from the desk of Parish Nurse Kara ….. What Can You Do If You Have Anxiety?

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, if feelings of anxiety interfere with daily  activities, then it is time to seek professional help.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rat
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having difficulty controlling worry <!–split–>

 Contact your doctor for help if any ONE of the following is true for you:

  • Your worrying is interfering with work, relationships or other parts of your life
  • Your fear, worry, or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
  • You think your anxiety is linked to a physical health problem

The good news is that both anxiety and heart problems are treatable, and exercise or regular movement is a great help for both heart health and anxiety. Exercise boosts blood circulation through your body, reduces cortisol, improves your mood, and lowers blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, like walking, dancing or biking. That comes to a doable 20 minutes every day.

Other lifestyle modifications that help treat both anxiety and heart conditions, include:

  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Managing stress
  • Eating a variety of delicious whole foods
  • Practicing self-care, this is not selfish, this is needed for optimal health
  • Minimizing contact with anxiety-evoking person or concern.

Throughout life there are events and tasks that may evoke some anxiety. A helpful strategy is to be proactive and plan. These are planning questions to ask and think about to minimize the negative effect of anxiety on your health:

  • What is coming up in the week ahead that may bring about stress or anxiety?
  • What do you need to do to feel more comfortable about these issue(s)?
  • What could you do to be more assertive about addressing the issue(s)

Anxiety is real and can be debilitating. Be willing to seek professional care. You can start with your primary care provider. He/she will be able to direct you in the proper direction.

SOURCE: information is from Trinity Newsletter, July 2023

Your Parish Nurse, Kara