So I’m hoping you’re a normal productive member of society, you either have a job or go to school, or both. You may also have kids or have the responsibility to take care of other loved ones in your life.
If for some reason you don’t fall into this category, good luck in life.
Anyways, the point I want to make is that everyone is busy. We all have shit to do and take care of on an everyday basis.
Why does this matter?
Because it’s VERY easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to working out and losing weight. It can seem mundane and monotonous, even if you change your workouts up and change the healthy foods you eat!
So if you’ve ever felt like this, I want you to ask yourself this ONE question:
“Do I know my why?”
“Know Your Why” is a motto that Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III lives by. I borrowed this from him.
KNOW YOUR WHY basically means Know Why You’re Doing Something!
And also to never forget that reason.
You didn’t just wake up one day and randomly say “oh I think I’ll start exercising and eating right today.”
You did it for a reason! Do you remember why you started? Have you forgotten already?
And don’t give me the whole “oh I just want to be healthier.”
That’s bullshit! EVERYONE would like to be healthier.
WHY do you want to be healthier? Why is that important to you?
Drill it down to the very specific. Dig deep and really think why you’re doing this.
Everyone has a different reason, but I’ll share some of the most specific and powerful ones I’ve came across as a personal trainer.
“I want my husband to look at me like he used to.”
“I want to be around to see my kids grow up, I can’t keep up with them.”
“I’m getting married in ____ months and I want to look good in my dress!”
“I want to wear whatever I want and not buy ‘cover up’ clothes!”
“I want to have a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, I’m sick of having no confidence.”
I could go on and on…but you get the point. It goes BEYOND just the number (lbs lost, inches lost, sizes lost).
Think of how you’d feel if you looked exactly the same in 3 months from now…
Sucks doesn’t it?
Now think of how different you’ll look in 3 months if you DON’T QUIT!
Now stay focused and KNOW YOUR WHY!
Take it one day at a time, be better than you were yesterday and you’ll be just fine
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How would you like to have a perfect start to every morning?
Here’s some tips to get out of the house happy, whole, and on time.
You had to coax your teenager out of bed. Your son couldn’t find his shoes. Your husband needed his shirt ironed. You ran out of milk right when your daughter is ready to eat breakfast.
Sound like a morning you’ve experienced? Getting everyone ready and out of the house on time can be a stressful event. Those rare mornings when everyone is cheerful and everything goes smoothly are like something out of a dream.
Why can’t more mornings be stress-free? Whether it’s too little time, a lack of sleep, or just bad luck, rough mornings are expected.
But here are some tips to make good mornings the norm rather than the exception.
The Night Before
A good morning starts about 12 hours before the morning. For things to go as smooth and hassle-free as possible, it takes a little planning and preparation. Part of your kids’ bedtime routine should include laying out clothes, socks, and shoes that are to be worn the next day. Homework should be finished and backpacks packed and set by the door.
It’s not just the kids who need to prep the night before. Adults should also. Lay out clothes for the next day. No more trying on three outfits before choosing the one you like. Make sure clothes are cleaned and ironed, and finally, take a shower before bed so you don’t have to in the morning.
No one wants to wake up to a messy kitchen. A sink full of dirty dishes is a depressing sight first thing in the morning. Make the morning more pleasant by washing dishes the night before. While you’re at it, check on breakfast and lunch food supplies to make sure you have what you need.
Want an even easier morning? Make lunches the night before. Kids can take part in this routine. Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration can be packed in their lunch boxes.
It’s amazing what a good night’s rest can do for everyone’s attitude in the morning. A regular bed and wake time each day helps ensure quality sleep, feeling refreshed in the morning, and having an easier time getting out of bed.
School-age kids need 10–11 hours of sleep a night, teenagers need 8.5 to 10 hours, and adults need between 7 and nine hours. Adjust bedtimes to ensure everyone is getting the sleep they need for a good morning.
Create a Routine
Kids function best when they know what’s expected of them and when it’s expected. This is why routine is so important. Every morning should progress in a similar manner.
