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Anxiety Relief In One Day
How To STOP Excessive Worry
No part of the book may be distributed or reproduced in any way, shape or form, without prior written approval by the author.
The information included in this book is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader of this book should always consult his or her medical healthcare provider to determine if the information in this book is appropriate for their own situation.
Furthermore, if readers of the book have concerns or questions regarding a treatment plan, diet, exercise regimen or medical condition, they need to consult their healthcare providers.
The information in the book is not advice, and should not be taken as such. Always consult with your healthcare provider prior to exercising, dieting, or considering alternative treatments, home remedies or new diets.
Anxiety Relief In One Day
Congratulations on taking the first step to living without debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, hypochondriasis, and depression. As a registered nurse and former psychiatric nurse, I have been able to help thousands of patients, just like you, overcome the misery and devastation of anxiety, panic attacks and depression, through the latest cutting-edge research on natural, holistic, alternative and complementary anti-anxiety treatments.
The strategies, tips, tricks, recipes and healing suggestions you are about to read in this book may be just as effective, or even more effective than prescription anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, and without the side effects or expense.
Stop living your life in fear and dread. This ultimate guide to anxiety relief is going to help you achieve a better life filled with happiness and hope, and without intrusive, frightening thoughts that are consuming your life right now.
This book does not contain a lot of medical or psychological jargon. It is not meant to be overly technical, nor does it delve deeply into the mechanics or physiological reasons for anxiety disorders and depression.
What it does do, however, is provide you with highly effective tips, remedies, treatments and lifestyle modification suggestions that will help you overcome your anxiety, panic attacks, depression and fears about your health so that you can live a happier, more peaceful life.
Do not let your fears, depression or general anxiety disorder (GAD) stand in your way of living a productive, pleasant life. You can take control of the situation, and change your negative thinking. Just as you've trained your brain to think about negative, anxious thoughts, you can train it to think about pleasant, peaceful thoughts that will eventually crowd out the bad thoughts.
It's not as difficult as you may think. If fact, there are a number of things that you can do, right now, to help those negative thoughts about your health fade away. That's right! Your intrusive thoughts about your fears and insecurities will simply fade away. In fact, you will probably even get bored with them, eventually. Can you imagine that? It's true, so have faith, and read on!
How To STOP Excessive Worry
Excessive worry and general anxiety is intrusive to your life and can be crippling. There is good news, however. Lots of good news, so take heart.
Did you know that you can crowd out your negative thoughts with positive thoughts? Just as you've trained your brain to respond to scary situations that are beyond your control, you can train it to respond to pleasant thoughts of calmness, strength and well-being.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but it can be done. This is not to say that you shouldn't seek professional help if your thoughts are so intrusive that they prevent you from functioning on a day-to-day basis. You should. I wrote this book simply to help people who struggle with general anxiety disorder, panic attacks and health anxiety, but who are still able to work, take care of their families and look after themselves.
General anxiety disorder, panic attacks, hypochondria and health anxieties may be linked to depression. Research has shown that people who are depressed have lower levels of serotonin in their brains, and this may hold true for us worriers and hypochondriacs. They key to helping us feel better may be to raise our levels of serotonin and other "feel good" chemicals known as endorphins.
Antidepressants raise levels of serotonin, but did you know that certain foods, dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals can do the same thing? So can exercise.
Although generalized anxiety disorder, depression, panic attacks and hypochondria are very common, little is still known about the cause and effective treatments. Hypochondria, a form of generalized anxiety disorder, is a preoccupation with one's health. The person with hypochondriacal fears believes he has a serious disease, when none is present. Up to 4.5% of the general population may be affected by this ailment, and people with hypochondria may have a higher rate of depression and anxiety.
People with this condition are almost always consumed with fear that interferes with personal relationships, happiness and work. Hypochondria makes people misinterpret their normal body sensations, and have a persistent fear of serious disease despite repetitive reassurance from their health care providers. Some hypochondriacs, because of their paralyzing fear of "getting bad news," avoid going to the doctor altogether.
