Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Got Stress?

For the most part, I'm willing to do some pretty strange things to relieve my anxiety, like watching some weird guy on Youtube talk in this 'serial killer-like' voice just to hypnotize me into a state of calmness. I even go as far as ordering a few I-Doser mp3s, which are binaural beat mixes that work into your brain subconsciously giving you a feeling of euphoria and other various feelings. Kids these days are using them to experience the feeling of marijuana and even cocaine --- sounds horrible, right?  But, it's 100% safe. They do simulate the feeling due to the binaural effects to our brainwaves. I remember one night I wanted to experiment with one. I never did drugs before and knew I-Dosers were safe, so I downloaded "Acid". At first, I felt very calm, almost as if I was floating. Then, in the middle of the track, I felt my bed move a little. Then it started shaking. It wasn't shaking because Mad was watching TV while I had my earbuds on and she said everything was fine. So, my point is, these I-Dosers are awesome if you are looking for a "pill" to fix whatever. They even have painkillers as well as valium. You don't have to believe it - it's scientific. Some mp3s work better than others of course. They have every single "pill" available. Remember, not all I-Dosers work. Some people create binaural beats that just don't work, which is why I-Doser is better. It's a great alternative, if it works for you. Gotta love technology. I would love an I-Doser that would make me feel "full" so I can diet effectively. Hmm.

I have tried everything. At night I get the worst panic attacks and hypnic jerks that some doctors believe is sleep apnea, but it's only at the start of sleep - which is also called "sleep starts". It's another form of anxiety. The only thing that has been working for me as of late, is putting my earbuds in and listening to a Joyce Meyer sermon. I never finish the entire sermon because I have already fallen asleep. Not to say the sermon is boring - it just relieves my mind somehow and the message subliminally gets transferred leaving me with a better attitude the next morning. My problem is, whenever I find a "remedy" that works for me, it doesn't last more than four days. Then I have to find something new. I have tried meditating and praying, and while that does make me feel better, somehow the anxiety creeps back up and paralyzes me. Yoga never works for me (wow that is hard) -- but Reiki treatments are the best when I have the money to shell out for a nice hour long session. Massages, polarity treatments and acupuncture all come with a very expensive price tag. We have the world at our fingertips. Why aren't we using our resources? You can learn Reiki, pressure points and massage all on the internet (or your spouse can) -- and utilize them the best you can. You can even be hypnotized into calmness on Youtube. We have everything we need instead of paying out $100 a pop.

The latest thing that has been helping me lessen my anxiety at night is staying off the internet/iPhone two hours before bedtime. It's even suggested in order to get a good night's sleep, to start turning down the lights 2 hours prior, resting or just watching TV before turning in. It sets up your body for rest. If I'm up on the phone chatting away before hitting the sack, I'm up with insomnia because my brain is ultra stimulated - same with being on the internet. Another great home remedy to relieve anxiety is drinking hot chamomile tea before going to sleep. I told Mad to do this as she was giving me quite the skeptical look. Once she was halfway done with her tea, she said she felt like I put valium in it. She slept like a baby the whole night through. A hot toddy will definitely relax you, but alcohol will always wake you up 3 hours later. And if you do sleep through, it won't be a restful one, which is why I don't drink at night. (Not that I drink during the morning, mind you.)  I like to have a glass of wine during dinner or a martini during happy hour, but never before bed. Don't do it...

We think too much. We think about what other people think...too much. We think of all the things we think about which make us think even more. We over-obsess about things that really aren't going to matter 5 years from now. Sometimes I'm up all night long thinking about something that'll never happen. Fear. I have so much of it. What is fear?

F: False
E: Evidence
A: Appearing
R: Real

I'm going to make myself vulnerable right now and give you an idea of how fear takes over my mind. This is a typical irrational conversation my brain badgers me with...

