Anxiety and Stress Management

Everyone lives with some level of anxiety, though some of us appear to be more sensitive to stress stimuli. 1 in 10 people will experience extreme anxiety at some point in their lives.
Within busy family lives it can be hard to find time for respite and support.

When we find ourselves in a situation which we perceive as overwhelming, threatening or dangerous, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which activate the ‘fight or flight’ response. This response is designed as a short term measure to remove us from imminent danger. However the ongoing stress of contemporary daily living can activate these systems for long periods of time which research has shown is harmful to the mind and physical body.

The physical symptoms of anxiety include:
• fast or irregular heartbeat
• rise in blood pressure and temperature
• shallow and fast breathing
• feeling faint    • tightness in the chest
• trembling or numbness
• nausea and/or stomach and digestive problems
• tense muscles   • dry mouth
• lack of concentration • irritability
• irrational thoughts • tunnel vision
• poor sleep • sense of unreality

You may experience a constant general sense of anxiety with no obvious trigger or focus. As soon as one worry is addressed it seems another takes its place. This is known as Generalised Anxiety Disorder or GAD. Often anxiety does have an identifiable focus as with phobias but may appear irrational to your friends or family.

When anxiety peaks to panic levels the physical experience can be extremely frightening with sufferers believing that they will die, have a heart attack or go mad with the terror. Anxiety can be managed and greatly reduced with therapeutic input. You can learn practical steps to reduce excess stress levels, aid relaxation and address underlying fears.

It is always advisable to see your GP to rule out organic disease such as Hyperthyroidism and to reduce your intake of caffeine which can exacerbate physical symptoms.

At ASC we also support victims of trauma and those suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)