Although the exact of hypochondria is unknown, a disturbance in one's perception, which makes normal sensations feel abnormal, may play an important role. Also, people suffering from hypochondria may believe that a specific illness may be due to an imagined or real wrongdoing from their past. It may also be a learned behavior in those who have had a serious childhood illness that brought about an abundance of attention.
It may also be related to obsessive compulsive disorder as well. Risk factors for hypochondria include having a family history of the disorder, having a serious illness as a child, recent or past stressful events, having mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may improve your symptoms, and include paroxetine, sertraline, fluvoxamine and fluoxetine. Antianxiety medications such as Xanax, Valium, Buspar and Klonopin also help with symptoms, and also help keep panic attacks at bay. Antianxiety medication, however, are generally prescribed to be used during the acute phases of your anxiety attacks.
These medications are highly addictive, and become less effective over time. Because they become less effective, people tend to increase their dosages. This can lead to dependence, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to discontinue the medication. Side effects from antianxiety medications include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, urinary retention, confusion, dizziness, low blood pressure and itching.
Psychotherapy helps people identify those specific thoughts that add or contribute to their anxieties about illness, and help correct their misinterpretations of abnormal body sensations. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps teach individuals to focus less on intrusive thoughts and their fears of illness, and to utilized distraction and relaxation techniques instead.
Behavioral stress management teaches people how to become less focused on their health during times of stress. This type of stress management can be used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Alternative and complementary therapies may also play an important role in the treatment of hypochondria and generalized anxiety disorder. Acupuncture helps promote relaxation, and mindfulness therapies such as meditation are effective in the management of symptoms.
Nutritional is also thought to play an important role in the management of hypochondriacal and depressive symptoms. People who experience frequent bouts of anxiety may benefit from limiting their intake of caffeine and alcohol, and eliminating processed foods from their diets.
Avoiding suspected food allergens such as milk, eggs, ice cream, cheese, corn, soy, wheat and preservatives may significantly improve your state of well-being, subsequently reducing episodes of obsessive and intrusive thinking. Also, consuming foods rich in iron and B vitamins such as dark leafy greens, whole grains (only if you don't have a wheat allergy) and plenty of fruits and vegetables may also help soothe your nerves.
Eating antioxidant-rich foods such as tomatoes, blueberries, squash, cherries and bell peppers, and avoiding sugars, pasta and white bread may also result in a decrease in your hypochondriacal thinking. Furthermore, when your blood glucose levels are unstable, it can worsen your mood, leading to negative emotions and thoughts about your health.
To counteract this, eat small, frequent meals during the day, which will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, enhance digestion and improve your mood. Limiting your consumption of red meat, and incorporating cold water, omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish into your diet may also help keep anxiety away and reduce your negative thinking. Olive oil is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to stave off depression and anxiety.
We love our coffee! Scientific studies have shown that coffee may help improve symptoms of depression, especially in women, however, this benefit may not be so beneficial in those who suffer from anxiety or hypochondria. Caffeine, a powerful stimulant can cause racing thoughts and a heightened awareness of our body's normal responses, which you may perceive as abnormal sensations.
It is also widely known that participating in an aerobic exercise routine can help relieve anxiety, panic attacks, depression and destructive thinking. Exercise promotes the release of "feel good" chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. It also gives you something to do so that your mind stops focusing on your symptoms.
Consuming a diet rich in vitamins A,C,E,D, as well as the B vitamins may play an important role in the improvement of health anxiety, as may consuming foods rich in calcium magnesium, selenium and zinc. If your diet is deficient in these vitamins and minerals, talk to your doctor about taking supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation, and may have a profound effect on depression and anxiety. Because omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils can decrease platelet aggregation, you should not take them while you are taken aspirin or prescription anti-coagulants without the approval from your health care provider.
Herbs are usually a safe method of strengthening and vitalizing your body's systems. As with all herbal, homeopathic and alternative therapies, you should talk with your doctor, who can diagnose your situation prior to initiating treatment. You can use herbal remedies as dried extracts (teas, powders or capsules), glycerites (glycerine extracts), and basic tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless it is otherwise indicated, prepare herbals teas with 1 teaspoon of the herb per each cup of hot water.
