Anxiety: The Debilitating Reality

My heart starts to race, there is a huge lump in my throat, my breathing gets shallow, and my chest feels like its caving in. I can’t think, I suddenly get really tired and I want to go to sleep. I have this horrible feeling my stomach, I feel nauseous and I want to throw up. Oh great, I’m having an anxiety attack. How can that happen, I was just sitting eating my lunch in the sun with the breeze cooling my face, thinking how nice the day is. I have a busy afternoon seeing clients however there was no real trigger. Even though my anxiety has improved out of sight over the years, I still get the occasional anxiety attack out of nowhere.

It is normal to feel anxious if you are stressed or worried. However, for someone with anxiety, these feelings are ongoing without any reason and sometimes they aren’t able to be easily controlled.

Anxiety disorders may include generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Did you know that Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia? On average, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety (Statistics courtesy of Beyond Blue).

Risk Factors For Anxiety:

  • Family history

  • Prolonged stress - work stress, family and relationships, loss of a loved one, pregnancy and giving birth, change in living arrangements.

  • Alcohol or substance abuse

  • Traumatic life experience

  • Health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease

Anxiety can present in many different ways and just because you’re not having panic attacks doesn’t mean it’s not affecting your everyday life.

The Signs And Symptoms Can Include:

  • Worrying

  • Restlessness

  • Second guessing yourself

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Unable to relax

  • Stomach cramps

  • Vomitting

  • Sweating

  • Muscle tension

  • Agitation

  • Fear

  • Nervousness

  • Hot flushes

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Tight chest

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Light headiness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Overthinking

  • Increased heart rate

  • Hyperventilating

  • Insomnia

  • Wanting reassurance

  • Avoidance of situations

  • Nail biting

How Can I Help My Anxiety?

  • Eat a fresh whole food diet, which includes plenty of colour and variety.

  • Avoid food additives such as aspartame and MSG

  • Avoid coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and other caffeinated drinks

  • Reduce sugar as fluctuating blood sugars may trigger anxiety

  • Focus on digestion and heal your gut

  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

  • Boost essential omega 3 fatty acids by consuming oily fish such as salmon and sardines

  • Avoid known food allergens or intolerances

  • Identify your triggers, it may be a drink such as caffeine so also assess your diet

  • Deep breathing, Yoga, Meditation and other relaxing activities may be useful to help reduce anxiety

  • Speak to a counsellor or psychologist who can give you some techniques to help manage your anxiety

If you're having trouble with anxiety and would like more guidance and support to help you feel better, please BOOK YOUR FREE 10 MINUTE DISCOVERY CALL HERE to chat about how I can help you.

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Pam helps women and men prioritise their health and wellbeing. As a naturopath, nutritionist and personal trainer she helps them take control of their mental health and various health conditions through natural medicine and healthy lifestyle changes. She gives realistic ways to help create a happier and healthier life. 

When she isn’t running her business, you can find her on the hockey field or creating some delicious food for her kids.