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  • Writer's pictureMollie Maxwell

Chronic Anxiety: It is a common problem.

In our fast-paced world, where we are continuously exposed to current affairs, social media, dramatic news items, the world in crisis, it can seem as if we are always on edge and in panic mode. This is turn can lead to an overload of the nervous system and feelings of helplessness, anxiety, depression and insomnia which we may try to deal with by seeking distractions online, going into denial, adapting to anxiety or turning to medication. Often this can be caused by a lack of self-care, whereas there are ways we can empower ourselves and take control of our feelings better.

This is not the same as being clinically depressed, having chronic anxiety or panic attacks, which do need medical intervention and in many cases medication.

When we are faced with crises such as losing a job or facing divorce, our own resilience can determine how we deal with such problems and often the outcome can be determined by our response.

If we care for ourselves in a way that can promote feelings of empowerment, self-care and positive thinking, it can help us deal with crises as they occur. None of us are immune to life throwing us a curved ball and by facing life challenges head on, it can enable us to deal with speed bumps along the way.

Often we are suffering from low levels of chronic stress and we accept that this is normal and just have to cope with it. This can actually cause a compromised nervous system which in turn can affect your heart, digestion and immune system. Chronic levels of stress do not allow the nervous system to return to equilibrium and it ramps up our vigilance and keeps us in a constant state of alarm, causing us to become run-down and unhappy.

The nervous system can cope with crises as they occur but always wants to return to a calm, quiet state after a drama and this way our nerves and brain become trained to deal with problems and then relax ( this is called neuroplasticity ) . This is how we learn and adapt to stressful situations , but we should not live with chronic stress and anxiety which puts us at risk.

There are some things we can practise to ensure that we can cope when we need to and help maintain an even balance, promote neuroplasticity, a healthy immune system and heart health.

The number one priority is to get enough good quality sleep. This is essential for good health, allowing our brains to function optimally, assist the immune system and to take the much needed rest that our bodies require . Everyone knows that lack of sleep is debilitating and we are unable to function well when we are sleep deprived.

Secondly, turn down the distractions of constant noise, over stimulation via social media, screen time that rewires our brains, constantly being busy and thinking that we need to do more to achieve more. Maybe a little less of everything is better.

Thirdly, promote self-care. Give yourself some space for Me time, nurture your body with good food, get plenty of fresh air , relaxation time and any type of exercise that you will enjoy. Socialise with people that are positive and enjoy life, make family time a priority and give back to society in any way that you can.

Not only can our brains adapt, but with practice we can also learn to adapt to dealing with life challenges and promote coping mechanisms that will allow us to return to equilibrium and keep the volume of stress .

Maxwell Coaching helps clients to learn to deal with stress and how to promote resilience. Anyone can learn these techniques and with practice they can transform lives and lead to a calmer, more accepting and positive outcome.


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