Anxiety is one of the most common and debilitating issues on the planet. Anti-anxiety medication is a multi-billion dollar industry and appears to be epidemic partly due to cultural issues as well as personal/experiential issues.
The intervention list for Anxiety is extensive. Treatment can include medications from the SSRI class or benzodiazepine class. The former manipulates the chemical and electrical impulses of the brain, the latter have both a sedative and addictive quality. When in crisis, or, when indicated in working in treatment with severe traumatic history or PTSD, both of these classes of medication have their respective place. They can provide a behavioral window of opportunity to allow treatment to occur while resolving highly charged memories or triggers.
There are also many non-medical interventions of which I will name a few; yoga, meditation/mindfulness practice, T’ai Chi, vigorous exercise, life-management, boundaries work, nutritional and homeopathic approaches and the list goes…….
In my experience the most effective interventions are the simplest and the most mobile. While we have no certainty how one medication will work for us based on our own chemistry, and we don’t all have the time or the funds to access a yoga studio or a Naturopathic physician….we all have our breath.
Our breathing patterns are our first physiological response to a perceived threat in our environment. A hastening amount of oxygen coming into our lungs causes a cascade of changes in the body i.e. increased heart rate, a change in our perception of our self and our environment as well as hormonal and adrenal surges.
By learning simple and brief breathing techniques we can prevent and/or intervene and ‘short-circuit’ an episode of anxiety and Panic Attacks as well. Regular practice can immediately reduce the overall level of anxiety in your life as well as increase a sense of peace and groundedness.
While learning these skills will be invaluable, they may be the first step in resolving the root cause of the anxiety/panic attack. If this is the case for you, please seek professional help. Anxiety, panic attacks, trauma and PTSD all have a very good prognosis if treated correctly.
I work with Anxiety, Panic Attacks/Trauma/PTSD, couples and adolescents. Please see my ‘About Lee’ page.