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Monday, February 22, 2021

High Anxiety

The physical effects of the stress we have all been under the last year has led many of us to feel vulnerable; both physically and mentally.  It is normal for our bodies to experience the physical symptoms of emotional distress. 

Humans are designed for survival; the old “fight or ”flight” response.  Whenever we are faced with a perceived threat, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline start to flood throughout our system.   Our muscles tense up, our breathing becomes more shallow and rapid, our heart rate increases, our stomach acids churn as  we enter a state of “hyper-vigilance.”    These hormones can save us, but they can also cause us great anxiety; exhaustion, irritability, sleeplessness, over timulation or even depression. 

According to Lucy McBride, MD, here are a few tips to help ease some of that anxiety:

Limit your media consumption, set a daily limit on news TV and radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Fact-check your worries, distinguish between worries that are grounded in fact vs. false internal narratives. Protect your body by countering negative thoughts with facts.

Keep a journal, the simple act of writing down your concerns helps free your mind of clutter and opens your mind up to more calm, rational thinking.             

Prioritize sleep, aim for 7-9 hours.

Exercise, get moving.  This is one of the best ways to de-stress and to release anxiety.

Find a  mental escape; read a book, page thru a magazine, binge on trash tv, learn a new craft or cooking skill.

Laugh as much as you can; watch a comedy, listen to your kiddos, play with your pets, read the funny papers, listen to a funny podcast. 

Please go easy on yourself, we are all living through these extremely challenging times and doing the best we can.  We can only do so much and please remember, its ok to ask for help!     

National Suicide Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255)

SAMSHA 800-662-HELP (4357)

NAMI 800-950-NAMI (6266)

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