It will possibly look a little different for each family, but for kids it may go something like this: turn off alarm, get dressed, put on shoes, do hair, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get jackets on, gather backpacks and lunch boxes, and go out the door. Kids begging to watch television? No screen time until they’re completely ready to go!
If you’re rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off more mornings than not, it’s time to reevaluate your routine. Start preparing at night or wake up a few minutes earlier than usual.
Remember—your kids pick up on your stress. Seeing you frazzled can stress them out and cause them to act out. When you’re struggling to get out the door, this is the last thing you need. When things get hectic, remain calm for your sake as well as your kids.
A Team Effort
Getting out of the house in a timely manner is a team effort. All it takes is one lost shoe to throw everyone off. If one person is ready, he or she should help others get prepared for the day. Though they can’t do everything, kids need to pull their own weight and learn responsibility and discipline. Mom and dad shouldn’t be relied on for everything. School-age kids should know how to dress themselves and pour their own cereal.
Team players encourage each other in their race to the finish. Stay positive and reward good efforts. Pretty soon, the good mornings will outnumber the bad!
Improve your memory with these tried and true techniques.
Oh, if you only had the memory of a child! Kids can memorize and remember facts so easily. They remember conversations you had months ago, nail down their times tables in a matter of days, and spout off the bones of the body as if it’s no big deal.
Well, you may not consider yourself to be elderly, but that doesn’t mean your brain is working at the speed of kid. Seeing an old friend and not being able to remember her name or being unable to recall a phone number you’ve dialed so many times are unnerving experiences.
Yes, aging plays a role in memory loss. Each passing decade, the part of the brain responsible for memory (the hippocampus) shrinks five percent. In addition, as you age, your body produces less and less of a key neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.
However, these facts shouldn’t depress you. Your brain still has the power to learn and retain new information. By incorporating the following techniques into your daily life, you can enhance your memory capabilities.
Exercise Your Mind
Muscles that don’t get used will shrink and turn to flab. The same goes for your brain. A strong mind is one that’s used a lot. Sitting on the couch watching TV all day isn’t going to do much for your brain. In order to keep your memory sharp, do activities that stimulate your mind. Do a daily crossword or sudoku puzzle, read the newspaper, practice a musical instrument, volunteer in the community (communicating with others and facing new situations helps your brain), and play online brain-training games.
Exercise Your Body
Regular physical activity is vital for a strong, healthy brain. Obesity increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, both which are responsible for damaging your brain. Clogged arteries strain your heart and prevent adequate amounts of blood to flow to the brain. Exercise combats this by increasing blood flow to all parts of the body and delivering the oxygen and nutrients the body needs for optimal functioning.
Don’t believe it? Research has shown that people who exercise have bigger brains! Get 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week and your brain will stay as large as possible. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or go swimming—whatever you prefer. Just get moving!
Long-term stress, anger, anxiety, and depression are harmful to the areas in your brain that handle memory. One symptom of depression is trouble concentrating. Without concentration, you’ll have trouble learning new things and will forget things.
Depression and other stressors increase the body’s production of cortisol. High levels of this hormone diminish the size of the hippocampus. If you’re depressed, talk with your doctor about treatment options and learn healthy ways to manage the other stress in your life.
Have a Drink…or Two
The connection between alcohol and memory is complicated. Too much alcohol can have an immediate negative effect on brain function, and abusing alcohol damages your brain cells. On the other hand, if you are able to drink in moderation, go for it. A drink or two a day for men and women who are not pregnant is actually beneficial to memory and cognition. Studies have shown that one to two glasses of wine a day may reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer’s by 45 percent.
Go to Bed Earlier
Getting enough hours of quality sleep each night is a great way to improve your memory skills. It’s during sleep that your brain registers short-term memories into long-term ones. Additionally, as you sleep, cerebrospinal fluid is busy flushing toxins out of the brain to keep the brain healthy. It’s no wonder that you’re more able to stay focused, energized, and on the ball when you’re getting plenty of shuteye.
