Anxious woman in a crowd

Can kinesiology help with anxiety?

Can kinesiology help with anxiety? 1840 1272 candykingclinic

Feeling nervous. Being unable to sleep. Having a sense of impending doom. Trembling. Breathing fast.

These are just a handful of symptoms you may experience if you suffer anxiety, which is hugely common in our society. It’s believed anxiety has increased by 40 percent alone in Victoria during the pandemic. If you have it, chances are you’ve searched for ways to treat it and reduce it. You may even be wondering if kinesiology can help with anxiety or give you strategies for reducing it.

First up: what causes anxiety?

The causes of anxiety disorders aren’t fully understood. Traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor, or anxiety can be linked to an underlying medical disorder. Risk factors for developing anxiety can include a build-up of stress, having other mental health disorders (such as depression), having a certain personality type, or abusing drugs or alcohol (it can cause or worsen anxiety).

A lack of social connection (which has been huge during Covid) doesn’t help and can make anxiety even more debilitating. But also, returning to the ‘new normal’ can also be anxiety-ridden for many of us, and it may feel quite overwhelming to integrate back into a busy society and mix how we used to. For some the simple things like going out for dinner will be too overwhelming. 

How do you know you have anxiety?

There are a few signs that you may be suffering from anxiety, including:

  • Not being able to sleep properly, or waking up and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Having a continual ‘to-do’ list running through your head that you can’t switch off
  • Withdrawing from friends and family or losing interest in the things you used to enjoy
  • Finding it hard to breath sometimes, or experiencing a racing heart and palpitations
  • Suffering from negative thoughts and running over worse-case scenarios

Feeling a sense of panic or worry can be red flags, especially if this is a common occurance for you. Anxiety can also manifest in compulsive cleaning or obsessive behaviour. And overthinking can also occur.

What can make anxiety worse?

The road in is usually the road out, so if you’re worrying about everything, that’ll raise your anxiety. If you often find yourself ‘doom-scrolling’ on social media or watching the news and worrying about world events and what might happen, that can also raise anxiety levels.

Negative self-talk may also increase anxiety – this is your internal dialogue and it falls into four main sections:

Filtering. If you have anxiety, you may ‘filter’ out the positive aspects of a situation and focus more heavily on the negative ones, magnifying those above everything else.

Personalising. If something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. Say someone cancels on you, instead of shrugging it off you might assume it’s because they’re mad at you or don’t want to see you.

Catastrophising. I mentioned this above – it’s basically a form of spiralling that everything is going to go wrong and you allow your thoughts to automatically anticipate the worst.

Polarising. This is where your mind insists on seeing the world as good or bad, with no middle ground.

How can kinesiology help with anxiety?

Anxiety has a huge impact on the physical body and is very draining. Treating it is my forte, as almost every single client I ever see is stressed! Kinesiology can help you cope with your anxiety by getting to the root of the issue.

In a session, we’ll discuss how you’ve been feeling and what’s been occurring – as well as what’s made the situation worse (and any things that have made it better). We’ll also find out what’s causing the emotional or physical stress.

We’ll then talk about how you’d like to feel and examine all the possible reasons that have been holding you back. We will take a deep dive into all the behaviours that are keeping you stuck in the anxiety (these may be in present time or we may tap into past trauma). We’ll challenge belief systems and check the body’s systems are also working correctly. We’ll also work on balancing the mind to create more positive self-talk strategies.

A session might also include breathing exercises to access the parasympathetic nervous system, so the body can rest and recover. And, by accessing the subconscious mind, kinesiology can make the unconscious conscious so the brain now knows how to deal with the issue. We may also figure out whether the body needs extra nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to aid in relaxation.

Hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of how to manage the stress and make changes to accommodate these new ways of being and feeling. 

What can you do to improve your anxiety?

Lots! Meditation and relaxing mindful practices like yoga and yin yoga can all calm the mental ‘monkey chatter’ so common with anxiety. Affirmations also help to keep the mindset positive.

You could also take a magnesium or Epsom salts bath (some studies suggest it can stabilise mood and relieve stress, anxiety and depression). Research has also shown that listening to certain types of music may also help reduce anxiety.

And don’t discount just making time during the day to just breathe and do nothing. It’s a great circuit breaker, even you can only manage 5 minutes.

Lifestyle changes may also help reduce anxiety – whether you actively switch to a healthier way of eating, drink enough water, cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Taking time out for a walk and to connect to nature, doing hobbies you enjoy, spending quality time with family or even working (if you love your job) may all help with anxiety.

It’s important, too, to try to live your life in a way that’s aligned with your integrity and values. Goals and the things that make you happy will be different for everyone, but give yourself permission to do what makes you happy, and learn to say not to things that don’t serve you or light you up. It’s ok NOT to be killing it in every area of your life! Do less. Be more.

Want to talk to me about whether a kinesiology session might help your anxiety? Get in touch here.

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