As we work with patients at the National Dizzy & Balance Center, we often notice a common theme: anxiety. Whether it’s a fear of falling, concerns about how coworkers will view them, or a generalized sense of stress surrounding their condition, anxiety frequently seems to crop up in some form.
We decided to ask Mackenzie Mestelle, outreach assistant with the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, for recommendations for resources and suggestions for help managing anxiety.
Mackenzie said NAMI offers a variety of helpful brochures that are easy to understand and that offer practical tips. They also have booklets written by people with mental illness or by their family members. The booklets “tell you how this works in the real world,” Mackenzie said.
NAMI also hosts support groups where people with anxiety can see that they are not alone, and they can learn from other people going through the same things they are, Mackenzie said.
Sometimes people dismiss their symptoms of anxiety or other mental health concerns, Mackenzie says, but she urges people going through these difficulties to reach out – whether it’s talking to their doctor or visiting a support group. “Mental health is physical health,” she said. As such, it’s just as important to address this issue as it would be to address any other health concern, she said.
We asked Mackenzie for a few practical tips for people suffering from anxiety. Here are her suggestions:
- Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing
- Paying attention to your diet and nutrition
- Drinking water
- Getting outside for fresh air and activity
- Essential oils – Mackenzie’s favorites are lavender for relaxation and grapefruit for revitalization when feeling sleepy
- Meditation – Mackenzie uses tools that promote relaxation called “meditation jars” (seen in photo with this blog). She makes them by mixing glitter glue with hot water. She sets several jars of various colors in a row in front of her and looks at them for awhile when she needs to do some relaxation.
These are excellent tips that can supplement care you receive from a doctor. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health concerns, make sure you talk to your primary physician about them.
It’s also a good idea to tell your doctor if you are experiencing dizziness or balance problems. Often vestibular therapy can be beneficial. The National Dizzy & Balance Center offers this specialized type of therapy at four locations in the Twin Cities metro area. Make an appointment today!