Hilal For Her

Equipping Women to Track Anxiety

Anxiety is manageable and curable, but only the step taken at the right time would benefit. 

Women are the backbone of any family. Where men are usually the ones responsible for financial support, women help to sustain progression and quality of life in the family. The various roles the woman assumes in the family are those of a wife, leader, administrator, manager of income and most importantly the mother. As she is a focal personality in the family, all members turn to her for nurturing and comfort. She usually spends her time, efforts and energy for the wellbeing of the family. 
The woman of today not only plays the conventional role of home-maker but she is also an employee, a business owner, an entrepreneur. She has the responsibility to raise children with the constant pressure of being a good role model and setting positive example, maintain their households, from cooking and cleaning to taking care of husband and in laws. Since they have to make sure they maintain a healthy lifestyle, they continue their roles for years for their families and loved ones. These roles can sometimes catalyze the situation and might lead to anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion necessary for human survival. When we face a potential danger, worrying thoughts and feelings emerge which make our bodies automatically react to such dangers to save our lives. In early times the potential danger to humans was predators and natural elements and facing those dangers would set off a natural alarm in our body which can be seen as a racing heartbeat, sweating, etc. In the 21st century, these things are still dangerous although our stressors have changed drastically, like work, family and health. Anxiety is an emotional state which can work well for us and also against us. Anxiety when increases becomes a mentally disabling condition that effects an individual’s capacity to function effectively in their lives. Anxiety is also the most common indicator of distress. Distress is generally used for unpleasant feelings or emotions that impact our daily lives and functioning. 

There are a number of healthy ways to cope with stressors: most commonly, talking to a friend, going for a walk, exercising or meditating.

With stressors available occurrence of anxiety has significantly increased. Few of the common issues that cause anxiety are financial issues, welfare of loved ones and personal relationships. For working women, work related issues like fear of unemployment are very common. 
Anxiety disorders are a much more serious form of anxieties we face in our lives. These disorders have variety of causes and they differ from person to person because of their own way of thinking and their past experiences. Some of these disorders are Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Phobias, Depression associated with anxiety and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
The question here is how to cope with such issues of anxiety which seem very mundane but have great impact if not confronted. There are a number of healthy ways to cope with stressors: most commonly, talking to a friend, going for a walk, exercising or meditating. You should probably avoid unhealthy coping which includes comfort eating, binge shopping and hiding or isolating yourself from the people around you.
To manage anxiety you can keep yourself busy in activities. Studies on participation in leisure activities have shown improvements in self and life satisfaction, which helps in reducing depression and anxiety and enhances a person’s sense of wellbeing (Haworth, 2010).
With anxiety lingering in our lives, strategies and skills have been devised to teach us healthy coping mechanisms. Of them are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), if the problems go out of hand and Mindfulness as therapeutic approaches. While self-management and peer support are methods available at hand, with which one can manage the potential threats emerging from anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people to understand the link between negative thoughts and mood and how altering their behavior can enable them to manage anxiety and feel in control.
In Mindfulness people are made to accept and go through the situation rather than avoiding them. Mindfulness is a variation of CBT in that it is focused on changing the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts, rather than changing the thoughts themselves. Instead, it is about helping people to experience the world in the ‘here and now’. It does this by addressing the bodily symptoms experienced when someone is anxious, but rather than avoiding or withdrawing from these feelings, he or she remains present and fully experiences them and in this way is able to observe their reactions in a different way. A very good example of “here and now” is Grounding. It is also a technique which helps when you feel like you’re going to get an anxiety attack. Just take a deep breath and roam around and find 5 things that you can see, 4 things that you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can touch, 1 thing you can feel (emotion). By doing so, you would be so engaged in this exercise that you would have passed that phase and no harm done.
Peer Support has its benefits, the ability for the peer mentor to provide support based on empathetic understanding and from a position of having previous experience of developing coping skills for the particular set of problems encountered earlier in life. Sharing your feelings and accepting help is always okay and should be encouraged.
These are few ways to encounter these issues but if you ever feel that the things are becoming unmanageable, you should go for therapy as these are minor issues which can be resolved with therapy with early prevention and diagnosis. Anxiety is manageable and curable, but only the step taken at the right time would benefit. It would save one’s future prospects too because prevention is better than cure.HH

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