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Effective Steps for Managing Anxiety

100_2838Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations. When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life. This is the fight or flight syndrome.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways. Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life. In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional. This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate. Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Avoid alcohol. You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

Share some tips that have worked for you.

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Eat When You're Hungry Not When You're Angry!

Eat When You’re Hungry Not When You’re Angry!

Eating is a part of life. Your body gets its nutrients from food. Sometimes we can go overboard with our eating habits and it can result in gaining weight. One issue with food is emotional eating.

The problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind. Stress takes its toll on your life. When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions.

Everyone has good days and bad days. How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play. We often look for comfort for our hurts. People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no.” To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphins just like exercise. So, after you eat, you feel better.

Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress. We may hide behind food instead of seeking solutions to our problems. This is not uncommon when the stressor is something horrific such as physical abuse or death of a loved one .

But, how do you know you are using food in this way? The first sign is obvious. You will gain weight if you eat too much. In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:

* Have you been under stress lately at work or at home?
* Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
* Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater. You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time. The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:

* High fat foods like French fries, fried foods
* High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes
* Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake

There is help for emotional eaters. The first step is recognizing that you have a problem. You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt. The guilt you feel comes from knowing you are potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.

Secondly, seek counseling. There are many types of counselors out there that can meet your need. Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions.

A counselor might suggest things like visualization, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support. Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion. You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.

Thirdly, your family can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits. They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you. Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking. Yoga enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.

Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation. You’ll feel good about finding solutions which will replace the dependence on food.

What’s your solution for overcoming emotional eating? Good a great tip? Leave a comment below.

Law of Attraction – Michael Losier in NYC

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Applying the Law of Attraction to Your Life

Learn the art of Deliberate Attraction in one session.

Learn this 3-step method with Michael Losier, author of Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t

Thursday, June 11, 2009 6-9 pm in NYC

Purchase tickets at: www.LiveLawofAttraction.com

Start attracting the people, situations and relationships that you want into your life.

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www.LiveLawofAttraction.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009  6-9pm

Church of St. Paul the Apostle

60th at Columbus Circle

New York, NY

Only $49 – Workbook included

Michael Losier is an NLP Practitioner and a Law of Attraction Trainer and Professional Speaker enjoying his life in Victoria, B.C. Michael is a radio and TV talk-show guest and a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader.