Massage and Anxiety
Let’s face it, life can be stressful especially with all of the craziness that 2020 has thrown at us! There are to-do lists, deadlines to meet, people to take care of, plus COVID-19 and political unrest, the list goes on and on. While some may handle the pressure just fine, many people struggle with overwhelming day to day challenges, leading to sometimes crippling anxiety. It’s a serious issue and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, possible solutions, and preventative actions you can take. Here’s some information to help you navigate the muddy waters of anxiety.
Anxiety is felt as an overwhelming sense of apprehension, fear, and dread, often marked by physical signs, like tension, sweating, increased pulse rate, and difficulty breathing calmly. It will often build up and intensify over time, and can result in irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping and relating to other people. For some, it’s a consistent feeling that can escalate into panic attacks; episodes of intense anxiety and panic that can cause heart palpitations and hyperventilation.
While there’s numerous treatment and methods for managing daily anxiety as well as anxiety attacks, one you may not have considered is massage. It’s not going to eradicate all forms of anxiety, so you never feel anxious again, but it has been shown time and again in studies to have a major impact and greatly improve the symptoms of those who regularly experience anxiety. Getting regular massages can help to lower your heart rate, decrease blood pressure, improve concentration, release muscle tension, improve your quality of sleep, and regulate the release of certain ‘feel-good’ hormones to calm the body and mind.
There are also several ways you can manage your anxiety on a daily basis. I want to make clear that I understand, most people living with anxiety know these things and are either working towards them (because they are all more easily said than done!) or have decided that certain tactics are not for them. This is simply a list of ideas that may help those who are actively looking for ideas to deal with anxiety. Anxiety is different for each individual and what helps one person may not help another.
Be more active
When you increase your heart rate and work your muscles, your body releases the same feel good hormone you receive when getting a massage, helping you to feel better emotionally and physically.
Cut back on your caffeine intake
Did you know that caffeine can increase anxiousness in those who struggle with anxiety and sometimes even cause anxiety in those who don’t? High levels of caffeine can even increase your chances of having a panic attack.
Find your trigger
Try keeping a journal. When dealing with anxiety, you’ll see that some days you struggle more than others. Not only is journaling therapeutic in itself, but you may be able to look at what could have caused your anxiety to increase from day to day. Maybe foods, people, situations; find patterns and adjust to see if you can avoid those triggers.
While you may not have a lot of time in your day to meditate, even taking 5 minutes will help. The deep breaths will help lower your heart rate and having as few moments to get a handle on the day is always helpful.
Get more sleep
When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your brain sends signals to your body that something is wrong, resulting in higher levels of anxiety and feelings of stress. Prioritizing your sleep will help make sure your body doesn’t feel like it’s under attack.
Seek professional help
Having someone to talk to about what you’re going through and being able to unrestrictedly express your thoughts, can make a world of difference.
Anxiety can interrupt so many parts of your life. I would LoVe to help you control it as much as possible. Pair massage with these tips and let’s work together to lessen your anxiety!