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 Anxiety: Most Common Mental Health Concern

We all experience anxiety sometime during our lives. Have you recently felt anxious? Was your anxiety a result of trying something new like meeting unfamiliar people, starting a new project, taking an important test or you had to speak in front of people? While anxiety sensations in the body may be uncomfortable, it is important to feel them and then let them go. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), when feelings of intense fear and distress become overwhelming and prevent you from doing everyday activities, an anxiety disorder may be the cause. They say, "Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. (18%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder. Most people develop symptoms before age 21."

The National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week is May 12-18. It is designed to provide education and information about the disorder and to help reduce stigma. Anxiety disorders may be the result of genetics, environmental factors, brain chemistry or life events. The 2017 University of Minnesota research study found that my Meditative Movement™ technique reduces anxiety, depression and fatigue while improving emotional and functional well-being. I am sharing the I Release Anxiety Meditative Movement™ during the awareness week so you can give it a try.

  1. Focus on your standing position. Often we want to run away from difficult emotions. Feel connected to the earth as your feet touch the ground. In this stance, we are telling ourselves that we can stand and be with the anxiety. With open hands at your side, take a deep breath and feel your anxiety.
  2. Now bring both your hands up. Elbows bent. Where do you feel your anxiety? Is it in your chest and your heart is pounding?
  3. When you feel anxiety, are you aware of how your breathing pattern changes? Breath is a key component as you allow the anxiety to pass through you. Inhale.
  4. As you exhale, say the affirmation aloud for best results. One hand reaches as high as possible overhead as the other arm bends at the elbow. Say "I."
  5. Switch positions (other hand reaches overhead as the other arm bends at elbow) and say "release."
  6. Now bring both hands overhead and say "anxiety." Notice the V position which represents that you are victorious and have let the anxiety feeling pass through you. Typically it takes 90 seconds to release the anxiety once it begins. Continue to practice the movement until the anxiety subsides.

May we all embrace our emotions and learn how to process them in healthy ways. Remember to seek help when you need it.

Affirm Yourself, Move Your Body, Change Your Life