Presentation on theme: "Anxiety Stress, Anxiety, Panic… RELAX. Outline 1. What is anxiety To deal with it you need to know what it is 2. How to deal with anxiety Systematic Relaxation."— Presentation transcript:
Outline 1. What is anxiety To deal with it you need to know what it is 2. How to deal with anxiety Systematic Relaxation 3. Preventing Anxiety What to do before you leave
Anxiety Anxiety-natural reaction to possible danger or threat Anxiety keeps you alive Physiological changes that prepare you for flight or fight
Anxiety -our 4 brains -lizard -dog -primate -thinking -anxiety happens at the lizard and dog level- we have to use the thinking level to control
Anxiety -body CAN NOT differentiate emotional/physical/minor/major threat -symptoms are related to preparation for fight or flight -increased heart rate -increased breathing rate -sweating -digestion shuts down so “butterflies”, nausea -emotional tension, desire to avoid situation -panic-desperate urge to run away or fight-may feel like you are having a heart attack
“Threats” that trigger anxiety Confusion-I don’t understand what is going on, maybe it is dangerous=Anxiety Unfamiliarity-I don’t know what this is, maybe it is dangerous= Anxiety
“Threats” that trigger anxiety Ambiguity-What is happening, why are they doing this, is it good or bad=Anxiety Isolation-I am away from my group, I am alone; if something happens there is no one to help me- Anxiety
“Threats” that trigger anxiety The Unknown-I don’t know what is going to happen, it could be bad=Anxiety
Exchange = Anxiety The experience of exchange has all the components to trigger anxiety attacks Unfamiliar language, faces, food Isolation from family and friends Confusion because you don’t know customs or culture
What is happening when you are anxious -your body is preparing to “defend” you against the threat -your body is reacting automatically and you need to have your thinking brain “kick in”
What is happening when you are anxious -you have to counter the physical manifestations to convince your “automatic brain” you are safe -can physically trigger anxiety emotions by triggering the physical symptoms
Strategies for reducing anxiety 1. Systematic Relaxation 2. Eat 3. Sit or lie down 4. Smile or laugh 5. Do a pleasurable activity 6. Re-interpret 7. Ask questions
Dealing with Anxiety Systematic Relaxation practice BEFORE you leave do before bed when you are there physical relaxation and anxiety are incompatible-you don’t relax when about to be eaten by a tiger
Dealing with Anxiety Systematic Relaxation when you feel anxiety, use the whole SR process or use your trigger word do this before the next steps and if necessary
Dealing with Anxiety Eat you don’t stop to eat when about to be eaten by a tiger-eating is a signal to your body that you are NOT in danger
Dealing with Anxiety Eat because anxiety shuts down digestion (you need that energy to run or fight), your mouth will be dry so choose a moist snack (fruit, yoghurt, something with water) As you eat, you are sending the lower brain a message that it is safe enough to stop and eat, so the danger is not significant
Dealing with Anxiety Sit or Lie Down when anxious, we tend to move or pace-our body has the urge to run or fight When we pace, it may feel like a reduction in the sensations, but your body reads that you are up and moving to evade the trigger which reinforces anxiety
Dealing with Anxiety Sit or Lie Down sitting gives message that there is no danger to escape
Dealing with Anxiety Smile or Laugh we don’t start smiling at a person who is threatening us Feeling happy or enjoying oneself doesn’t happen when we are in danger Smiling is a message to the brain that you have misinterpreted the situation
Dealing with Anxiety Do a pleasurable activity In threat situations we don’t engage in fun. Having fun can counter anxiety.
Dealing with Anxiety Re-interpret Use positive descriptors (i.e. this food tastes really good, the sari’s are beautiful) about the things that are unfamiliar, confusing or unknown Label emotions differently-the sensations of fear and excitement are very similar. So “I am excited about what is happening” vs “I am nervous”
Dealing with Anxiety Ask questions why do you do that, what does this mean, how do I do this-reduce the confusion by getting information! Assume that Rotarians want you to succeed and that there are NO stupid questions
Preventing Anxiety: Before You Go… Practice systematic relaxation -you need to be able to automatically trigger the relaxation and have a cue to trigger the relaxation.
Preventing Anxiety: Before You Go… Find a simple activity that helps you relax-listening to music, play solitaire, small needlepoint or craft. Whatever works for you. Pack this to go with you in you stress kit
Preventing Anxiety: Before You Go…. Pack a few of your favourite treats in your stress kit. Treats make us feel good.
Preventing Anxiety: Before You Go… Pack your favourite small memento. DON”T make the memento pictures of friends as that can trigger feelings of isolation which can trigger anxiety. Have photos of yourself in activities that are important to you. This keeps you linked to your sense of self when everything is in transition.
Preventing Anxiety: When You Arrive… Call home and let them know you have arrived safely-this reminds your brain that you can contact your support network and that you are not isolated. BUT make it short and don’t make repeated calls as that will interfere with adjustment. All you need is to hear the voice to cue your brain you aren’t isolated.
Preventing Anxiety: When You Arrive… Put your memento and photos where you can see them. Do systematic relaxation so that one of your early experiences in your host home is one of relaxation.
Preventing Anxiety: When You Arrive… Go to bed early-do not think you are insulting your host family. Start eating on the schedule they do immediately so you can adapt and that you don’t trigger anxiety because you are hungry
Preventing Anxiety: Ongoing Strategies… Eat regularly-food may be unfamiliar but hunger can trigger anxiety Engage in your relaxation activity-play music, knit, paint Exercise-be physically active Monitor caffeine and alcohol intake, both can increase anxiety
Preventing Anxiety: Ongoing Strategies… Read some English books-reminders of your language decreases the feeling like you don’t understand “anything”. Watch shows from home in the language of your host country if possible. When there is something familiar, you relax. As well, this can help with the headaches from the early constant translation process
Preventing Anxiety: Ongoing Strategies… Welcome anxiety-new things will make you anxious, but the more things you do and try with nothing bad happening, the less the new makes you anxious. Use positive self statements when you are anxious-“this will turn out fine, I am going to have fun, I can hardly wait to find out what this will be like”. Anxiety and anticipation are close in sensation and you can convert them by what you think!
Conclusion! Make Friends Enjoy Try everything Have fun Make Memories