Nowadays life is very fast-paced with all the pressing responsibilities: children, work, finances, relationships, extended family and so on. It is easy to get lost in your thoughts and suppressed feelings!

The Statistics Canada Community Health Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing has revealed that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems in Canada.

In the following article, you can read some helpful information based on the work of E.J. Bourne, Ph.D.

It is important to realize that there are many situations that come up in everyday life in which it is appropriate and reasonable to react with some anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are distinguished from everyday normal anxiety in that they involve anxiety that 1) is more intense (for example panic attacks), 2) last longer (anxiety that may persist for a months instead of going away after a stressful situation has passed), 3) leads to phobias that interfere with your life.
Anxiety can be distinguish from fear in several ways. When you are afraid, your fear is usually directed toward some concrete external object or situation. The event that you fear is usually within the bounds of possibility (not meeting a deadline, failing an exam, being rejected by someone you want to please and so on).
When you experience anxiety, on the other hand, you often can't specify what it is you are anxious about. The focus of anxiety is more internal than external. It seems to be a response to a vague, distant or even unrecognized danger.
Anxiety is a physiological, behavioural, and psychological reaction all at once.

Anxiety s y m p t o m s:
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Trembling or shaking
• Sweating
• Choking
• Nausea or abdominal distress
• Numbness
• Dizziness or unsteadiness
• Feeling of detachment or being out of touch with yourself
• Hot flashes or chills
• Fear of dying
• Fear of going crazy or out of control

In panic attack you can also have chest pains.
At least four of these symptoms are present in a full-blown panic attack.

Maintaining Causes of Anxiety:

The maintaining causes of anxiety disorders are what tend to keep them going!The following list isn't exhaustive and includes only those that are most obvious.
- Avoidance of phobic situations
- Anxious self-talk
- Mistaken beliefs
- Withheld feelings
- Lack of assertiveness
- Lack of self-nurturing skills
- Muscle tension
- Stimulants and other dietary factors
- High-stress lifestyle
- Lack of meaning or sense of purpose

A complete program of recovery from an anxiety disorder must intervene at all three levels to:
- Reduce physiological reactivity
- Eliminate avoidance behaviour
- Change subjective interpretations (self-talk) which maintain a state of apprehension and worry.

Author's Bio: 

Svetlana Antonyshyn, R.I.H.R.
Co-Founder and Psychotherapist
HHC Holistic Health Clinic
2174, Major Mackenzie Drive
Vaughan ON

Growing up in Ukraine, in a family of herbalists and people who love nature, my approach to wellness has always been natural and organic.
In North America people are lost in their search for a quick fix and they turn to pharmacology to address their health concerns, be it physical or psychological. The food Industry is another area of concern for me. Food produce has become a mass production commodity where quality is compromised for quantity. How much do people really know about the food they buy in our supermarkets?
When I immigrated to Canada at the age of 21, I developed all kinds of illnesses. I gained 20 lb in a span of a few months, had unexplainable depression, mood swings, digestive problems, migraines and fatigue. I couldn’t understand what was happening to my body. Over time I realized that there must be something wrong with the food in North America.
After extensive research on this subject, I learned about the hormones and other carcinogenic additives (pesticides from food fed to animals, antibiotics, etc.) in meat and dairy products, preservatives and chemicals in all types of foods, and along with it, the intensive and unsustainable farming practices of the agricultural sector that further compounds the problem. I was also appalled by the FDA, USDA, CFIA, and other governing bodies’ low standards for the quality of food people consume. Through my research, I have learned that North America is the number one country when it comes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression and other diseases, and that a proper diet is one of the key elements in the treatment and prevention of diseases.
Knowing all this, I have become a passionate activist of natural living. I believe there is no need to re-invent the wheel and that everything a human being needs already exists in nature; it is therefore unnecessary to fabricate but rather to be educated about our natural environment and the resources and remedies that can be derived from it.
In 2009, I graduated from Transformational Arts College where I studied to become a holistic psychotherapist. Choosing this profession is a tribute to my son Mark who tragically passed away. What emerged from the immense pain of loss is a strong desire to be of service to others and to share the many insights I have gained through the profoundness of my experience.
Shortly thereafter, I had a vision; why not combine my two passions – psychotherapy and the advocacy and education of organic living? In September, 2009 HHC Holistic Health Clinic in Maple, Ontario was opened. Our growing team consists of naturopaths, nutritionists, homeopaths, allergists, chiropractors, psychotherapists, acupuncturists, energy healers and massage therapists. Our philosophy is to provide integrated services for the well being of our clients, helping them on their healing journey addressing all three aspects of human existence – Mind, Body and Spirit.