– More and more struggles.
Many people struggle with anxiety in everyday life. According to the Norwegian Public Health Authority, 25 percent of us will have one or more anxiety disorders during our life.
There are many characteristics of anxiety and there is a big difference in being nervous and afraid of something and having anxiety.
Some attempt to curb the disorder of drugs, medicines, games or shopping. Psychologist Grethe Nordhelle says we can also use the fear of making vital changes in life. That way, fear can be a wizard.
– Anxiety is a normal physiological response initiated by external or internal situations that we perceive as threatening. If the anxiety persists over time and it is felt that it inhibits function and quality of life, it can be a disorder, says psychologist Sverre Urnes Johnson at the Department of Anxiety Disorders, Modum Bad.
Fear as a wizard
In the Chinese scriptural language, the sign of crisis is the same as the sign of opportunity. It also applies to anxiety. Psychologist Nordhelle believes you can use the fear to become better acquainted with yourself and the way you live – and make important changes in life.
– The body is your friend. It tells you when something is wrong and it does not lie. When you get anxiety, it is an indicator that something is wrong. You can therefore look at fear is a kind of wizard, says the psychologist.
Removes us from the natural
Nordhelle says we often have to dig under fear to find out what’s wrong. It’s not easy in a society where we are bombarded with information and the pace is high, she thinks.
Different forms of anxiety
Every fourth or fifth of us gets an anxiety disorder throughout life.
There are many different forms of anxiety – and the typical symptoms are:
– Mental symptoms from mild anxiety and agitation to panic and death anxiety.
– Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, tremors, dizziness, stomach ache and diarrhea.
– Disaster thoughts about what can happen to oneself or the closest.
– Evasion behavior escapes from situations or places.
Source: Psychiatry, Denmark
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– More and more people are struggling with anxiety. I think it has to do that we are removing ourselves from being natural by being human. We talk less and less together. There is no room for quiet moments. We are less out in nature. Young people say they feel lonely in school breaks because everyone is sitting with their smartphones, says Nordhelle.
– We have a high pace all the time and we still have a nose in the phone or the face behind the PC. We lose contact with ourselves or others. We no longer know what we really want or need. This can cause anxiety. We simply live in an anxious society.
Allies you with fear
The psychologist says that anxiety often tries to tell us we’re out of class and should even go the way to ourselves.
– But we often do not listen to this. Instead, we try to run from the fear by having a lot of activities on the outside, so we do not get to know the inner signals.
– But one day you will be collected by the inner voice anyway. So it’s much better to take the bull by the horns right away, allize with the fear, understand it and correct the course of life. Our inner compass is an important voice that we should take the time to listen to. The voice is quite quiet, so it’s too noisy in life, we do not hear it, “says Nordhelle.
Many with fear have received good help from the organization Angstringen. Solbjørg Talseth is the general manager of the organization and the Norwegian Self-Help Forum. In 1986, together with three others, she pressed a contact advertisement in Dagbladet to form a self-help group for people with anxiety. Since then, at least 3,000 people have participated in the self-help groups.
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– We do not see any contradiction between participating in self-help and getting treatment. We need professionals and we need knowledge. For some, participation in self-help groups is enough. But self-help can be combined with treatment, or you can seek out a self-help group after your treatment ends, “says Talseth..
– Even though I had been in therapy, I still felt like “Bambi on the ice” when I joined the psychologist. I had a lot of insight into my own anxiety, but still struggled with everyday life.
Get to know the fear
Talseth says we spend a lot of effort to control the anxiety. These forces can instead be used to free internal resources.
– Anxiety is a signal that tells us something. We must get to know it and use it positively. Then we can teach ourselves how to handle the problems in a healthy way.
Six tips when the fear comes
Psychotherapist Kristin Austheim has himself struggled with anxiety and is keeping a course on the subject. She has the following advice to relieve the anxiety attacks when they come – and could easily live with the fear:
21 signs of anxiety
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1. Breathing is important. When you get stressed, you stiffen and will hold your breath. And when you hold your breath and your body does not get enough oxygen over a period of time, it can react with panic. The anxiety attack does not get so strong if you force yourself to breathe calmly. Concentrate on breathing deeply – breathe all the way in and out. You can also shape your hands like a bowl over your mouth and nose and breathe into your hands as you adjust the oxygen supply. Some people know that they get a bit dizzy of this, but it will be better.
2. NTNU has come up with the following research results: If you listen to birdwatches for 20 minutes each day, the (social) anxiety is reduced. The unrest occurs in the inner zone, ie the body. Stimulation of the outer zone, that is, all we perceive from the outside world will therefore have an effect.
3. Secure your eyes on something that is known / felt safe. When the fear comes, the world feels chaotic and it’s hard to focus. Then it’s important to find something that you can focus on. It may be your own hands. The eyes of a friend. Or the man on the bus. Find something stuck, something concrete (a figure and hold on it) while breathing as deeply as you can and concentrating on being at the moment.
4. Diet is important. It is important to lie away from anything that activates the sympathetic nervous system, such as sugary soda and other containing a lot of sugar.
5. The sympathetic nervous system, which causes us to flee or fight in threatening situations and activates spontaneously requires much self-mobilization. When you mobilize energy for a long time or span, the internal organs can be overworked and fatigue diseases may come. Anything that can support the parasympathetic nervous system is good, such as mindfulness, meditation, massage, yoga, good, acupuncture and breathing exercises.
6. Instead of thinking that you should get rid of fear – think about how you can live with it. Anxiety has been made a disease. But fear is natural and universal. It applies to all and we live in an anxiety society with high pace and pressure and a huge amount of information. Security is not the absence of anxiety, but the result of being authentic, genuine in dealing with himself and other people.
Sources: Kristin Austheim, Research. no, Gestalt (journal), Psychiatry Foundation