Seek Help When Needed
Slight memory lapses every now and then are disconcerting, but probably nothing to worry about. But if memory loss is interfering with your daily life and causing you anxiety, see your doctor.
(Get in Shape and Help Dearborn’s Homeless Animals!)
Dearborn, MI – January 9, 2013 Nick Lopez, CEO/Founder of Dearborn based Weapons 4 Weight Loss, a Dearborn fitness boot camp/personal training program, is going to donate $1000 to Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter in order to help local homeless animals. Lopez will accomplish this by donating $50 for every new client that joins his fun, high-energy boot camp program from January 15 to Febuary 15.
Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE
“I’m finally in a position to donate back to the community. The shelter does so many great things, with their help, I’m now able to help more people lose weight AND help all these animals find a loving home.” Lopez said.
The Weapons 4 Weight Loss program is perfect for any fitness level and incorporates fun, fat-burning exercises in an addictive sweat-inducing workout. A full nutrition guide and personalized meal plans are also included to ensure maximum fat loss.
The mission of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is to provide loving care and sanctuary to animals, encourage adoptions and reunions, and promote respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals.
The indoor fitness camp meets Mondays through Friday at 6:30am and Tuesdays through Fridays at 8pm at Sokol Cultural Gymnastic Center in Deaborn Heights. New times and locations will be added in the coming weeks.
Sessions include muscle strengthening and toning, cardiovascular conditioning, core stabilization, balance and flexibility training. Lopez guarantees twice the calorie burn in half the time of traditional health club workouts.
To get started with the Weapons 4 Weight Loss Bootcamp Program please contact Nick Lopez at (313) 686-1989
Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE
Following a head injury, there are many things of which to be concerned. Top on the list is often a concussion. An injury to your brain that affects the way your brain works, a concussion can be scary business and should be treated seriously. So if a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Whether a person is severely shaken or has a blow to the head while playing contact sports, suffers from a bad car accident, or takes a hard fall, how can you know if he or she has suffered a concussion? Here’s what to look for following a head injury and what you can do to reduce the risk for long-term injury.
It’s often difficult to tell if someone has suffered a concussion because symptoms may not appear immediately but may take several days or weeks to present themselves. In fact, a concussion can result with an injury that seems relatively minor. There may be no outward sign of trauma or cuts, bruises, or a bump where the head was impacted, but a concussion may be lurking.
Since a concussion is a brain injury, it will temporarily alter a person’s feelings of consciousness, thoughts, and normal brain function. Dizziness, unusual tiredness, ringing in the ears, and confusion are common. Most concussions do not result in loss of consciousness.
What to Watch For
Perhaps your son plays football and sustains a blow to the head. Maybe your toddler fell off the top bunk. If you’re worried a concussion is possible, look for the following symptoms:
- nausea or vomiting
- difficulty walking, loss of balance, or decreased coordination
- weakness or numbness
- slurred speech
- trouble sleeping or being overly tired
- loss of short-term memory
- sensitivity to light
- unable to taste or smell
- unusual irritability or crankiness
- fuzzy vision or unevenly sized pupils
If you notice any of these symptoms following a head injury, seek medical attention. There’s no such thing as a “minor” brain injury, so all concussions should be evaluated by a professional. If you’re unsure if there’s a concussion, play it safe by calling a physician anyway.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine if someone has a concussion, the doctor will perform a neurological exam and brain imaging tests (usually a CT scan). It may take time, but most people experience a full recovery following a concussion. Unfortunately, severe cases may lead to long-term memory and problem-solving impairments. The more concussions a person experiences in life, the greater the risk of long term damage. (So football, rugby, and other contact sport players beware!)
With a concussion, the most important treatment is rest. Taking it easy and avoiding activities that require focused attention (playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer) will help your brain heal. Tylenol can be taken to relieve headaches.
