The chances are fairly high that either you or a loved one has had a history of anxiety. In any given year about 17% of us will have an anxiety disorder—and over our lives, about 28 % of us will have an anxiety disorder. And, if you have one anxiety disorder, then you probably have two or three anxiety disorders and, possibly, depression. The most common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and specific phobia. 49% of the general population has a history of anxiety, depression, substance abuse or some of all three major problems.
Anxiety disorders have effects on your health. People with panic disorder are more likely to have mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, peptic ulcer, diabetes, angina or thyroid disease. In fact, men who have anxiety disorders are also at greater risk for cardiac disorders, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illness, asthma, and back pain. Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to have a history of cardiac problems, hypertension, metabolic, gastrointestinal, dermatological, respiratory disorders and arthritis.
And anxiety has been increasing. The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. We are getting more anxious every decade. Psychologists have speculated about the possible reasons for this increase in both anxiety and depression over the last fifty years. Some of the reasons may be a decrease in “social connectedness”—we tend to move more, change jobs, participate less in civic organizations, and we are less likely to participate in religious communities. People are far less likely to get married, more likely to delay getting married, and more likely to live alone. All of these factors can contribute to worry, uncertainty, anxiety and depression.
Meditation can remove the majority of your anxiety. It’s medically proven and an effective way to battle the trials and tribulations of everyday life. It naturally calms our autonomic nervous system, which reflects in all areas of our life. It’s easy to practice but requires two periods of 20-30 minutes daily to be truly effective. The results appear quickly and usually within the first week of practice. In our experience as a meditation school, after several months of regular practice, the problems mentioned above are either eliminated or under control. That’s such a nice place to be – and so simple to achieve when you have the right techniques. You don’t have to suffer and this is a drug free antidote.
We thank Psychology Today for their contribution to this blog.
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