How To Achieve Peace Of Mind

In every second of the day, thoughts go through your head. You use your imagination almost all the way. When it comes to your personal life, you constantly look into the life you can have once you have your family. When it comes to work, you see yourself climbing the corporate ladder faster than expected. For just about anything, the mind is at work. As much as you just want to think of good thoughts, doubts get in the way. You are also plagued with what-ifs when you think about things turning sour. After all, you don’t get everything you want in life. Sometimes, disappointments come and if you don’t expect these, you’re only setting yourself up.

Like what people say, you need to hope for the best but expect the worst. This means that you should never stop trying because a lot of good can still come out of every experience. Leave the past in the past. You may have had trouble, but when these things leave you feeling jaded and cynical, your life won’t be as good as it should be. That’s because you’re already expecting for bad things to happen. You’re already creating a reality for yourself even before it’s happened. Get a grip on yourself and work on your peace of mind. When you are calm and collected, you’re more likely to get the outcome you want.

So, what do you exactly do? Well, you have to be willing to do some hard work to start with. Wishing only gets you far. You need to tie up the loose ends, come up with a plan, and basically just do something so that you resolve your problems. These things may not go away overnight but when you take action, you will be able to resolve a lot of issues, and that’s already a lot off your shoulders. For all your past hurts, move on. If you need to cry out your pain, go ahead. Then, dry your face and take action. That’s probably the most important part of all.

Take time to meditate as well. You may have a lot of crazy thoughts inside your head, but that’s alright. Most people assume that to meditate, you need to keep your mind blank. They choose to let go of this process because they already know that they can’t do this. If your thoughts keep surfacing, then let it be. Just sit still and be quiet. You can even use this time to plan for a better future.

Lastly, it’s time to be the best version of yourself. When you know that you haven’t wished ill against anyone and that you try to live your life as honestly as possible, your conscience won’t gnaw at you during those quiet times. It’s about doing good things and concentrating on yourself rather than on the mistakes of other people. If there are others who try to bring you down on your journey to peace of mind, let them be because what matters here is how you are and how you feel.


Learning How To Cope With Panic Attacks During The Holiday Season

One in ten people can expect to have a panic attack at some stage in their life. The busy holiday season such as the Christmas season may set off the first attack or subsequent attacks.

The symptoms may include rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, chest pains, nausea, hot or cold flushes and sense of impending doom.

Panic attack symptoms can last for a few seconds or as long as an hour.

As the fear of having an attack can, ironically, trigger one then it makes sense to set up some strategies before a demanding time like the winter holidays. Coping with panic attacks during the Christmas season becomes a lot easier if a sufferer already has techniques to hand or knows that specific remedies will work for them.

 The following are some great tips for dealing with panic attacks during the holiday season:

• If you feel a panic attack coming on and you start to breathe rapidly, try to breathe slowly in and out of your cupped hands or a brown paper bag. Either will help your oxygen levels return to normal and lessen that feeling of giddiness that comes with over-breathing.

• Adopt a healthier lifestyle during the festive period – take or step up your regular exercise, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and eat regular, nutritious meals to keep your blood sugar level stable.

• Don’t try to fight a panic attack as all this will do is increase your levels of adrenaline.  Instead, try to accept the feelings you experience and understand that your symptoms are only trying to trick you.  Imagine yourself floating, detached, over them.  They will eventually subside.

•  During an attack, put the focus outside of yourself.  Listen to music or do something you enjoy until the feelings pass.

• Tell yourself that your symptoms are only temporary and not life-threatening or medically dangerous. 

• Reduce your exposure to unnecessary stress which means, during this hectic time, that you need to learn to say no to anything which will overload you or your nervous system.

• Learn and practice a relaxation technique. Try closing your eyes, slowing your breathing and imagining each part of your body in turn growing heavier and warmer.  Imagine all your tension disappearing and let go of every limb, your torso and head in turn until you are completely relaxed.  After fifteen or twenty minutes of this, gently bring your focus back to the present and open your eyes.  You will feel both calm and refreshed.

• Find someone to confide in about your panic attacks, whether it is a friend, family member or therapist.  Turn to this person if you need support or help coping with your panic attacks during the Christmas season.

Managing Winter Holiday Anxiety With Natural Remedies

There are a number of natural remedies for anxiety which are particularly suitable for the winter holiday season.

The herbs valerian, passionflower, St John’s Wort and kava have all been found to be effective in treating anxiety and can be taken as a warming winter tea although many people prefer them in capsule form.  It is worth knowing that herbs, just like any other medicine, can have serious side effects and if you are currently taking medication of any kind you must consult your medical practitioner before self-treating your anxiety with herbal remedies.

To ensure that you are taking the correct natural treatment for your anxiety disorder, you might like to consider consulting a naturopath.  That way, you can embark upon a course of natural treatment knowing that it has been tailored to you and your condition.  Another option is to visit a registered homeopath who will take a detailed case history before prescribing the correct homeopathic remedy for your particular anxiety disorder.  Holistic practitioners such as naturopaths and homeopaths always take into account your lifestyle and can alter treatment to take into account particularly stressful times such as the winter holidays.

If you prefer to stick with self-prescribed natural or home remedies for anxiety, then you may like to try Bach Flower Remedies and especially the all-purpose and immensely popular Rescue Remedy.  This miraculous concoction can be taken just before or during an anxiety-inducing occasion such as a Christmas party.  It is just as effective when taken after a stressful event and should be self-administered regularly during prolonged periods of heightened stress such as the winter holidays.

