Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Do you worry about anything and everything for as long as you can remember?Tips-On-How-To-Stop-Anxiety-Attacks-300x216

Is your mind constantly skipping form one concern to the next?

Are you often worried about your career, finances, health, or the health of your family members?

Do you have a hard time distracting yourself from these worries?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized in the DSM-5 as:

  • Excessive anxiety and worry that’s difficult to control, and 
  • feeling restless, fatigued, or irritable.
  • Also, individuals complain have muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.

If you find these anxieties to be distressing, discuss your concerns with a mental health professional and request a GAD screening.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for reducing and eliminating the symptoms of GAD.

Guest Blog: Emotional Eating

I wrote a guest blog on emotional eating for Mandy Seay, RD, LD, a nutrition consultant and freelance writer in Austin, TX.

Emotional eating, consuming food to feed a feeling, is the main cause of overeating.

You can read the article here on her Nutritionistics website.

How Do You Relieve Tension?

What do you do when you’re feeling stressed out?

It’s important to have a list of options you can choose from. Here are a couple of ideas to add to your tension relieving tricks.

  • Deep breathing (You can find directions here)
  • Taking a 15-20 minute walk
  • Meditating
  • Making a daily list with realistic goals or errands
  • Writing
  • Call a friend
  • Play with your child
  • Take a hot bath
  • Listen to music
  • Get a massage
  • Pet your pet (You can read a previous post on this here)

What are some other healthy strategies you use to relieve tension?

Stress Reduction: Basic Deep Breathing

Did you know that relaxation and tension are relatively incompatible sensations?

A quick an easy way to reduce stress is through deep breathing.

The next time you are feeling stressed, try this 3-step process:

  • Inhale through your nose bringing the air deep into your chest
  • Hold for 3 seconds
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth

Repeat these steps several times. Practice deep breathing in your car, on a walk, or when you find yourself in the midst of a heated discussion.


Managing Holiday Season Stress

The holiday season is a joyous time, and Christmas is only one week away as I write this post. It’s a time to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and outfit the home with festive decorations. Most of us are also juggling gift shopping, wrapping presents, traveling, and perhaps worrying about the additional expenses that come with the holidays.

Here are some tips to buffer against stress over the holidays.

  • Delegate– Do you really have to do all the Christmas shopping yourself? No! Even if you are the best gift shopper and wrapper, you can still delegate other tasks such as grocery shopping, childcare, food prep, and daily household chores.
  • Create a budget– I’m assuming that you haven’t been saving all year for gifts. The only way to know how much money you have to spend toward the holidays is by calculating disposable money from paid bills. Withdraw this money from the bank and shop for presents using cash only. Decide in advance how much you will spend on each gift, and stick to your budget. If money is tight, consider baking or creating coupons such as “one night of free childcare.”
  • Use your planner– Keep track of events and errands by writing them down in your calendar or planner. Alleviate unnecessary mental energy needed to remember details. Just be sure to check your planner every day!
  • Create lists that include reasonable tasks- Feeling overwhelmed? What REALLY has to get done today? Write these down, and breakdown bigger tasks into smaller, manageable ones. You may realize that what you’re dreading is quite feasible. Also, checking off as you complete your tasks easily creates a sense of accomplishment.
  • Avoid over scheduling- Practice saying “No.” Selecting the most important activities to attend and declining the rest promotes good personal boundaries and putting yours needs first.
  • Use an easy relaxation technique- Breathe. Deeply. Practice inhaling to the count of four, hold for four, and exhaling to the count of four. Deep breathing is an effective way of staving off anxiety.