In the clinical records of primary care last year it was concluded that around 6.7% of Spaniards suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. And Spain is no exception. In reality, anxiety disorders top the list. list of mental health problems globally. These mental illnesses are characterized by anxiety does not go away for long periods of time.
Anyone can experience these feelings in their daily lives, for example, when they are facing a job interview or a couple’s argument. After all, anxiety is a normal response to stress. However, people with anxiety disorders they feel it much more often than usual, even when they are not in typically stressful situations. And that can interfere with daily activities and have a major impact on your private and professional life. And worst of all is that they can get much worse over time.
However, there are some indicators that can tell us if there is any reason for us to be concerned and to seek clinical attention. One of the clearest manifestations of an anxiety-related psychological disorder is “hypervigilance”, that is, living in a state of permanent alert in the face of situations that the brain considers as threats and dangers… even though they are not really. It is a psychological state that involves a cognitive and psychophysical overactivation… and therefore also causes a enormous physical and mental exhaustion.
The physical consequences clearer are exhaustion, tachycardia, excessive sweating, chest pressure, digestive disturbances, headaches, frequent nausea, headaches, muscle tension (it can cause pain in the lower back or neck ), tingling, cramps, and trouble falling asleep. These symptoms are quite common -even- in people who do not suffer from any anxiety disorder. In fact, they should not be taken as an alarm signal when they appear separately. Now, when several of these circumstances appear simultaneously, we must look for the attention of a professional to guide us on possible treatments.
A manifestation of a anxiety disorder which is also very clear is the “brain fog”. When permanent anguish settles in us, our brain goes into survival mode…and that drains a lot of resources. For this reason, it is normal that we begin to act on “autopilot” to reduce the enormous load that we must carry on our shoulders. This means that we will have trouble focusing attentionremember things, make decisions, reflect, think outside the box, etc.
Control breathing to control anxiety?
It is essential to develop different mental strategies to keep anxiety at bay. Only then can we cut the vicious circle of anxiety; which consists in the fact that, since the symptoms are unpleasant, the affected person becomes more sensitive to any potential catalyst… and then he is constantly worried about what might happen, becoming even more anxious.
The first step to solve the problem it is to understand what is happening to us and discover what could have triggered this psychological response. And for this it is always convenient to have the guidance of a specialist. From there we can work on the specific methods that will help us deal with the situation. One of the most helpful strategies for people who suffer from anxiety is learning to control their breathing.
The breathing It is directly related to physiological activation. When we are faced with an alert situation, we tend to breathe in more oxygen than we need. It is a defense mechanism prepares us for the “fight”. It may be given by short, rapid breaths or by large, slow gulps. In either case, when we adopt one of these ways of breathing, what we are telling our body is that there is a threat that we have to deal with. Consequently, our body prepares for it producing adrenaline and cortisolthe muscles tense, the pulse quickens, etc.
Now, for the same reason that we are capable of “tightening” our body by accelerating our way of breathing… we can also alter our breathing for the body to relax. One of the muscles that have the most impact on our way of breathing is the diaphragm. And luckily, we have a lot of control over it.
if we want induce calm and relief in our body, what we should do is sit with both feet flat on the floor, with our shoulders back and our back completely straight, resting on the back of the chair. place one hand on your chest and another over the pit of the stomach (the diaphragm). Now breathe as slowly and softly as you can through your nose, making sure that the hand on your chest moves as little as possible. The one that should move when breathing is the one on the diaphragm. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes, trying to slow your breathing down.