Rescue Remedy was developed by Dr Edward Bach who realised that people needed a natural emergency remedy to help them cope with everyday stressful situations.  The remedy has a particularly calming and centering energy and is still made today to Dr Bach’s exact specifications. 

To boost the effects of Rescue Remedy, you might like to combine it with these other natural techniques for alleviating anxiety:

Relax – take long, slow, deep breaths or simply soak in a hot tub.

Exercise – take a walk or due some yoga or gentle stretching.

Smile – simply the physical act of smiling makes us feel happier and more centered.

Calm – use positive visualization to take you a calmer place.

Unwind – with some time out for yourself, reading a book or simply staring into space.

Escape – removing yourself from a stressful situation, particularly during the winter holidays when we spend much more time than usual with others, can prove a life saver, giving you the time and space you need to restore balance and calm.

Whatever natural remedy for anxiety you choose, remember that it is up to you to administer it in the way that is most effective for you.  The beauty of natural remedies is that, for the most part, they give you some control over your own situation.  This in itself can prove the most powerful natural remedy for anxiety of all.

The Winter Holidays Impact On People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The winter holidays can have a huge impact on individuals suffereing from generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD), despite its name, is far more intense and debilitating than the everyday anxiety experienced by most people.  Even when there is no discernible reason, sufferers of GAD experience chronic feelings of elevated anxiety and these feelings are often exacerbated by the hectic pace of the winter holidays.

If you are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder then it is likely that you spend a lot of your time worrying excessively and tend to expect disaster to strike at any moment.  You probably also find it hard, if not impossible, to relax and this means that, for sufferers, generalized anxiety disorder during the winter holidays can prove particularly trying for both you and those around you.

The following are signs and symptoms that someone may experience  when suffering from generalized anxiety disorder:

• Nausea
• Breathlessness
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Muscle tension
• Difficulty swallowing
• Hot flushes
• Trembling
• Irritability
• Sweating
• Need to visit the bathroom more frequently
• Difficulty concentrating

Clearly, any of these could prove embarrassing or difficult to handle in a social situation such as a Christmas or Thanksgiving family dinner or party. 

Unlike sufferers of social anxiety disorder, however, most of those diagnosed with GAD do not consciously avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder.  While this can be a good thing as far as the holiday season goes, it is still advisable for sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder to take steps to lessen their symptoms during what can be a stressful time for everyone.

As GAD rarely occurs alone but is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse or another anxiety disorder then this must be taken into account when prescribing treatment.  Similarly, as medication is often used to control GAD then it is wise to consider any contraindications and to avoid alcohol and excess sugar, caffeine or other stimulants whenever possible.  Quite apart from other concerns, both alcohol and caffeine interfere with sleep patterns.  As those suffering from GAD often find it hard to get to sleep, or to experience uninterrupted sleep, then anything which further disrupts rest can only add to the already debilitating effects of this condition.

Given the temptations of the winter holiday period with its parties and other social gatherings, avoidance of alcohol and rich, sugar and fat-laden food can often prove difficult.  This is where sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder need to set limits for themselves and to understand that, by controlling their intake of substances which can only worsen their condition, they are helping to control the condition itself.  Simply knowing that they are in some small way in control can have a positive impact on those diagnosed with GAD, allowing them to see that they can still enjoy the winter holidays as long as they work within the limitations of their condition.

How To Deal With Anxiety At Christmas And All Year Long

The holiday season can be stressful for many people; however, some people have significant trouble with anxiety during the time leading up to Christmas.  The endless to do list, obligations, and expectations can be overwhelming for some leading to an initial attack of anxiety or triggering a preexisting anxiety disorder.

Dealing with anxiety at Christmas is, however, simply a matter of recognising the danger signals and setting yourself up so that you know you can handle the pressures during the holiday period.

One of the best ways to do this is to set clear boundaries both for you and for others. 

Don’t take on too much in the way of chores such as holiday shopping and enlist support and help from friends or family. This support can be practical or emotional but it really helps to spread the load and to ensure that other people are aware of your needs.  Simply knowing that those close to you are aware of your anxiety disorder and possible symptoms can make all the difference.  This will help minimise any embarrassment or awkwardness you might otherwise feel and will mean that your loved ones are more able to make allowances for the impact of your anxiety symptoms on those around you.

The following are techniques you can use to help you when dealing with anxiety at Christmas or any other stressful time:

Exercise – both gentle forms such as tai chi and more vigorous exercise such as jogging have been shown to be effective when dealing with anxiety.

Yoga – deep breathing combined with the required focus on attaining and maintaining yoga positions is an excellent antidote to anxiety.

Meditation – in its many forms has also proved to be immensely useful for sufferers of anxiety disorders.

Visualization – picturing and focusing on positive outcomes to anticipated events can dramatically diminish the anxiety a sufferer might otherwise feel.

All of the above allow you to create space and time for yourself which is essential if you are to come through the Christmas period without suffering an anxiety attack. Ten or twenty minutes spent in quiet meditation or simply taking a soak in the tub will allow you to refresh and regenerate away from the stressors of the seasonal period.

Another important tool in your armory against anxiety attacks during the holidays is to set your expectations low.  Far too often we build things up to a point that even the idea is enough to set your heart racing.  Telling yourself that nothing is ever perfect, including Christmas, will immediately help diminish that weight of expectation.  Keeping expectations realistic will mean that when someone in the family is not behaving like a Christmas angel, the turkey refuses to cook and the shops have run out of that essential present then you will be able to handle it. 

Dealing with anxiety during Christmas and all year long is all about reducing those stressors that trigger your symptoms.  Lower your expectations and you will also be lowering the likelihood of an anxiety attack at this stressful time of year.