"How many hours did I sleep? Did I wake up with sleep apnea? Can't sleep apnea give me a heart attack? Oh my God I don't want to go to sleep, I'll die! What if I have a heart attack in my sleep? If I take a shower and have a heart attack, will the EMTs find me naked and drag me out in front of everyone that way? Let me check my bank account. Let me check it again. I have an appointment at night but I'm afraid I won't see anything and get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Will the doctor find something? Will the doctor NOT find something and leave me wondering what the hell is wrong with me? Will I get the flu? I'm too scared of the vaccine and too scared of the flu. Oh my God I think I'm coming down with something!!! I'm the youngest of my entire family - will I die alone?"

Get my point? I'm learning this new technique which is basically CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and basically what it does is have you envision yourself doing whatever it is you fear and, to do it in fear. Do everything in fear. Once you conquer your fear, it'll become less and less anxiety provoking. I am still a work in progress. I still have my great big fears that paralyze me, but I'm taking baby steps. For instance, I used to fear doing rigorous workouts for more than 45 minutes because of my asthma. I did it in fear and now do it 4 times a week which has taken my asthma symptoms away. Strange. I rarely use my inhaler now. These things are all irrational personal fears that I have - that many other people experience. I also fear having anaphylactic shock if I eat something I never ate before due to a bad experience I once had at a sushi bar that led both Mad and myself into the ER with swollen tongues. So now, I don't ever touch fish. I don't care if it was the sauce that I reacted to - fish is not on my menu any longer. But that's not only a fear, but a personal choice of mine.

What about the anxiety of circumstantial life stressors? Do you worry about everyone else and make yourself go absolutely crazy? You cannot control what other people do, think or say. You can only pray and hope and most of all, accept. Why drive yourself insane when there is absolutely nothing you can do? For instance, my mother worries about each and every one of her daughters. But the fact is: there is nothing she can do to prevent something from happening. For all mothers out there - accept and just do the best you can. Even first time mothers, the fear of your child getting sick or the panic that sets in thinking if you'll somehow hurt your baby, hold them the wrong way, which brings so many mothers with postpartum depression. Easier said than done. I remember my friend who was a new mother called me over to help her with her baby. She needed to nap because she was up all night. She was also afraid to put her baby in a onesie because she was terrified of breaking his little arms. It's such a common thing it's not even funny. I showed her how resilient babies can be and with a few gentle jiggles to get the arm through, the baby was all snuggled up in his onesie. Her fear of dressing him was over. I give credit to all the moms & dads out there giving it their all in parenting.

I can definitely use some home remedy tips on how to reduce my anxiety and I hope that my home remedies will work for you as well. I try different things and always ready to share what worked and what didn't. Trial and error, right? We're all so stressed out about so many different things that it takes away the joy in our lives. Don't let fear take the joy out of your life. Do something IN FEAR and afterwards, reward yourself. That in itself is a feeling of accomplishment which produces dopamine and endorphins which produces what? Joy. Now go get it.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

4 comments:

Susan said...

I will start sending you reiki long distance.

That is good about the internet; looking at the computer raises the fire element which is what agitates us.

I bet restorative yoga would be good for you. We put bolsters and blankets under and around the client, then we cushion them into the pose. People zone out. It is great stuff. Your body is supported in the pose so you still get the benefit of whatever muscle or fascia area you need to work.

I'm also a big believer in aromatherapy, but that doesn't work for everyone.

covnitkepr1 said...

Hope you post soon on your "cucina" blog...I love the recipes. I left a comment.

Shadow said...

i completely forgot what F.E.A.R. stands for, thank you, i'm writing it down now...

i too have this major fear that i need to address, and maybe i should just do it. i know it works. oh, how hard it is though... but yes, i'll try it!!!

monicac2 said...

Hypnic jerks! I have those!!!

I never knew the name until now. I've even seen a cardiologist and worn a monitor because of them. They are terrible; you wake up gasping for air. I always say, "My heart stopped beating." I know my husband thinks I'm crazy!

We are very alike with respect to anxiety, etc. When I was younger, my anxiety was even worse, with panic attacks, etc. I smoked back then, which I think made it worse. I'm 45 now and run marathons. Exercise has done a lot to alleviate some of my anxiety. Vitamin D, too!

Keep up the good fight!

p.s.: Have you read From Panic to Power by Linda Bassett?