The most dangerous type of concussion is one that happens soon after a previous concussion before the first one has had time to heal. In such a case, a concussion may cause permanent brain damage or even death. This is why rest is so important following a concussion. Recognize when you’ve suffered a concussion and avoid activities that put you at risk for subsequent blows to the head until you are sure a concussion is fully healed.
While you can’t avoid all concussions, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of head injuries. A good first step is to always wear a helmet while participating in any kind of contact or dangerous sport or when riding a bike.
Additionally, never dive in a pool that’s less than 9 feet deep, wear a seat belt whenever you’re in a moving vehicle, and never drive intoxicated. Inside your house, take steps to ensure your home is as accident proof as possible. Keep the floor clear of toys, secure area rugs, install safety gates and handrails on stairways, and pad sharp corners.
Let’s face it, no one is perfect. One big mistake while trying to lose weight could set you back weeks, or even months….you might even prevent yourself from achieving your goal altogether!
They say experience is the best form of education, so today I want to share with you my 3 BIGGEST mistakes I’ve made while trying to lose all my weight. You may have already made these yourself, so learn from your mistakes!
#3: Lack of Effort With Nutrition
The heaviest I ever weighed was about 245lbs. I started losing weight by just moving around more and being active. I worked as a bagger at Kroger and was ALWAYS on my feet working 30-35 hours a week.
That first year, I dropped about 20 lbs FROM JUST THAT ALONE. I didn’t workout at all and I still ate whatever I wanted (which was complete shit).
Sounds great right?
Well the more weight a person has to lose, the faster it will come off in the beginning. So then why was this a bad thing?
Because I assumed that I could eat whatever I wanted and STILL keep losing weight.
What ended up happening is I entered the dreaded plateau. My weight loss came to a screeching halt and I got frustrated and was about to say screw it and quit.
Yes I know it can be a pain in the ass, but you NEED to pay attention to what you eat and make a good faith effort because if you don’t, you WILL PLATEAU. I can promise you that.
If your workouts and nutrition are locked in from the very start, your weight loss will damn near double in pace. Make every day count.
#2: Comparing Myself to Others
When losing weight, it’s VERY easy (and almost instinctive) to compare yourself and your journey to others.
I would look at other people in the gym and just wish why I couldn’t look like that, lift as much as they can or have as much cardio endurance as they do.
I always had a grudge against people that were fit and in shape because I felt like they have been like that their entire life. Most of the time that’s simply not true.
All fitness models (male and females) work extremely hard and are VERY dedicated to keep their bodies in top shape. NOTHING worth having ever comes easy, that goes for anything in life.
I would frequently lose motivation because I felt like I couldn’t measure up to other people’s standards, I couldn’t lose weight as fast as I heard other people doing it.
You NEED to understand that every single person’s story and journey are different.
You are going to lose weight at a different pace than everyone else. But the important thing is that YOU ARE LOSING WEIGHT. Understand that if you quit, you will NEVER get what you want. It’s that simple.
Learning how to stay motivated is absolutely critical in this entire process. It’s one of those intangible skills you MUST have.
And last but certainly not least….my #1 mistake I’ve made….
#1: LACK OF PATIENCE!
Those that know me on a personal level know that I have absolutely no patience with anything in general.
However now with weight loss and fitness, I do. That’s my job and passion so given my journey I’m able to empathize with a lot of my clients because I’ve been there and know exactly what it feels like.
But with 99% of the other things in life (especially little kids!) I have ZERO patience.
I think we live in a world of instant gratification. Technology has allowed us to communicate with people across the world in a matter of seconds. Usually, if we want something (physical or otherwise) we can get it, buy it or do it.
Unfortunately weight loss does not work like that. Humans are fat storing machines and it’s obviously much easier to gain weight than lose it.
I was no exception back when I was fat. I wanted everything right now. I wanted the results from all the infomercial gimmicks and gadgets I saw. All the stupid diet pills and weight loss supplements that ended being proven to be complete bullshit and waste of money.
I don’t really blame people for being this way, “instant results” are all around us thanks to the media and advertising from the supplement industry.
