anxiety & Stress Beverlee Brownlee Undergrad & Graduate students
What is anxiety? • Anxiety is defined as painful uneasiness of mind or abnormal apprehension and fear accompanied by physiological signs of doubt about the nature and reality of a certain fear or self-doubt. • Stress and anxiety are not the same thing, however they reinforce each other. • Stress causes one to become anxious and anxiety causes stress levels to increase. It’s a never ending cycle.
Types of anxiety disorders • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) • Social anxiety disorder • Panic disorder • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) • Phobia
Generalized anxiety disorder(gad) • Characterized by excessive and often time exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life for no obvious reason • Tend to always expect disaster • Can’t stop worrying about health, money, family. and work/school • Becomes constant state of fear, worry and dreadand worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry
Social anxiety disorder • Also called social phobia; anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations • afraid that he or she will make mistakes and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others • Lack of social skills and/or experience in social situations • See phobia
PANIC DISORDER • Different from normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressors • Can strike without reason and warning • Usually do ton out of proportion response to a fear that has little or no danger • Develop a constant fear that can interfere with everyday life Trigger stimulus (Thoughts or feelings) Perceived threat Physical sensation Anxiety catastrophic (why me? It’s always me) Physiological sensations (sweating, palpitations)
Obsessive compulsive disorder(ocd) • Potentially disabling illness that traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors • Plagued with recurring thoughts, images and fears that one cannot control • May make ritual go away temporarily but once the fear or thought comes back, the cycle begins all over again
phobias • A lasting and unreasonable fear caused by the presence or thought of a specific object or situation • That usually poses little or no actual danger • Can significantly interfere with the person's ability to function
Signs & symptoms • Trouble concentrating • Feeling tense & jumpy • Irritability • Restlessness • Anticipating the worst • Insomnia • Fatigue • Muscle tension • Sweating • Headaches • Shortness of breath Emotional Physical
Treatment options • Moderate exercise/dietary changes • Breathing techniques • Cognitive behavior therapy • Mindfulness meditation • Hypnosis • Progressive muscle relaxation
Breathing techniques • The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen getting as much fresh air into the lungs • This decreases shortness of breath and tension to subside • Steps used: • Sit comfortably, back straight, put one hand on chest while the other is resting on your stomach Take it easy and breathe
Breathing techniques cont’. • Breathe in through your nose while your hand on the stomach is gently rising and other hand is slowly rising off chest • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles • Push out all negative thoughts when exhaling
Cognitive behavior therapy ( cbt) • Widely used treatment amongst professionals • Addresses negative thoughts that attribute to anxiety and stress • Ultimate goal of CBT is to identify and correct negative thoughts and beliefs • Three steps used: • Identify negative thoughts: some situations are perceived more dangerous than in reality • Challenge those thoughts: question the evidence for your frightening thoughts; analyze unhelpful beliefs and test out the reality of negative predictions
(CBT) Cont’. • Replace negative thoughts with realistic ones: after identifying irrational predictions and negative distortions replace them with new thoughts that are more accurate and positive
Diet & exercise • Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever • 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week can provide significant anxiety relief • Along with exercising daily eating a well-balanced diet provides relief for both stress and anxiety
Mindfulness meditation Nice happy thoughts • Involves focusing mind on the present without judgment • Observe thoughts as they enter the mind and let go as quickly as they enter • Thoughts become temporary pulses in the mind • Reduces tendencies to automatically assume thoughts are facts
Mindfulness meditation cont’. • Tips to effectively use mindfulness • Take time to sit somewhere quiet & slowly relax breathing • Allow your self to accept the present: focus on the world around you • Release negative thoughts and replace with more positive ones
hypnosis • Hypnosis is sometimes used in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety. • While you’re in a state of deep relaxation, the hypnotherapist uses different therapeutic techniques to help you face your fears and look at them in new ways.
Progressive musclerelaxation(PMR) • Technique for reducing anxiety by tensing and relaxing the muscles • Developed by American physician Edmund Jacobson • Entails both the physical and mental components • The physical part involves tensing and relaxing the musclegroups of legs, abdomen, chest, arms and face • done for approximately 10 seconds and then released for 20 seconds before continuing with the next muscle group.
PMR CONT’. • The mental part focuses on the difference between the feelings of tension and relaxation • one is forced to concentrate on the sensation of tension and relaxation
More info • For more info on medication and treatment options available go to: treatment options and info • anxiety disorders • Now go relax