (2007). Kaplan & Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral
4. Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry (10th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia.
5. Sapolsky, R.M. (2004). Why Zebra’s don’t get Ulcers. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.