Anxiety is something that all people will experience at some point in their lives. If you have ever stood up in front of the class to perform a speech and you start to sweat, tremble and talk with a shaky voice, this can be considered as a form of anxiety – these are known as stressful or anxious feelings.
It’s when anxiety becomes so frequent and uncontrollable that it begins to be diagnosed as a disorder. With a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), sudden onsets of anxiety are not unusual, and it can be difficult to recover comfortably with these awful feelings.
What Causes Anxiety With TBI?
Anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including vitamin and nutrition deficiency, over-stimulation, fear of the unknown, stress, and it could also be hereditary.
With Traumatic Brain Injury sufferers, anxiety is almost inevitable. Usually, it can result from a combination of factors – most notably over-stim associated with senses, stressing about the change, and fearing whether or not they can care for themselves.
During the recovery process of Traumatic Brain Injury, people undergo frustrating hypersensitivity – a complicated brain procedure where the injured brain cannot identify nor filter unnecessary information.
Because of this, sounds, smells and touching are experienced differently, and thus can feel overwhelming. From this, anxiety is spiked that then goes on to cause panic attacks and nausea – not very pleasant feelings for someone trying to work through the recovery of TBI.
Following TBI, it’s also essential to not be deprived of important vitamin and nutrients. Deficiencies can further increase anxiety levels through varying hormones, a weak immune system, depression, weight increase (which has problems in itself), blood sugar instability and overall a negative mental state-of-mind.
Experiencing stress after a traumatic brain injury is completely normal. You are flooded with new thoughts, emotions and different perspectives of senses – so naturally you would become stressed.
It’s important to remember that the healing process takes time – the brain is a complex organ and is made up of more than 100 billion nerves! Recuperating this back to a level where you feel comfortable will take time, but there are ways you can avoid anxiety and try to lead a happier, healthier life and recovery process.
How To Overcome Your TBI Anxiety
There are various methods you can incorporate to conquer your anxiety, most of which are relatively easy to do.
Create A Relaxing Environment
Don’t put yourself in an environment where you will feel anxious, such as large crowds, public speaking, or driving. Create a relaxing environment for yourself where you feel safe, reassured and able to regain control over your mind.
Increase Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is vital for the brain, and its benefits associated with reducing anxiety and stress are substantial. Most people are deficient in this essential mineral, but with a boosted intake, people with anxiety can experience reduced stress hormones, anti-inflammatory properties, increased brain plasticity, reduced depression, and many more benefits.
Yoga, Meditation, & Mindfulness
Practicing deep breathing techniques – an important part of yoga and meditation – will help you to become more aware, attentive, mindful, and relaxed. Yoga will help tone your body and mind while increasing your flexibility. Meditation will encourage you to focus on your breath and embrace calm thoughts. Mindfulness will train your awareness and mental clarity. The combination of all three contributes to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain, and will help with a range of other ailments.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is famed in this generation as a powerful aid for relaxation. Research has found that it potentially reduces social anxiety, and it is considered an alternative treatment for anxiety sufferers. Furthermore, it can help to reduce associated symptoms with a range of psychological and brain conditions – in particular, TBI. It comes in a variety of forms, including oils, capsules, and nasal sprays depending on what you prefer.
Essential Oils combined with aromatherapy have been found to induce a state of relaxation through gently invigorating the senses, overall uplifting a beautiful, aromatic atmosphere perfect for those who seek a tranquil space.
Pets, dogs and cats, in particular, have shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and owning one can encourage playfulness and exercise. A pet is more than just an animal – they are cherished companions and often provide people with much-needed value and social interaction.
Cats are virtually effortless to take care of. They clean themselves, don’t have to be exercised, and they know how to go to the toilet as a kitten. They are perhaps the easiest animal to care for, and in return, they provide you with a beautiful friendship.
Dogs, specifically therapy dogs, can help alleviate your stress, anxiety, depression and may even assist people who often experience panic/anxiety attacks. These dogs usually anticipate the attack before it is going to happen, and some can even retrieve medication and water to aid the person.
These are just some of the many ways you can help overcome your anxiety following TBI. Trying one or a combination of them will help make rehabilitation easier for yourself and others around you. You can enjoy reduced stress levels, more awareness, a happier outlook on life, and, therefore, a decrease in your anxiety levels.