Steep the tea for about 5 - 10 minutes for flowers and approximately 20 minutes for herbal roots. Drink between 2 - 4 cups daily. If you experience side effects such as diarrhea, palpitations, headache, dizziness or any other unusual side effects, discontinue use and seek medical attention.
No herbal remedies are specifically designed to treat hypochondria, some are extremely efficient in the treatment of general anxiety disorder and depression, which are thought to be components of hypochondria.
Many herbs that help relieve anxiety and stress might benefit an individual with hypochondria become less focused with diseases (which often tends to substantially worsen during very stressful times). Other herbal remedies may even help reduce the symptoms of hypochondria. Since certain herbs have the potential to interact with prescription antianxiety and antidepressant medications, it is important that you tell your health care provider which herbs and medications you are taking.
St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression, stress and anxiety. The standardized extract dosage is 300 mg 2 or 3 times daily, for treating depression. St. John's wort may interact with prescription medications, so talk to your health care provider before taking it.
Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is another herbal remedy that has shown promise in the treatment of general anxiety disorder and depression. The standardized extract dosage is between 100 and 250mg 1 - 3 times daily to help relieve anxiety and stress. Kava kava may cause changes in liver enzymes, and may also contribute to liver damage. Before taking Kava kava, talk to your health care provider.
Few scientific studies have explored the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments specifically for hypochondria. It is thought, however, that various homeopathic remedies can promote a more positive sense of well- being and may even relieve strong feelings of depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with hypochondria. Before homeopathic physicians prescribe a treatment they typically consider the individual's general state of physical health, current medications, and their emotional state of health. Before considering homeopathic remedies, talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits.
Arsenicum album is another homeopathic remedy for individuals who have a fear of dying. This remedy may be very helpful for those who constantly seek reassurance from their physicians, or for people who are so worried about their health that they tend to act sicker than they really are.
Aconitum is a homeopathic remedy that is used to relieve fear and panic. This homeopathic remedy can be used for those whose hypochondria is so profound, that you believe that they may die.
Phosphorus can be used in the treatment of a general health anxiety disorder. This homeopathic remedy may be helpful for individuals who are afraid that something bad is going to happen, or for those who are plagued with feelings of impending doom. Furthermore, phosphorus may help people who have a hard time being reassured.
Lycopodium can work well for hypochondria, and may be especially beneficial for those who, in addition to suffering from health anxieties, also suffer from gastrointestinal problems as well.
Several scientific studies have implied that acupuncture may be beneficial in treating hypochondria. Acupuncturists believe that the procedure helps balance energy in your body. The balancing effect might be especially helpful for those who have an exaggerated or distorted perception of their normal bodily sensations. Acupuncture may be especially helpful for:
Relieving apprehension and fear
Relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress
Lessening pain and apprehension
Enhancing sleep patterns
Getting regular massages may help reduce the symptoms of hypochondria. Although most people with anxiety and hypochondria report that getting a massage helps decrease their anxiety, massage, for some individuals, may actually have the opposite effect. For certain individuals, massage may further focus their attention to physical body sensations and complaints, thereby increasing anxiety and hypochondria symptoms.
Self-Help Methods For Easing Anxiety and Health Fears
Document your fears and worries. Keep a pad of paper and pen with you, or use your cellphone or other device to write down your fears. When you feel your level of anxiety escalating, write down what you are thinking and feeling. Writing down your feelings of anxiety is usually harder than just thinking about them, so your anxious thoughts are more likely to disappear quicker.
Designate a worry time period. Designate two 10 minute “worry times” every day. During these times, you can devote your thinking to your anxious thoughts. During your "worry times", only focus on your negative, anxious thoughts, and do not try to make them go away. Then, devote the remainder of your day to be anxiety free. If, during the remainder of your day, anxious and fearful thoughts begin to surface, write them down, to be postponed until your next "worry time" comes around.
