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Anxiety & Stress: Modern Ways to Treat a Modern Illness

Stress and the symptoms of a panic attack

It doesn’t take a genius to see that life is becoming far more stressful than what it used to be, and with every year that passes, the mounting pressure we pile upon ourselves gets greater and greater, no matter how old or young we are. Life now is far more difficult than it was 20 or 30 years ago. While technology has changed the very fabric of our existence in many wonderful ways, the finger of blame has also been pointed at it. Now, what is the answer to living in the modern world, and tackling stress and anxiety? Let’s look at three options that are a modern way to treating a modern illness.

Stress and the symptoms of a panic attack
Panic attack treatment may be helpful in today’s world. Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Understanding the Symptoms

This is a big part of breaking down the stress, and recognizing the symptoms of a panic attack or understanding what is happening to you is a physical manifestation. Anxiety can be controlled by slowing down your breathing and understanding the best panic attack treatment and methods that work for you go a long way to help you realize the physical symptoms. When people undergo professional treatment, this is one of the first methods they teach. Recognizing the symptoms (or triggers) of when you are about to have a panic attack, anxiety attack, or bout of depression means you can take more precautions for people around you and for yourself.

Beating the Internal Demons with Mindfulness

A lot of people go down the medication route to tackle depression, and there are many people who have successfully used a course of antidepressants and come out the other side. And there are some who have beaten depression by avoiding this route altogether. It all depends on the source of the anxiety, and this needs to be tackled. So, mindfulness as a tool is very popular right now as a way of understanding where you are in the world and helps you to regain a sense of perspective. But there some detractors of mindfulness, and this is because by focusing on certain mental sore points, it can, in a way, make you relive a horrible period of your life. But this is a seemingly small amount of people who have experienced this. But it was worth mentioning if you opt for this route.

The Meditation Approach

While meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure and invoke calm, it’s a discipline that takes years, something so few of us have. And tech has proven useful in this area, the meditation machine has been designed to put the brain into a meditative state by using light (flickering LEDs) and sound (binaural beats). The more people have used it, the more they have found clarity and increased focus and attention, as well as a reduction in anxiety.  And while everyone has to find the right method for themselves, as a shortcut into getting relaxed, this has proven popular. Being skilled at meditation is difficult to achieve in the modern world, due to internal chatter, for which tech is one of the culprits, but by using tech to our advantage, it is helping in the anxiety battle.

33 thoughts on “Anxiety & Stress: Modern Ways to Treat a Modern Illness”

  1. Dear Christy.
    Depression and anxiety, what if both hit the world? Family and society no longer know what to do in this world. You are right, humans are depressed. Knowledge of meditation, prayer, zikr, and spiritual development is important. Your post makes us aware of ourselves. :)

  2. Such a great post. My first reaction would be to suggest getting rid of the “modern ways” to rid ourselves of the “modern illness”. Goodness knows how many times, I have commented, or been commented to, about people constantly walking, not looking where they are going, or stopping, being stopped by some of the modern tools. When I see people walking along the street, ‘gadget’ in hand, eyes down looking at the ‘gadget’, not looking where they are walking, I do sometimes wonder, would they see a large hole on the pavement in front of them. That is what they are “tools”, tools to help us, not hinder in life, not run your life, cause more problems that what may have been envisaged, a time and place for it, which is not all of the time. Alas!, I suspect many people have been sucked into letting it run their life for them. Yes there is a place in society for “modern ways”, although not 24/7/365, everyone requires time out. It is more a case of not letting “modern ways” run our lives but to work alongside them, the right balance! Suggestion to anyone reading this response, move away from “the screen” for a period of time, no matter how long or short a period, give it a try, how different do you feel? Do you feel better? From my experience as an unemployed person, I know how I feel, when I take a break from this ‘online’, “modern way”, looking at a screen of job hunting. A great deal better! :)

    1. I wish you well in your job search online. These virtual tools we have are ones that can aid us but for many people they have become “essentials” in life. For the youngest generation, they will not know a world without the Internet. I agree that time away from the screen is good. Have you watched any of the Black Mirror series? It is a good take on how technology can change our lives, for better or worse.

    2. Thanks Christy. I have never heard of this series, may need to take a look, see if I can find it at some point. It sounds like it is similar to everything else in life, depending upon how you look at it, take it, it could be better, it could be worse. :) At one point, being from the generation I come from, watching, being part of the ‘technology birth’,so to speak, I thought ‘wow’ this is great, now…..am not so sure, is it as great as everyone thinks it is? Is it, has it caused more problems than resolutions? Me, being me, these are only thoughts. Did once get told “not to think too much” haha, wish I could or at least not so much.

