August 15 2016
We have already covered ADD and ADHD in our last entry and how it can affect students of all ages when it comes to concentrating and working well in school. There are many more reasons other than ADD and ADHD which can cause poor concentration in school for students and one of the biggest ones is anxiety. Whether anxiety can be triggered by problems at home, problems with friends, school, tests or just about anything; it can be a huge, stressful and very depressing burden to deal with.
Anxiety is a nervous disorder where the sufferer is in a near constant state of uneasiness and nervousness, often leading to panic attacks. Anxiety can easily be brought out in a classroom, during tests, interacting with other students or with teachers or if the sufferer is being bullied, these can all be triggers for a panic attack.
For those of you who do not know what a panic attack is, it is a severe, overwhelming sense of dread, paranoia and overall fear. Panic attacks come in many different forms and can have many unpleasant effects on the body and mind such as:
- Nausea and dizziness
- Muscle tension
- Trouble sleeping usually followed up with stress related fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision or tunnel vision
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of self-doubt, paranoia, fear and ultimately depression
Much like with ADD and ADHD, many parents these days are trying to find non-drug related approaches and solutions with anxiety and thankfully there are many great options out there! It is important, when combatting anxiety to first and foremost try to follow a healthy diet that has little to ideally no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners or stimulants. It is also important to try to get as much sunlight as possible and absorb some vitamin D which not only is good for your teeth and bones but has been proven to help with mood balance. It is also important to try to have a diet consisting of a lot of vitamin B, omega-3’s and magnesium, again for healthy mood balance and to help keep the nerves relaxed. For those who are old enough to drink coffee it is also recommended to consider switching to green tea. While it may have higher caffeine content, it contains the amino acid called L-theanine which helps relax the nerves while the caffeine keeps you alert. It is also recommended to exert some of the nervous energy that comes with anxiety through physical activity. Martial arts, yoga, jogging, even going on long walks can be a very meditative and very empowering way to keep relaxed and happy.
There are even natural solutions for sleep problems caused by anxiety! The issue is that we live in an age where everyone obsessively stares at a screen. There is an article written and published by Harvard Medical School titled Blue light has a dark side that explains how at night, light, especially blue light emanating from computers, televisions and cellphone screens throws off the human body’s internal clock, tricking it into thinking that it is daytime and ultimately depletes the brain of melatonin which is the hormone that anticipates when it is getting dark and when it is time to sleep. It is recommended to put down cellphones or to turn off computers and televisions a couple hours before going to bed in order to prevent further depletion of melatonin.
The most important thing, when it comes to anxiety, is to remember to love yourself. It is all too easy to get down on yourself when you have anxiety, especially after a panic attack. It can feel really lonely, overwhelming and depressing to feel sometimes like the whole world is against you, especially yourself. Anxiety typically doesn’t go away by pretending it does not exist or by just smiling and tell yourself you are happy when you do not feel that way, as some may suggest you do, however it can be made easier to deal with, and naturally too, so you can finally relax.