Try to accept uncertainty. Worrying and obsessing about things that can go wrong in your life, or by thinking about illnesses does not make your life more predictable. It only prevents you from enjoying your life, and appreciating the good things that are going on presently. Learn to accept life's uncertainties and not expect an immediate solution to your life’s difficulties and problems.
Practice relaxation techniques. When you practice relaxation techniques on a regular basis, you increase your feelings of well-being and relaxation. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation and stretching exercises help boost serotonin levels, and help your body produce endorphins, relaxing your body and calming your negative thoughts.
Adopt healthy eating patterns. Start your day with breakfast, and continue eating small, frequent meals throughout your day. Waiting too long between meals can lead to low blood glucose levels, which may cause you to feel more anxious and more focused on your health.
Limit your intake of alcohol and nicotine, because they can both lead to anxiety and negative thoughts.
Exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever and stress buster. For maximum benefits, try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every day. Before starting a new exercise regimen, check with your health care provider to make sure that aerobic exercise is safe for your situation.
Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to anxious thoughts and negative feelings. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of restorative sleep every night.
Anxiety and stress can worsen the symptoms of hypochondria. Many individuals may also be faced with with expensive medical tests and may even develop a dependency on prescription and over-the-counter medications. Hypochondria is an illness in itself, however, getting psychiatric treatment and having motivation to get better may improve your chances of a quicker recovery. Other factors that may help increase your change of recovery include having a strong support system, taking up an enjoyable hobby, getting daily exercise, eating healthy and getting enough recuperative sleep. If you do not have a strong support group of family and friends, you can still socially connect by joining a support group. Talk to your doctor about finding a local support group that may be affiliated with the local hospital. Support groups for those suffering from anxiety and hypochondria provide an outlet for people to share their experiences, and share tips and tricks on therapies and remedies that work well for them. Being socially connected to either family, friends, a support group or even a beloved pet does wonders for an active mind. Volunteering is also a great form of therapy from those affected by anxiety. Giving back to the community, being grateful for everything you have and showing gratitude helps put things in perspective. Being grateful for the people and things in your life helps lift depression, and provides hope for a peaceful future.
Always remember, there is always hope! You do not have to suffer alone, and life your life in a constant state of fear. Try living in the moment, and accepting the things that you cannot change. Living with anxiety, hypochondria and depression is challenging, but it CAN be treated, and you CAN go on to live a happy, productive and serene life, filled with hope and anticipation!
Why Menopause Can Cause Anxiety And What You Can Do About It
No part of this book may be distributed or reproduced in any way, shape or form, without prior written approval by the author.
The information included in this book is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice. The reader of this book should always consult his or her medical healthcare provider to determine if the information in this book is appropriate for their own situation. Furthermore, if readers of the book have concerns or questions regarding a treatment plan, diet, exercise regimen or medical condition, they need to consult their healthcare providers.
The information in the book is not advice, and should not be taken as such. Always consult with your healthcare provider prior to exercising, dieting, or considering alternative treatments, home remedies or new diets.
The fluctuating hormones of peri-menopause and menopause can often exacerbate symptoms of general anxiety, hypochondria and depression. Hot flashes, night sweats, generalized itching, headaches, urinary problems and gum disease can contribute to hypochondriasis, as well as panic attacks and depression. During a hot flash, women sometimes feel faint, and have feelings of impending doom. They may even feel as though they are having a heart attack. This vasomotor reaction is completely normal, however, it is a very unpleasant feeling. Because menopause is a time in a woman's life where anxiety can manifest itself for the first time, I included this bonus section on ways to treat your menopausal symptoms, to reduce your risk of developing hypochondria, anxiety and depression.
Menopause generally occurs in a woman's late 40s or the early 50s, however, the average age is approximately 51. You are officially in menopause after you have gone without a menstrual period for at least one year. In the years leading up to menopause, you are said to be in peri-menopause, and it is during this time that you many start experiencing bothersome menopausal symptoms, due to fluctuating levels of circulating hormone levels.
