Anxiety — in English
What is Anxiety ?
Fear is one of the Basic (Primary) Emotions of the Mind. Base fear is present in all living beings as an instinct. It contributes to Self-Protection and Survival impulses. Fear activates by specific overt ‘Threat perception’ and drives the behavior of ‘Fight’ or ‘Freeze’ or ‘Flight’.
Anxiety is the less intense emotional expression of fear. Anxiety is felt as vague, continuous, anticipation of a threat, with over caution. Feeling of Distraction (wandering attention) and Preoccupation (apprehension and anticipation) of ‘something going wrong’ or ‘making a bad mistake’. Intensity of Anxiety (low to high) determines the effects on the Mind or Body functions. Anxiety is often multi-layered. Conscious (known), Subconscious (can be known with inward attention or Contemplation) and Unconscious (Mindfulness helps).
What are the Effects ?
On Mind (psychological): This causes inability to concentrate, poor attention on task, frustration, irritability, taking longer to execute the task, inability to relax, inability to fall asleep or maintain sleep, feeling emotionally drained easily.
On Body (Somatic): Nervousness, heart beating faster, tension or dull ache in the muscles, discomfort or unpleasant feelings in stomach, headaches etc.
How do I manage Anxiety ?
Fears and Anxieties cannot be eliminated. The focus and efforts are to reduce the intensities of these emotions. Goal is to bring them down to Baseline (Ground state) levels.
Awareness is primary to Reflection , Introspection, Action and Inter-action. To manage Anything, we first need to be Aware of it.
Assess Nature of Anxiety: – Reflect. ‘How much of my Anxiety is conscious (I know) to me!’ `What is unknown to me!’ ‘Is my Conscious sense linked to particular fear (specific) or multiple fears (General)!’
- Write down your experience. Note down specific thoughts and emotions that increase (Trigger) your anxiety. Note down what you do not like to deal with (Avoidance). Look at the link between your anxiety and external (social) situations. Draw a link (Reason) between Triggers, Experience, Avoidance, and situations.
- Observe the impact on your sleep. If it takes, an hour or more after being in bed for sleep and mind preoccupied with questions or worries about the day or about tomorrow, assess for Insomnia. Insomnia makes the anxiety worse.
- Distraction is an escape, not a remedy. Distraction helps you reduce the intensity (acuity) and buys you time to address it effectively. Unattended anxiety accumulates into chronic anxieties.
- Yoga. Regular practice of Asanas (Pose) strengthens the Muscles and Joints. Practice of certain Kriyas help improve functions of breathing, blood flows and metabolic functions. Pranayama helps by improving and steadying the functions and resilience of the Nerves and Brain cells.
- Meditation. Silencing (not blank state, not blacking out, not concentration) is the key element for Relaxation of the Body-Mind Combination. Every successful session of Meditation helps the Mind-Body to touch its Baseline (Ground state) level.
- Medical Treatments. Allopathy (Immediate relief), Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy (Intermediate and Long-term Control).
- Counseling / Therapy. Conscious as well as Deep seated (Subconscious and Unconscious) anxieties can be explored. This requires looking in (Intraversion). Goal is to expand awareness into suppressed origins of anxiety.