If you’re like most people, you haven’t been happy with your body in months or even years….perhaps even NEVER!
So then you must accept that you’re not going to drop 3 pants sizes in a month, lose 50 lbs in 3 weeks and get completely ripped in 5 weeks.
I know it sucks, but this shit takes time!
But I can promise you, that as long as you don’t quit, you WILL get the body you want.
Remember why you started this crap in the first place. You want to look a certain way and feel a certain way right?
Remember the last time your body made you feel uncomfortable? The last time you had to buy that “other shirt” because the one you really wanted showed off your belly fat and muffin top?
It sucks doesn’t it? SO WHY WOULD YOU EVER QUIT?!
Doesn’t make sense…so don’t do it!
That’s it. Post over, now go workout!
PS: If you found this helpful, do me a huge favor and click that “LIKE” button below
I often have a “no sugarcoat” mentality and attitude when it comes to my personal training and when I teach. I don’t tell people what they want to hear, but rather I say the truth.
Now here are my top 3 real reasons why you’re probably not losing any weight. These come from experience and are of course not the end all be all reasons.
1. YOU’RE LAZY
Most people are inherently lazy, not just with fitness, but just in general. This laziness means you’re missing workouts and inconsistent with tracking your food.
Sometimes people think they eat less than they actually do, or have inaccurate “eyeball” measurements when they eat, thus making them eat more than they need.
You need to build positive habits, and that only comes with repetition. Never forget the reason why you’re doing this in the first place! THAT is your motivator.
Lots of people think all they need to do to lose weight is start exercising. And while yes, that is a huge part of it, the person will then think they can eat whatever they want since they work out.
You can always out eat your workout, no matter how many calories you burn!
Diet is the tougher part of losing weight. Think of it like this: If you worked out every single day for an hour, that’s only 7 hours for the entire week. What are you doing the rest of the time?
Sleeping, at home, at work…pretty much everything else. Temptation is all around you to eat poorly. The majority of your time is spent in these situations, not working out.
3. YOU LACK PATIENCE
The simple fact is this: LOSING WEIGHT TAKES TIME!
Chances are the extra weight you’re carrying did NOT accumulate overnight. You cannot expect it to come off overnight either.
Consistency is everything. If you quit what you’re doing….what do you think will happen?! Of course you’re going to gain weight again, duhh!
A good rule of thumb is to expect weight loss of around 1-2 lbs per week if you follow your program correctly. But again, this is a rough estimate and varies based on lots of factors such as how much weight you have to lose to begin with.
We live in an age of instantaneous gratification, if we want something, we can usually get it asap (assuming money wasn’t an issue).
But fitness unfortunately doesn’t work like that. You need to believe that what you’re doing is working, and stick with it! Nothing works if you quit a month into it (or less)!
Knowing what type of headache you have is the first step in treating it properly.
With more than 100 types of headache categories out there, can you ever know what type you have? Yes, you can. And fortunately for you, most types of headache are rare. In fact, chances are, if you’ve got a headache, it’s one of the five most common types of headaches.
Treatment for finding relief often depends on what type of headache you’re suffering from, so correct diagnosis is important.
To help determine what variety of headache you’re prone to, you may want to keep a diary of your headache symptoms. Write down the time of day and date you get headaches, recent foods you ate before the headache, emotions you experience when the headache comes on, type of pain, and length of pain. Then use this to figure out what type of headache you experienced and how to treat it.
Here’s a brief description of the most common types of headaches and the best treatment for each.
By far the most common type of headache among adults and teens, tension headaches result in a dull and achy pain that ranges from mild to moderate.
You’ll feel pain on both sides of your head and may feel like something is squeezing your head. Tension headaches are often brought on by stress, hunger, irregular sleep patterns, neck strain (staring at computer screen all day), poor posture, alcohol use, or depression. You may experience these headaches only occasionally or they may be chronic, and they can last anywhere from half an hour to a week.
Most tension headaches are successfully treated with over-the-counter pain medications. Relaxation therapies such as meditation or regular exercise to reduce stress may also be beneficial.
