Anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems in present times and is affecting people of almost all age groups.
Recently Bollywood superstar Amir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan shared on Instagram how she deals with anxiety. Ira wrote, “1 thing that helped my anxiety. I used body scrub for the first time in my life. I only managed to shower after the palpitations had passed but I wasn’t feeling settled and I was worried they would be back. It took a while to figure out what I felt like doing and then actually get up to do it. However, eventually – I took a relatively long shower (mine usually lasts only 3-5 minutes) with a body scrub. Why I think the body scrub helped me is because it made for a heightened tactile (sense organs – touch) experience. My mind shifted focus to feeling the coarse scrub on my body. I was told you’re supposed to put oil after you use a scrub. So then I did that. Then got into those super soft pyjamas from the photo. Then put on a face mask. Result: I managed to fall asleep on Sunday night. I don’t know if it will work every time. It’s also a post-attack soothing and not a during attack thing. But I’m also caught up in my head too much, I think. So, increasing the number of tactile experiences in my daily life may be a good idea. And maybe that’ll add to the variables that act as general preventives to unhealthy mental health.”
The VOI team spoke to mental health experts to know what they would recommend to patients suffering anxiety attacks.
Dr Minakshi Parikh, Professor and head of Psychiatry Dept, B.J Medical College, stressed the need to understand the difference between anxiety and fear. She said “Fear is something that happens consciously for a reason that is known consciously, whereas anxiety is something which is very personal and it happens for a reason inside your own self. Both are uncomfortable feelings, as anxiety and fear give us a sense of apprehension. The worry caused by anxiety is a defused kind of apprehension where we generally don’t know the reason behind our worries. In Psychiatry, we have patients dealing with anxiety. This can take many forms and disorders and can be generalised as panic disorder or any phobia. “
While explaining the deeper definition of anxiety attacks, Parikh stated that anxiety attacks can be termed as an expression of a panic attack. It is a vague and diffused sense of apprehension and unpleasant feeling and is associated with three kinds of symptoms. These are psychological symptoms of feeling stuck, behavioural symptoms where a person becomes extremely restless and somatic symptoms where an individual may experience a fast-beating heart and flutter in the stomach.
According to Dr Prashant Bhimani, a senior psychologist, anxiety is very common these days. “Anxiety is a very common psychological term. Almost every third or fourth person feels anxiety these days. To an extent, it is healthy but if the level of anxiety crosses manageable level, it creates other psychological problems.”
Dr Bhimani explained, “While experiencing anxiety, people feel a sort of unknown fear and insecurity of getting into some sort of trouble continuously. Anxiety attacks have many symptoms like high palpitation, lack of sleep, excessive sleeping, loss of appetite and many such symptoms.”
Experts recommend the following ways of tackling anxiety attacks:-
Calming our nerves and relaxing our minds is something which never goes wrong with any situation. “One needs to exercise deep breathing and keep a check on breathing patterns,’’ said Dr Bhimani
Psychiatry (counselling) addresses psychological, emotional or behavioural disorders through the development of a therapeutic relationship between a trained professional and patients. Such sessions can prove useful in taming one’s anxious self.
Exercise helps in preventing and improving several health and psychological problems. Researchers have found that exercise can also improve mood and reduce anxiety when it comes to depression and anxiety.
Anxiety can’t be cured by dietary changes. At the same time, watching your diet helps. Whole grains, such as oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain bread and whole-grain cereal, are high in complex carbohydrates, which have proven to provide one with a balanced diet leading to overall healthier body functioning.
This process is also known as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, in which you are in a trance-like state of focus and concentration. The process of hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental imagery. One must refer to an expert to pursue this form of therapy.