Anxiety – what it is, how to recognize it and ways to control it – was the focus of Wednesday afternoon's Brown Bag seminar in Sheridan.
Presenter Lynn Gordon told a group of about a dozen people that anxiety can range from discomfort to panic attacks. And in some cases, she said, a panic attack can send a person to the emergency room under the belief they're suffering from something more serious, like a heart attack.
She said people have, what she referred to as, ups and downs, but anxiety can have, or be complicated by, physical causes including hypoglycemia, metal poisonings and thyroid issues. Also, she said, anxiety can be mimicked by allergies or food sensitivities.
She said anxiety is about fear, and fears and anxieties can hold people back and even be paralyzing. Those who are experiencing anxiety should ask themselves how they developed the fear, she said, then decide whether it's rational and what they're going to do about it.
She suggested anxiety could be overcome by counting fence posts or looking for the cause and changing it, or simply by walking, meditating, exercising and drinking plenty of water. She also demonstrated an exercise that stimulates the brain to relieve anxiety, called “butterfly tapping.”
Gordon is with Sheridan College's Family & Personal Counseling Center, and her Brown Bag Seminars are held at the college's facilities on Main Street. The lunch seminars are free and open to the public, held on Wednesdays, starting at 12:10. Next week, a seminar on depression will be offered and fear will be the topic on Jan. 29.