Anxiety and Modern Man

Written by Guest Author:- Matthew Rigby

Mind Matters, Anxiety

Anxiety is a simple emotion we all experience. To some, it is best described as a feeling of worry, yet to others it is fear. An anxiety disorder is a crippling disability that doesn’t discriminate and while you aren’t always left with physical scars, the mental ones can be clear for all to see.

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Male suicide is the largest killer of men aged 20-49 in the UK and anxiety is often cited as a cause. Whilst being both a mental health sufferer and within that age bracket, I think it’s important to acknowledge and empathize with others in the same position. Mental health now comes with serious discussion and more household names are coming forward to talk through their own troubles, further shining a light on the plight of the common man.

Rapper Professor Green has spoken openly about his troubles with mental health in the past years, even penning a regular column on battles he’s faced with his own head. Meanwhile, Celtic footballer Leigh Griffiths took time away from the game to focus on getting himself well.

For the first time in some years, young male mental health sufferers are being represented and men now have the opportunity to come forward and discuss their issues.

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Breaking the cycle

Everyone’s anxiety is different; it’s simple – different lives, different worries. Regardless of your experience there are techniques everyone can employ to help break the cycle. The Benefits of Meditation can be endless for mental health sufferers and answer some questions in your own psyche.

Whilst some sufferers may be hesitant to try meditation, anxious of silencing their inner monologue, positive reinforcement is the key to breaking free from endless fear. The power of positive thought may sound like a book you’d scoff at someone reading on the train, however your self worth in many ways determines your anxieties and it ultimately comes from a feeling of inadequacy. This isn’t something we should be ashamed to say – just because you think you’re rubbish doesn’t mean you are!

I often think of myself in a circle when having an anxious episode – a panic attack or general shutdown. I work out a way to break the circle of negative thoughts – a common Cognitive Behavioural Therapy technique. You can even draw it on a piece of paper.

Draw a line and write your action, this physical action will provide a mental reaction, one that hopefully eases your stress. Following this with a period of meditation to soothe your active mind, will help you come to a solution for your worries I promise.

The most important thing for an anxious person to remember is to be yourself. Remember that version of you that you like and be it; we may never be anxiety free but it sure does seem to disappear when you’re having fun.

Meditation can help

The Benefits of Meditation have been well documented in the last ten years and with MRI scanners now showing us the actual visible results meditation brings it’s all time we started this wonderful new science.

Meditation has a direct impact within our brains resulting in increased activity within the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and the Hippocampus region which is directly responsible for the grey matter produced in our brains. The possibilities this may have within the scientific fields of Alzheimer’s and memory retention are only just being realised

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The reduction in Stress, Anxiety and Depression are reported in 95 percent of all participants from as little as two weeks of mindfulness meditation training. Imagine the benefits of keeping this wonderful and simple exercise up everyday.

Breathing or Samadhi Meditation is by far the easiest of mindfulness training to grasp, or perhaps Metta Bhavana Meditation, also known as Loving Kindness Meditation will work wonders, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

kind regards