A painful variety of headache, migraines affect women more than men and brings on pain that is throbbing and often intense. Pain may only be on one side of the head and may worsen with activity. Migraines may also cause sensitivity to sound, odor, or light and cause visual disturbances, nausea, and vomiting.
When suffering a migraine, all you’ll want to do is lie in a quiet, dark room. Migraines can last anywhere from several hours to three days. The cause is unknown but triggers include hormones (when it’s that time of the month), dehydration, alcohol, hunger, odors, chocolate, cheese, or vitamin deficiencies.
If you suffer migraines, do your best to avoid triggers. Use over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs, get plenty of rest, place cold or hot compresses on your head, and drink small amounts of caffeine for relief.
Worst of all headaches is a cluster headache. These headaches are fairly rare, affect more men than women, and smokers are more susceptible to them. Pain is an intense burning or piercing that either throbs in your head or is a constant. It is usually felt around one eye and can last 15 minutes to several hours. Many people feel a sense of restless agitation while the pain lasts. You may have a cluster headache several times a day for several weeks or months. Then they go away for a few months only to come back again.
Since pain comes on suddenly and may go away quickly, over-the-counter meds often don’t help. Injections, nasal sprays, or inhalation medications may provide fast relief.
When your sinuses, the area around your eyes, nose, and cheeks, are inflamed or swollen due to infection, a sinus headache ensues. You’ll feel a deep, constant pain in your forehead and cheekbones that may worsen with movement. A sinus headache often occurs along with additional symptoms including a runny nose, stuffy feeling in the ears, facial swelling, and a fever.
Treat the infection appropriately, and your sinus headache will go away.
Taking pain medication to relieve a headache more than two or three days a week can lead to rebound headaches. This happens when the frequent use of medication causes the brain to overreact, triggering a headache. Or the brain may go into state of withdrawal when medication wears off, resulting in a dull, throbbing headache that last all day.
Stop a rebound headache by weaning yourself off of pain medication slowly. Then limit the number of days you use pain medication to less than 10 days each month.
Half Way There.
It is estimated by the World Health Organization that approximately 47 percent of adults across the world have experienced at least one headache within the last year.
What gets you off the couch and into your workouts?
Why do you work? To get paid. Why do you eat? Because you’re hungry. Why do you clean house? You can’t stand the mess any longer.
Everything you do in life is motivated by something. When it comes to exercise, there must be something to motivate you as well. Even the promises of a healthy heart and weight loss aren’t enough to get many people motivated to work out.
What could motivate you to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle? It may be time to find your motivation and put it to work.
A personal goal can be a powerful motivator. Great goals to work towards might be losing a certain number of pounds, lowering your blood pressure to a healthy range, being able to bench press a determined weight, or running a 5K.
Set a realistic, attainable goal. Write it down where you can see it on a regular basis as a reminder. Tell your family and friends so they can help keep you on track.
It’s a proven fact that keeping track of your weight will help you lose it. The best way to do this is through a food diary or an exercise log. Each day, keep track of the variables to affect your weight gain. These include how long and how hard you exercise, how far you run, how much weight you lifted, and what you ate. Once a week weigh yourself to track your weight loss. Though it may be stagnant for a bit, keeping an eye on it will keep your weight from moving in the wrong direction.
Smart phone apps are another great way to record your workouts. Download an app that tracks your exercise and eating habits and keeping track will be possible no matter where you are.
Create a Contest
The TV show “The Biggest Loser” is a prime example of how competition can lead to a commitment to exercise. While a contest you create won’t promise large monetary rewards or fame, it may be fun, rewarding, and inspiring.
Find 5 to 10 friends or coworkers who want to work toward a similar goal. It could be losing the highest body weight percentage, walking the most steps each day, or logging the most time spent exercising. Set rules and then check in with each other on a weekly basis. Losers each week have to pay a certain fee. At the end of the set time, the winner gets the money.