  3. Alessandro Tinchini

    This is maybe the hardest battle we can face in life. Anxiety and depression are two demons, but they can be avoided. In my case, I work nine to eleven hours per day, seven days out of seven but only for six/seven months per year. I’m a waiter in a popular restaurant in my hometown and for ten hours I just sit down fifteen minutes to have dinner and that’s all. I walk fast, go up and down a staircase countless times with three, four full and hot dishes in my hands (we have a terrace) and the bosses shout all the time, babies cry, people don’t get out of the way when you’re in a hurry, colleagues quarrel for nothing and so on. It is stressful and situations spawn a great load of anxiety because the faster you go, the lesser you achieve. My therapy for all this is simple. I write and it goes away. Focusing on my projects is the healing factor. Thanks for sharing, Christy.

    1. Oh Allesandro, you do live a hectic life and I’m glad you’ve found that the solution for you to calm and center yourself is to write. We’re so lucky to have you sharing your thoughts online. I’ll be over soon! I wish I lived closer so I could be at your restaurant and try what I’m sure is yummy dishes :)

  4. Kudos, Crystal – much needed topic.

    The best advice I ever heard was, “Don’t rehearse the pain.” It is shorthand for the importance of focusing on something that is positive to draw your thoughts away from the ones that always seem to escalate to stress, worry, anger or panic when we give them the stage.

    A slightly different form of mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase our “intentionality of thought” muscles. It begins by focusing on the breath, as usual, then moves on to thoughts that are 100% positive. If you catch yourself in a “yes, but” simply pick another focus – as many times as necessary. It quickly becomes a fun habit.

    I have recently begun to use a form of that one when I walk my puppy – focusing on all of the things I love about our walks – turning negatives to positives by seeing the good. For example, instead of getting upset over litter, I look to a place that is well maintained and litter-free and express my gratitude that most people are respectful of our public spaces. We count the number of smiles returned as we walk together vs. focusing on the folks who are too absorbed to return a simple hello, etc. GREAT mood elevator!
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    1. Madelyn, you always come with such sage advice and I do like to read and reread your comments – and posts! I heard that you and Robbie may pen a book together and I think it will be fantastic. As for the “mood elevator” I’m on my way up!! HUGS <3

    2. Thanks, Christy (sorry I typed the wrong name ::red faced::). I had just responded to a comment from Crystal apologizing for misspelling HER name and my mind blipped.

      Thanks for the reminder – Robbie is awaiting an email from me to get things going! It would be really fun to collaborate with her. I’m not sure what she has in mind – her idea in the first place – but I have committed to make time for it if she still believes that my input would add to the book.

      Thank goodness we BOTH don’t have ADD ::grin:: – somebody needs to be able to keep things on track. :)

      The good mood game is fun to play, isn’t it?

  5. Ask yourself … is this really my fault?
    My worst P. Attacks have come when something bad happens to someone I love. Be on a positive track & offer constructive advice, or commiseration.
    Ask the same question within yourself when the example applies.
    Even if you decide it is your fault, forgive yourself, take affirmative action and move on.

    1. Resa, I think we also need to ask another person that same question of whether it is our fault to help us put things into perspective. This could be an objective third party, such as a therapist. Really it is a way to help us gain an added view – that’s what’s helped me. Thanks for encouraging the positive xx

  6. You’re so right to put the spotlight on this! Meditation is wonderful and one can feel the benefits in just a few minutes, even without practicing for a long time. Just closing your eyes and being aware of your breathe for a minute is great. Wishing you a peaceful day, my friend!

    1. What you describe with the breathing is very helpful. There are many videos and written posts online about breathing methods that help with mindfulness, lowering stress, etc. Thanks Letizia for advancing the conversation here :) May peace be with you today too (and always)

  7. Hi Christy…
    Over the years I have watched people including myself utilize technology to organize and simplify our lives. The intensions are great and yes they do work but only as good as the person driving the bus so to speak.
    Granting yourself more time in the day has only meant it has allotted us more time to do more of what robs us of time. In the end it is how you use that new found precious time which truly counts.
    I was just speaking the other day of the fact we stand tapping our fingers waiting for the micro wave to heat something. How often do we shut the thing off because we get impatient.
    A challenge for us all is to think of that same cup of tea we are making is going back a few years. I can recall the days when I had to collect the wood, split the wood, build a fire and actually wait for the water to heat. I laugh now when I get impatient.
    At the end of the day the illness or anxiety we find ourselves i are truly self inflicted.
    Balance can be found in many things we love to do. Getting out for that all important walk, sitting and allowing the true flavour of chocolate to overtake us… smiles.. got you at that one.
    The answer find the balance to enjoy a part of what we do… sorry for the rant and short book.

    Hugs and all from Alberta

    1. This comment shows me that you have a good sense of balance that many people would be envious of, Rolly. Some days I find it hard to balance work and rest, getting tight in body and mind with stress, but then a walk outside or a moment sipping a cup of tea can do wonders. It’s great to learn more from you :)

    1. So glad you enjoy meditation and all the benefits it offers, Megala :) I am sure for you cooking is another stress reliever. Do you find that?

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