• Emma Buryd

Let's F**k Anxiety Together!

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Anxiety disorders are the most prominent psychiatric disorder in the world, with which more than 264 million people live according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Anxiety is supposed to be our friend because it is an adaptive response that allows us to predict and deal with potential danger; however, it is still unknown precisely why it exceeds the intensity of our external stimuli and morphs into a pathological foe.

Anxiety: Friend or Foe?

Palpitations, sweating, increased muscle and breathing tension, physical pain, dilation of the pupil, tremors, restlessness, excessive and disproportionate worry are some of the symptoms, but the most worrying is that it appears, an uninvited guest, without any notice, at any time. without even being invited.

In the population, among the main causes of the appearance of anxiety are: excessive stress, alterations in the functioning of some of the neurotransmitter systems, the relationship with psychosomatic diseases and the result of the poor interaction of the genetics of an individual with the environment.

Various brain regions participate in its harrowing invasion of our lives, as well as numerous neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, in addition to the brain amygdala.

A New Way To Deal With Anxiety

We are the generation that solves everything with Google. Some of the most frequent searches that we bombard our all-knowing friend with have to do with our emotional and mental states. For those looking for "solutions for anxiety, depression", "quick remedies to control panic" or "guides to combat stress", some answers that appear are based on science, others on the experience of YouTubers, many in oriental medicine (which is summarized in Ayurvedic medicine) and others in a new alternative where art and science merge: workbooks.

Broadly speaking, an anxiety workbook is a tool for treating pathologies associated with mental and emotional health and individual well-being. It is a new discipline that aims to promote certain healthy habits, both psychologically and socially, through artistic expression.

Coloring and painting is a well-seen trend on social networks, but also an effective therapy that can help improve self-awareness, self-esteem, emotional control, reduce stress and anxiety, improve consciousness, attention or creativity.

A Scientific Buff

A workbook is a powerful tool. Fixing signs on paper helps us think and is a strategy to avoid loss of attention. According to research published in the scientific journal Plos One, producing art has tremendous positive effects on the brain.

There are many ways to take advantage of these exercises to benefit your mental health. For example, if you are at home, in class or anywhere you can grab a piece of paper and scribble. Scribbling is an external way of thinking that connects people and ideas, both conscious and unconscious. It is a form of daydreaming that leads to random associations that allow for creative solutions.

Experts have studied how rhythmic, regular and smooth movements with an impact on the paper when writing or coloring by filling in delimited spaces can make the person focus so much on the task at hand that, with the correct training, they can disconnect from other intrusive or anxiety-generating thoughts. Among all the benefits it is worth highlighting:

  • It favors self-knowledge since it encourages states of high concentration where defences fall and the person is more open to certain content about herself and the circumstances that surround her.

  • Helps to focus, to discard spontaneous thoughts and, at the same time, to concentrate.

  • Provides well-being and encourages creativity

  • Reduces stress and anguish temporarily.

  • Allows for self-awareness of some emotional states and, given its high relaxing component, makes us more resistant to face and resolve them.

Mindless Doodling vs Purposeful Writing

Art, in general, is used in psychological therapies with excellent results and through a myriad of modalities: painting, writing, collage, drawings, doodles, creating masks, sculptures or coloring, among others.

In psychological therapies, these exercises facilitate the expression of entrenched, fixed and deep-rooted emotions, to which there is no other way of access and, thus, through these exercises, helps the person to understand their own ghosts and fears, to know themselves better; creativity increases by looking for forms of expression other than speech -sometimes, what cannot be said can be written, and can serve people with sensory or physical problems or with certain diseases, such as Alzheimer's, and as a means of communicating in a different, more expressive manner.

Performing these exercises also has effects on the psychomotor level. The people who have made these workbooks have expressed that they have improved their way of expressing themselves. It helps them to become aware of themselves and their actions and to gain motor acuity. In the adult, writing and scribbling can have the goal of ritual to ward off anxiety and/or serve as a mantra to focus on one thing and ward off other intrusive thoughts.

All this, however, is not related to the skill one possesses: there are those who find pleasure in workbooks because they like it and they are good at it; for others, who will not have used a workbook since their childhood kindergarten days it helps them to express what they feel; and, for other people, the simple writing or scribbling relaxes them, because it helps them to remove thoughts and focus on an activity with full awareness.

What's in the Anxiety Workbook?

The Mindsmatter Anxiety Workbook is a workbook designed with you in mind. The way the colors and aesthetics relax you, distract you and help you unleash your creativity. You can print it out and let the feel of the pencil gliding on the paper help you relax and focus.

Each exercise has a goal in mind, some will help you understand more about anxiety and its causes, others will make you see yourself in a different way and will guide you to change some things about your behaviour that aggravate your anxiety. Other exercises will provide you with tips and advice to deal with anxious moments and some will even make you recognize that you already possessed these skills, you just didn't know how to use them.

In the Anxiety Workbook, you will also find cohesive, clear steps to control irrational thoughts, which tend greatly recur and reverberate in the minds of us anxious people. The exercises in this workbook will be very useful for you to differentiate these irrational thoughts from healthy and accurate thoughts.

Not only will you learn more about anxiety, but you will also develop new habits and skills to control and live with your anxiety, as supposed to fight against it on a daily and exhausting basis.

A Companion That Will Accompany You All Your Life

The Anxiety Workbook is not a book that you will read once and discard. It is your companion on your journey through anxiety and mental health. The exercises and tips in this book can be used whenever you start to feel anxious, with the aim of giving you the skills and tools you need to progress and ultimately live your life free from crippling anxiety (remember we all feel anxious sometimes, that's not the issue, the goal is to remove unhealthy, and debilitating anxiety that traps and terrifies us from becoming the best we can be)

When you feel like you need a little help with negative thoughts and anxious feelings, the Anxiety Workbook will always be at your fingertips to make your way easier.

At Mindsmatter we understand the importance of accompanying others even on the cloudiest days. To listen to their stories, advise them and equipt them with tools needed to live a life without the shackles of mental illness weighing you down. Let the Anxiety Workbook be the helping hand to you start your journey back to the top.

Get yours by clicking here.

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