Dr Vrushali Garde

Anxiety : Lets do something about it!

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There can be several reasons for the mind to become restless. Anxiety is an emotion, we can feel it. Anyone can get anxiety hence do not feel guilty or blame yourself for being anxious, don’t let your self esteem down because of it’s impacts rather help yourself. It is reversible state and you can completely come out of it and prevent further relapses with appropriate techniques,guidance and treatment.

There are  physical impacts such as palpitations ,muscle soreness or tightness ,and psychological impacts on thoughts and emotions resulting in negative thoughts and emotions. Also, behavioral impacts which are characterised by avoidant behavior and diminished confidence.

This anxiety can be for short period of time for example anxiety before examination,giving presentation or marriage.

If state of anxiety remains for longer duration then persistent anxiety can lead to depressive symptoms and can manifest into bodily problem such as headache, back pain,body pain, chest pain or heaviness in chest, Diarrhea, Irritable bowel Syndrome etc.

Feeling Anxious and restless for a short period is manageable and also it is required to get the work done. We need to have healthy coping skills during anxious or stressful phase to perform that task. For example, interview or exam related fear need to be handled with keeping patience and systematicplanning pertaining tothat particular interview or examination.

On the other hand, taking enormous pressure and  getting involved into drinking alcohol/smoking/drugs or excess internet game playing to divert your mind will not solve the existing problem or will not help you to score good marks in interview or exam, instead it will increase your pressure even more.The outputs will not good with such wrong copings..

Therefore, understanding the fact that, in some situations, the mind can get anxiety or even sometimes can feel panic but we need to understand ourselves and need to help ourselves to overcome such state of mind with acceptance,perseverance and  willingness for self help.

A small boy came shouting to his mother with excitement and said he has magic glass. He added further, Mom.. if  you see through this magic glass this flower becomes suddenly bigger flower, a butterfly becomes like a monster…and he was completely thrilled with this experience..when mother actually saw the magic she laughed out loudly and said ; this is not magic, there is a magnifying glass in your hand which shows things bigger than the actual size. The reality is these things are in their normal size.

Similarly, an anxious mind perceives things, people,situations as huge unmanageable things than the actual reality. The person sometimes understands that this excess fearful perception is not real but the mind does not want to listen to the fact. So many of us have experienced this fact before exam, viva, interview or presentation. We worry so much about such situations that we consider it as a threat or a huge battle and the mind becomes so negative and says you are definitely going to lose it.The Mind is fully occupied with negative emotions during such situations. Anxiety itself is a negative emotion, and so is negative energy.

Once you feel negative then your body also starts reacting accordingly. That time symptoms can be restlessness, disturbed concentration, tremors, increased sweating or in some people dryness of mouth, increased heart beat, palpitations, increased muscle tone or soreness of muscles, irritability and worries. As a result of this the thoughts and behavior also starts becoming negative. There can be avoidance towards that task, or forgetfulness, anger and irritation, too much hurry to finish the task or making mistakes due to impaired concentration.

We all must have experienced these states because life is full of variations. So the graph of emotions and behaviors is never a straight line. If these experiences are for a short period of time then nothing to worry about but if such an anxious state of mind does not subside even after couple of weeks, then you need to seek genuine help.

Lets say you are experiencing palpitations and restlessness just before an interview or viva exam then you cannot postpone the situation or you cannot cancel this situation.. you have to face it…you have to do it.. because how many times you will cancel or avoid such situations? Ask yourself…

You have to convince your mind that I have to change my state of mind now and I have to bring my anxiety in a manageable state. You can do deep breathing exercises slowly and in relaxed manner, at least 5-10 times. Taking deep breath in and exhaling breath slowly. Additionally, practice saying positive affirmation to yourself during each inhalation that, I am becoming relaxed in every breath. I am  confident with every relaxed breath. I am calmer in every breath. After doing this one can feel a difference in self .

Now appreciate yourself that you can overcome this anxious state; in fact you have already started overcoming this situation. Give a BIG SMILE and tell yourself, you are becoming calmer and calmer.

 If you have some more time you can focus on Relaxation Therapy where you have to focus your attention on the tip of toes and give instruction to relax the toes. Then slowly you shift attention from tip of toes to each muscle group up to your scalp. Eg. Tip of toes getting relaxed, calf muscles getting relaxed and feel it, thigh muscles are getting relaxed, pelvic muscles are getting relaxed, abdominal muscles are getting relaxed, chest muscles are getting relaxed, back muscles are getting relaxed,hand muscles are getting relaxed, both arms, neck ,facial muscles are getting relaxed, scalp muscles are getting relaxed and the whole brain is becoming calmer and calmer..say in mind that I am becoming more and more confident and I remember whatever I have learned so far..

You can practice the above Relaxation Technique in any stressful situation or in any anxiety provoking situation. You will surely feel a difference in your state of mind..from an anxious restless mind to a less anxious ,calmer and confident state of mind. May be the anxiety is not completely resolved but there will be definitive reduction in distress associated with anxiety and whole body muscle tightness/heaviness.

On individual level on ourselves these are the things which we can do to reduce present anxiety and to prevent further relapses are as follows..there are many but we are considering these few…

Action Level

Routine practice of breathing exercises reduces muscle tension which usually increases in anxiety.

Deep Breathing Exercises, Pranayam Anulom-Vilom, Bhramari Pranayam, Ujjayani Pranayam, Kaplalbhati Pranayam these pranayam have shown practically very good results in reducing anxious muscle tone and getting relaxed.

Jacobson’s Muscle Relaxation Technique you can practice at home in a quiet environment or with help of a psychologist/Therapist. You have to keep 10 to 15 minutes aside for this Relaxation.

Positive affirmations to alleviate anxiety and to boost confidence.

Visualization Techniques to visualise yourself  with no anxiety state and with enormous self confidence. This can be practiced  in a routine anxiety provoking situation. Do this regularly and sincerely to get the optimum result.

Just do it ! Prefer to do thing which makes you anxious  rather than avoiding such circumstances. Repeated avoidance can increase your worrying thoughts. Therefore, in certain situations rather than too much thinking and worrying ..doing it or facing the anxiety can significantly help.

Thought & Emotional  Level 


Accept the fact, I feel anxiety in certain situations. Denial will delay self help.

I need to understand the fact that when I am excessively worried and anxious, my mind perceives the situation or person as a bigger problem than the actual reality. I have to convince myself that people,things and situations which I am worried about are not that severe which I am perceving. I have to ACCEPT the facts of reality. For example, Anxiety and fear regarding  Covid 19 pandemic.

I have to convince my mind that getting fearful and anxious can happen in such situations. Its ok to be fearful. I  accept myself being fearful and anxious. I have to learn to live with this virus. I can do it. I am surely going to come out of this situation.

Acceptance of self  and others can definitely help in alleviating anxiety.

Acceptance of self and the situation can give you courage to see the reality.

You are a precious person for yourself and for your loved ones. There is a need to realise that your existence as a human being is far more important than your materialistic goals.

 It’s ok if you don’t score highest marks ,it is ok if you do not perform excellently in your exam or you lose your job. That is not the end of the world.

There is no need to bring the anxiety at zero level immediately after doing relaxation or breathing exercises because it is not possible that way. Keep patience. The stressful event does not disappear but you can surely reduce the level of anxiety.

Be kind to yourself, if there are any such disturbances then resolve them as early as possible.

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Anxiety : Lets do something about it!

There can be several reasons for the mind to become restless. Anxiety is an emotion, we can feel it. Anyone can get anxiety hence do

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