I in 6 Americans experience mental illness in their life time. Sometimes it is only a passing stage, while for others it is a life long struggle. May is mental health awareness month and each week we will touch upon one of the more common mental health concerns.
At some point in our life we are going to feel anxious. Sometimes this is a good thing and it helps to motivate us to do great things or to avoid danger. Sometimes, though, the anxiety does not resolve once the danger or the stressor is removed. Anxiety can present as a racing heart, excessive worrying, inability to sleep or focus. When these start interfering with your daily life, anxiety is considered problematic. If is lasts for 6 months or more, it a medically diagnosed condition.
Deep breathing and meditation can go a long way into alleviating anxiety. Making sure you get adequate sleep and exercise will also help reduce stress. Finding a mental health counselor that you feel comfortable speaking with is very important. There is a 6 minute video that goes over what you can do to help yourself cope with anxiety at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GgsV2nKL9w.
If you are reading this but cursing my name because you currently have no body fat, are eating only ingredients you harvested from the greenest, most remote forests, get 8 hours of sleep in a night and have dedicated your life to meditation (only stopping to speak with a counselor) AND ARE STILL ANXIOUS I say to you that it is time to consider medication. (and…stop cursing my name) There are many medications out there that can be effective in treating anxiety. Make an appointment with your primary health provider and have an honest conversation about what you are feeling to see what may work best for you today.
Brooke Rieth, FNP