WHEN ANX­I­ETY RISES

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We loved chat­ting with Dr Sanam Hafeez last month in our is­sue as she shared tips on how to iden­tify that you are dat­ing a nar­cis­sist. With such great ad­vice, we wanted to ask her about anx­i­ety as we no­tice that in a lot of con­ver­sa­tions peo­ple tend to use this word a lot when they are talk­ing about up­com­ing work, mak­ing var­i­ous de­ci­sions about their lives and more. We chat­ted to find out what anx­i­ety is and what we mean when we say that we have it as op­posed to those who have been di­ag­nosed with an Anx­i­ety Dis­or­der.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: What is anx­i­ety?

DR. SANAM HAFEEZ: When most peo­ple say they are hav­ing or feel­ing anx­i­ety they typ­i­cally mean they feel out of con­trol, pen­sive or wor­ried about some­thing in their lives. It can be an event, their ca­reer, a date, their wedding day, an im­por­tant in­ter­view. Typ­i­cally they deal with it, pre­pare and push through the sit­u­a­tion with height­ened fo­cus.

For those who have an Anx­i­ety Dis­or­der, anx­i­ety takes a de­bil­i­tat­ing turn.

AM: What are the symp­toms of an anx­i­ety at­tack and/or how do you know when one is com­ing on? n their mind, it's re­ally all about them.

DR. SH: Ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent. Some may feel mi­graines, nau­sea, trem­bling, short­ness of breath, heart pound­ing, jit­tery and phys­i­cally on edge.

AM: Does anx­i­ety man­i­fest dif­fer­ently in Type A vs Type B per­son­al­i­ties?

DR. SH: 'Type A' per­son­al­i­ties are known to be very re­spon­si­ble go-get­ters. They fo­cus on the end re­sult while Type B peo­ple fo­cus on the here and now. Type A's are typ­i­cally com­pet­i­tive and of­ten take on more stress in their quest to ac­com­plish more and more. They boss around the Type B's and then the type B's have anx­i­ety about not mea­sur­ing up. Type A's and Type B's both worry about what peo­ple think of them, and have cre­ative vis­ual minds so they of­ten en­vi­sion worst case sce­nar­ios in a vivid man­ner. Type B per­son­al­i­ties are more col­lab­o­ra­tive. These are peo­ple who don't rush to take the lead. How­ever, some may feel anxious that they are putting their fate in some­one else's hands. They also get stressed out when Type A's are be­hav­ing more ag­gres­sively and com­pet­i­tively. In the end both per­son­al­ity types can have vary­ing lev­els of anx­i­ety. Anx­i­ety dis­or­ders can hap­pen to any­one.

AM: How can we over­come these feel­ings and what tech­niques can be used to main­tain calm?

DR. SH: Know­ing the signs of panic, what trig­gers you and how it presents it­self in your body is im­por­tant in over­com­ing anx­i­ety. When you can iden­tify what your fears are you can be­gin to conquer them.

1. Deep breath­ing and mind­ful­ness.

2. Fo­cus in the mo­ment by en­gag­ing the senses. Look at 3 things in the room (table, chair, shelf). Lis­ten to a sound (a bird, a car, the am­bi­ent noise). Roll your tongue over your teeth. Touch some­thing near you feel the tex­ture. Smell some­thing, the paper on the desk, your skin. This lit­tle ex­er­cise gets your mind off whatever thoughts are caus­ing the anx­i­ety and onto the present.

3. Clear clut­ter! Your phys­i­cal space re­flects your mind. Clear­ing clut­ter will give you some­thing to fo­cus on and the tidy space es­tab­lishes or­der over chaos.

4. Work­out! Fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties that re­quire repet­i­tive mo­tion such as run­ning, walk­ing on a tread­mill, bi­cy­cling, are great be­cause they re­quire con­sis­tent co­or­di­na­tion and fo­cus. When you are fo­cused in­tently on some­thing it's dif­fi­cult to si­mul­ta­ne­ously feel anx-

ious.

5. Mas­sage and acupunc­ture.

About the Doc­tor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based li­censed clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, teach­ing fac­ulty mem­ber at the pres­ti­gious Columbia Univer­sity Teacher’s Col­lege and the founder and Clin­i­cal Di­rec­tor of Com­pre­hen­sive Con­sul­ta­tion Psy­cho­log­i­cal Ser­vices, P.C. a neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal, de­vel­op­men­tal and ed­u­ca­tional cen­ter in Man­hat­tan and Queens.

Dr. Hafeez mas­ter­fully ap­plies her years of ex­pe­ri­ence con­nect­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions to ad­dress some of to­day’s com­mon is­sues such as body im­age, social me­dia ad­dic­tion, re­la­tion­ships, work­place stress, par­ent­ing and psy­chopathol­ogy (bipo­lar, schizophre­nia, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, etc…). In ad­di­tion, Dr. Hafeez works with in­di­vid­u­als who suf­fer from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD), learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, at­ten­tion and mem­ory prob­lems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez of­ten shares her cred­i­ble ex­per­tise to var­i­ous news out­lets in New York City and fre­quently ap­pears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Con­nect with Dr Sanam Hafeez PsyD via twit­ter @com­pre­hendMind

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