LPeople who suffer from chronic pain are three times more likely to have mental health issues than those who don’t, according to Harvard Medical School. And the emotional fallout from the chronic pain may make it worse. Chronic pain is defined by the National Institutes of Health as pain lasting 12 weeks or longer — back injury, migraines, arthritis — there are all kinds of causes. For many people, anxiety is an entrenched factor in their experience. Some 50 percent to 90 percent will have depression with chronic pain, according to Dr. Alik Saidov, a pain management physician at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Ways to calm your body
1. Acupressure Sequence
When you are feeling highly anxious, and the pain is climbing too, you may find it hard to calm yourself down. Acupressure is an invaluable tool because it’s always available, and you can use the points the moment anxiety increases, no matter if isolated or unable to help yourself with other techniques. Then, once you feel a little calmer, you can make use of the other techniques listed below. It’s also useful when, for example, you have to make that doctor’s appointment, even though the pain is too severe, and you know the payback will be great. Its effective, swift results help ease anxiety, overwhelm, stress, and a host of other imbalances, facilitating a shift to calmer, more self-assured places.
2. Take a belly breathe
Whenever my 13-year-old autistic daughter has a bout of anxiety, we walk her through belly breathes. Here is how we have taught her over the years to do:
- Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.
- Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
- Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
This really seems to help her and she ends up focusing on her breathing and not the issue that is causing her to be anxious.
3. Change small things in your daily life.
Here is a few things that you can do on a daily basis that help relax you and can change your anxiety all together.
- take a time out
- eat balance meals
- limit alcohol and caffeine
- get enough sleep
- exercise daily
- take deep breaths
Changing anyone of these will help your anxiety. You might not see a change immediately but over time, anxiety should become less and less.
Things to Avoid With Your Anxiety
It starts with what to avoid. Many people don’t realize that they are unintentionally contributing to their own anxiety. Only by avoiding common anxiety mistakes will you be able to cope. Some examples include:
- Moping –Coping with anxiety requires you to take action. But stress makes you want to mope. Spending time alone, in silence, with your own thoughts can be nice once in a while, but often thoughts are your enemy when you have anxiety. Distractions, staying active, and trying to be as social as possible are important.
- Bad foods- Diet does play a role in anxiety. Those with panic attacks should avoid caffeine, because they seem to be a trigger of panic. Fattening foods, refined sugars, alcohol, and fried foods also exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Eating habits don’t usually “cause” anxiety, but they make it worse, and the worse your anxiety symptoms are the more your anxiety will bother you.
- Anxiety producing stimuli- Anxiety is a cumulative condition. The more anxiety you experience in your daily life, the more your other anxiety symptoms get worse. That means that you should avoid horror movies, dark alleys at night, spending time with people that are reckless – anything that produces anxiety should be controlled, to avoid the anxiety from getting worse
How to Stopping Panic Attacks
- Panic attacks cannot kill you. No one has died from a panic attack. If you know that you have panic attacks, you need to learn not to worry it’s something more. You simply need to learn how to let it run its course.
- Fear of panic attacks creates panic attacks. It sounds crazy, but those diagnosed with panic disorder often have a severe fear of panic attacks that ultimately increases their heart rate and triggers an episode of panic. Learning not to fear them is part of coping.
- Reacting to your panic attack can actually make your panic attack worse. During a panic attack, many people feel they need to get a deep breath. But interestingly, the symptoms of panic attacks are often the result of too much oxygen, called hyperventilation. When you take that deeper breath as you try to compensate, you actually create further symptoms. Learning not to react this way to your panic will reduce the severity of the panic attacks.
Stopping Anxiety Altogether
Coping with anxiety is only the first step. Eventually, you’ll be able to stop your anxiety altogether.