Find a Partner
Accountability when it comes to exercise ranks high on the list of motivators. It’s a lot harder to hit the snooze button when you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym. Another great option is to work with a personal trainer who will offer advice, support, and accountability.
If nothing else, cyberspace can help keep you on track. Update your progress on Facebook or another social media site and friends (or even friendly strangers) can encourage you toward your goal.
Make It An Investment
You don’t want to exercise out of guilt, but spending money on a gym membership, stylish workout clothes, and a personal trainer are great motivators to work out. When you know you’re spending hard earned money on your new habit, you can’t help but get to the gym.
So spend a little extra on workout clothes, shoes, and accessories you feel comfortable and attractive in. Buy enough outfits to last a week in case you get behind on laundry, and don’t let lack of clothes be an excuse.
If these ideas don’t motivate you to get active, it’s time to think of something that will. Maybe standing in front of a mirror naked will do the trick!
What happens when normal anxiety turns into a mental illness?
Are you a human being? Then you have experienced some degree of anxiety in your life. After all, it’s a normal emotion in response to fear or stress.
Whether you’re starting a new job, having marital trouble, or preparing for a test, nervousness, apprehension, and stress are completely normal. In fact, they can actually be beneficial for you to perform your best.
But what if these feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety seem to run your life?
What if you can’t seem to escape or control the constant, overwhelming sense of dread you suffer, and any hope of leading a normal life is gone. If this describes your situation for six months or longer, you may have an anxiety disorder.
A recognized mental illness, anxiety disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Learn about the many different faces of anxiety disorders and know you’re not alone if one of them describes you. There’s help and hope available to overcome anxiety.
What’s Your Type?
Anxiety disorders come in a variety of forms. The recognized types of this mental illness include panic disorder (panic attacks that strike suddenly), obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD (fears that lead to compulsive, unusual behaviors), post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD (recurrent frightening thoughts following a traumatic event), phobias (intense fear of a situation or object), social phobias (overwhelming fear of judgment by others or humiliation in front of others), and generalized anxiety disorder (constant, unrealistic fear and worry).
Is This You?
Each of the six disorders listed above has different symptoms, but all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: extreme, unwarranted fear and worry.
Other common symptoms include feelings of panic, obsessive thoughts, nightmares, ritualistic behaviors, recurrent flashbacks of trauma, insomnia, heart palpitations, clammy feet or hands, restlessness, shortness of breath, dry mouth, nausea, tension, nausea, or dizziness.
Symptoms may begin as early as age 6, but most often present themselves in early adulthood. And anxiety disorders are much more common in women than men.
What Brings It On?
If you live with an anxiety disorder, you probably long to know what is at its root. However, scientists are still trying to determine the cause of anxiety disorders. If you’re one of the millions of individuals who suffer from an anxiety disorder, don’t blame yourself or your past.
Most likely, the cause of your and any anxiety disorder is a combination of changes in brain structure, chemical imbalances, genetics, environmental factors, diet, and long-lasting stress. As research continues on how the brain creates and reacts to anxiety and fear, new medications and treatments will become available.
How Is It Managed?
If the symptoms listed above describe you, seek treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist, healthcare professionals with the expertise to diagnose and treat mental disorders.
Your treatment will depend on what type of anxiety disorder you have, but will likely include one or more of the following: medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, self-help support group, or relaxation techniques.
Medications include anxiety-reducing drugs, beta-blockers, and anti-depressants. They will not cure an anxiety disorder, but will help keep it under control while the sufferer receives therapy.
Psychotherapy is counseling that is performed by a mental health professional, who can help talk through the origins of anxiety and implement effective strategies for dealing with the specific disorder.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also led by a professional who seeks to help sufferers recognize their disorder for what it is and then change the thoughts and behaviors that lead to their anxious feelings.
Additionally, symptoms of anxiety disorders can be lessened with
lifestyle modifications. Good first steps include regular exercise and avoiding caffeine, certain herbal remedies, certain cold medications, and illicit drugs.