The fast pace of the world today appears to be causing a global epidemic of anxiety disorder- related diseases.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), this disease affects 275 million people, that is, 4 percent of the total population of the planet. The most worrying thing? The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 62% of people living with this disorder are women.
“We have a lower tolerance for frustration and we are afraid to resolve what is weighing us down. That’s why we better avoid it ”, mentioned Nina Nander, co-founder of the consultancy Yo Te Understand, when asked why anxiety disorders have increased in recent years around the world.
Although distress can manifest itself in various ways depending on the individual, the Mayo Clinic notes that the most frequently experienced symptoms are:
- Apprehension when worrying about future misfortunes: Feeling that you are “about to explode” and having difficulty concentrating.
- Body Tension: Restlessness and agitation, headaches, tremors, and inability to relax.
- Hyperactivity: Sweating, tachycardia or abnormally rapid breathing, general epigastric discomfort, dizziness and dry mouth.
If you suffer from anxiety , or you just need to give your mind a momentary rest, here are 5 videos that you can watch for free on YouTube and that will help you take a few minutes of “time out”.
It should be strongly emphasized that none of these videos is a substitute for the help of a certified therapist . They are simply options to find calm after a complex day. If you feel that your anxiety is becoming disabling or is affecting several areas of your life, seek the help of a mental health professional to give you the appropriate support (some options that you can consult are the UNAM Psychological Attention Line or National Institute of Psychiatry ).
“Tools such as meditation or videos are NOT alternatives to therapy and it must be remembered that they are momentary responses to an underlying problem. It is best to always seek professional support,” Nander explained in an interview with Entrepreneur en Español .
1. Mindfulness meditation
What they are about: Videos of various lengths that help you get into the practice of mindfulness meditation and that can focus on specific topics such as overthinking or the stress of chronic pain.
For example, Michael Sealey , a hypnotherapy specialist who has more than eight hundred thousand followers on YouTube, has several videos that focus on specific parts of life such as quick 10-minute meditations before going for a run and the importance of posture. in the attitude of the day to day.
Why it can help you: According to the iconic Scientific American journal, MRI imaging shows that after eight weeks of mindfulness meditation practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the tonsil, seems to shrink. “This primary brain region, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress,” says the publication .
2. The power of Shh! with Chris Evans
What it’s about: Everyone knows Captain America, but few seem to notice that the actor who plays him, Chris Evans , is very open about his anxiety disorders. In fact, Evans turned down the role of Steve Rogers when it was first offered to him out of fear of accepting such a commitment. In this video interview with the channel Motivation Madness , Evans talks about his experience with anxiety, about how going to therapy changed his life and the secret that helped him control the negative voices in his head.
The advice Evans gives in this video is the simplest thing in the world, but something we often forget to do: keep quiet. And seeing how something so simple has helped one of the world’s most famous “superheroes” makes it easier to apply in everyday life.
Why it can help you: A note in the medical journal Psychology Today notes that “cognitive misconfusion,” understanding that many of the thoughts that go through your mind are data in motion and not hard facts, helps control anxiety. “Some of your thoughts may just be automatic conditioned reactions generated by a brain that is geared toward survival,” says Dr. Melanie Greenberg in that article.
What they’re about: Videos in the “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” (or ASMR ) genre are growing in popularity on YouTube tremendously. It is a topic that is growing so much and so fast in popularity that well-known publications such as The New York Times , The Washington Post and Buzzfeed have analyzed the trend.
In these videos, youtubers make calming noises to help people fall asleep or simply distract themselves. Of the thousands of asmrtists on YouTube, the most popular is Maria Viktorovna, whose Gentle Whispering channel has more than 1.6 million subscribers.
Why they can help you: Yes, it may seem very strange to hear someone whisper in your ear, but Gentle Whispering’s most-watched video has over 21 million views. There are still not many studies that talk about this genre of videos since the phenomenon exploded in popularity only in 2011, but research from the University of Swansea in Wales indicates that these sounds emulate being intimate with someone in a non-sexual way (such as the grooming), something that is a staple of socialization among primates .
4. Breathing techniques with gifs
What they are about: These are videos from 10 minutes long with various animations accompanied by relaxing music. The idea behind this type of content is to synchronize the breath with the movement of the gifs to calm the body’s response to stress.
Why it can help you: Harvard Medical School notes that controlled breathing is one of seven techniques for eliciting the so-called “relaxation response” in stressful situations. According to its specialists, deep abdominal breathing promotes the exchange of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide, which slows the heart rate and stabilizes blood pressure.
5. Sounds of nature
What they are about: There is nothing better than nature to help us rediscover our center to move forward in the middle of a stressful life, but going to open places is not always an option that is within reach. YouTube has hundreds of video options with sounds of nature such as streams, storms, forests or whatever you want to calm you down and even to help you sleep.
Why they can help you: According to the prestigious health magazine Health , listening to artificial sounds is associated with patterns of inwardly focused attention (such as when you start to think about your tasks and concerns), while the sounds of nature provoke a more outwardly focused attention.
What to do if your anxiety levels become intolerable
Again, it must be emphasized that none of these videos is a substitute for professional help, but they can guide you in moments of tension and support you when you need a few seconds of relaxation in the midst of chaos. However, the co-founder of Yo Te Understand remarks that the worst thing to do when you have an anxiety disorder is to occupy your mind with other things and avoid addressing the underlying problem.
“There is no one recipe that works for everyone. In behavioral behavioral therapy we recommend answering the What, How, What and When questions about the issue that ails you in order to really solve it in the background “, indicates Nander.
The specialist emphasizes that when a lot of time is spent thinking about the issue that stresses, you stop doing the things that were normal or even pleasant before and you begin to experience physical symptoms such as sweating in the hands, it is time to seek help from a qualified therapist who allows you to address the issue at its roots.