Common Menopause Symptoms:
The symptoms and severity of peri-menopause and menopause vary among individuals, however, a great majority of women experience hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, anxiety, concerns about health or health anxiety, depression, and irregular menstrual bleeding. The bleeding may be scant, or very heavy. In fact, a condition known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is very common in the years leading to menopause, and can be so severe, that it sometimes leads to anemia. In these cases, oral iron supplements are often effective in normalizing iron stores. In addition, genetics and family history may play an important role in the type and severity of menopause symptoms that you experience. Furthermore, the age at which you reach menopause may also be reflective of the age your mother was when she entered menopause.
Surgical vs. Natural Menopause:
If you go through natural menopause, your menopause symptoms will typically be milder, than if you go through a surgically or chemically induced menopause. Surgical menopause happens when the ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy. If only the uterus is removed, but the ovaries retained, premature menopause is less likely to occur. Chemical menopause occurs as a result of certain cancer treatments. The abruptness of surgical and chemical menopause often cause profound hot flashes and night sweats, which can be very disruptive to your life. Fortunately, regardless of whether you are going through natural menopause, surgical or chemical menopause, there are a number of highly effective treatment options that can help relieve your symptoms.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:
Two of the most common menopause symptoms are hot flashes or flushes, and night sweats. Hot flashes cause intense feelings of heat, sometimes accompanied by facial flushing and redness. These menopause symptoms are caused by a vasomotor response, and can last anywhere from 1 to 10 years. In fact, some women experience vasomotor symptoms until well into there 70s, and some women are affected their entire lives, albeit with less frequency and intensity. They are also commonly accompanied by profuse sweating of the head and neck areas, palpitations and dizziness. Some women are so negatively influenced by hot flashes, that they experience panic attacks. When hot flashes occur at night, they are known as night sweats. Night sweats disrupt your sleep and you might also find yourself getting up to change your pajamas because they are drenched with sweat.
Hormone Replacement Therapy:
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT effectively relieves hot flashes and night sweats, but they are not appropriate for everyone. Those with a personal or family history of gynecological cancers such as breast, uterine, ovarian or endometrial cancer should not take hormones. Many gynecological cancers are fueled by estrogen, and when you take replacement hormones to relieve your menopause symptoms, cancerous cells may be spurred into growth. Hormone replace therapy may also be inappropriate for those with a personal or family history of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, stroke or high blood pressure. Also, if you smoke, you may not be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy because the combination may raise your risk for a stroke. Home remedies that may help relieve hot flashes and night sweats include avoiding caffeine and spicy foods, not smoking, maintaining your weight, wearing breathable fabric clothing and keeping your bedroom cool. Also, stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga and aromatherapy may prove beneficial as well.
Flaxseed and soybeans contain rich amounts of phytoestrogens, which are naturally occurring estrogen-like substances that mimic the effects of your body's natural estrogen stores. Other foods that contain phytoestrogens include peanuts, wheat, cashews, corn and apples. Consuming these foods may ease your menopause symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Phytoestrogens are excellent sources of isoflavanoids, which are similar in chemical composition to natural estrogen. Not only do phytoestrogens help fight damage caused by free radicals, they also help block or inhibit the effects of too much circulating estrogen. When you have excess circulating estrogen in your body, you may be at a higher risk for developing certain gynecological cancers such as those of the breast and uterus. Although considered safe when consumed in moderation, eating a diet high in phytoestrogens may also promote benign cystic changes in the breast and reproductive organs. Talk to your doctor before including soy or other phytoestrogen products into your diet, or before you consider taking soy supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fresh, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, have shown promise in the treatment of hot flashes and night sweats. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats, they may also be beneficial in the management of menopausal-related depression, anxiety, insomnia and mood swings. Since these fish oils have potent anticoagulant properties, they may intensify the effects of aspirin or prescription anticoagulant medications. Although getting omega-3 fatty acids through diet is considered safe, consuming them via supplementation may cause unusual or abnormal bleeding Before taking fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, talk to your doctor to make sure they are appropriate for your situation. It is important to note, that although effective, you may not notice immediate benefits from fish oil because it often takes approximately three weeks for results to be noticed.