What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we perceive that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.
Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts on your ability to live your life as fully as you want to.
For example, it may be a problem for you if:
your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time
your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control
you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy.
Treating Anxiety with Reflexology
Several reflex points on the foot are connected with relaxation. Some of the pressure points help reduce your heart rate and improve circulation while others help alleviate physical pain and nausea.
By targeting specific areas of the foot, you can relieve tension throughout your body. Although reflexology may not be the solution to your anxiety, combining it with other lifestyle changes, such as exercise, yoga and journaling, can help you find relief. After the treatment we can discuss the possible changes or coping mechanisms that could help.
If you feel your anxiety is overwhelming and affecting your day to day living then a visit to your GP could be beneficial. You can also contact Mind and reThink for support.
Effects of Anxiety
Short term effects of anxiety on your body
Increased muscular tension/headaches; panic attacks; rapid breathing; shortness of breath; pins and needles; rising blood pressure and a pounding heart; nausea and sickness; 'butterflies' in the stomach; may feel an urgent need to visit the toilet.
Long term effects of anxiety on your body
- Fear combined with tension and lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, lowering your resistance to infection
- May experience digestive issues
- Can lead to depression
Effects on your mind
Fearful, alert, on edge, unable to relax or concentrate. Fearing the worst can lead to a negative outlook on everything and become very pessimistic. If anxiety is severe you may find it difficult to continue to work, develop or maintain good relationships, enjoy leisure time and sleep problems may make anxious feelings even worse and reduce ability to cope.