fbpx

Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid give a scientific explanation for anxiety and share practical ways to deal with it.

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Click here to follow along with this program on YouTube.

Voice 1

A man is sitting at his desk, typing at his computer. Outside of his window, the sun shines brightly. Birds are singing. It is a very pleasant morning. There is nothing frightening around him. But he is very worried. He is so worried he cannot concentrate. There is a tightness in his chest. There is a feeling of heat on his shoulders. His body is telling him to run. It is signaling to him that, somewhere, there is danger. The man knows there is no danger. But he cannot stop these feelings. He does not even know why he is afraid!

Voice 2

This man is living with an anxiety disorder. These psychological differences in the brain cause people to be afraid of things that do not make sense. Or they cause people to worry too much. But many people have anxieties, even if they do not have a disorder. Today’s Spotlight is on anxiety, and how to live with it.

Voice 1

There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders. Some, people are born with. Other people get anxiety later in their lives. But all people with anxiety have one similarity: an overactive amygdala. The amygdala is a part of the brain. It keeps emotions even and regular. It also tells the body when something dangerous is around. It causes the emotion of fear. In a healthy person, the amygdala does not activate much. But in a person with anxiety, the amygdala is very sensitive. It can activate because of things that do not make sense. Or it can activate for no reason at all. 

Voice 2

Anxiety disorders can make people’s lives very difficult. An anxiety disorder can cause people to act strangely. This can be very distressing. And it can hurt their lives, socially. One of these disorders is called obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. A person with OCD has disturbing thoughts. These fears will not go away. But a person with OCD will try to get rid of them. She will perform particular actions to get rid of her anxiety. For example, if she is afraid of getting sick, she might wash her hands. But this does not make the fear leave. So she will wash her hands many times in a row. She will wash until her fears go away. Sam Wicky is a sculptor. He has OCD. In 2020, he talked to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America about his OCD.

Voice 3

“My OCD began at age seven. I remember sitting on a chair in front of my family. I opened my mouth wide and inhaled a lot of air. I was looking at my mother. I then held up my hand and blew out the air onto it. I would repeat this action over and over. But no one would say a word. They would watch in confusion. 

As more time passed, my OCD got worse. I began acting out other strange rituals. It was becoming difficult to get dressed every day. I would count as I put my clothes on. I would have to redo my actions if I started thinking of something bad. I knew something was wrong with me. But I could not talk about it. I then became frightened that my brothers would become like me – that they would also act out strange rituals.

Voice 1

Anxiety can also make it difficult to be in society. Some people with anxiety have a hard time doing their jobs or going to school. Kathleen Munro is an employee at Anxiety Canada. She has panic disorder. This condition caused her to have sudden, intense times of panic, or panic attacks. During these panic attacks, fear would overwhelm her. She would not be able to move, because she was shaking so badly. It made her feel like she was going to die. She wrote for Anxiety Canada’s blog:

Voice 4

“I could not control it. It left me feeling helpless. I could not commit to anything. I could end up caught in my panic at any time. I missed events with my friends because I did not want to admit I was struggling. I was so tired from pretending to be ok, and to avoid making others uncomfortable. I struggled to feel safe. And this kept me from fully living.”

Voice 2

One of the best things a person with anxiety can do for themselves is to be with other people. Talking to others can help them change the way they think. If someone you know has anxiety, it is important to keep in contact with them. Be available to listen, even if they do not respond. People with anxiety also often suffer from depression. Offering encouragement and support can help distract them from their fears. It can help put them on the way to getting real help. But do not try to solve their anxiety. And do not try to eliminate causes of anxiety. This can actually make the disorder worse. And it could make them depend on you. Joseph McGuire is a doctor at John Hopkins University. He writes,

Voice 5

“Trying to get rid of someone’s anxiety seems really thoughtful and sweet. But anxiety does not usually go away. Over time, if people avoid difficult situations, the anxiety grows. And the person begins to ask more and more from you instead of working on their problem.”

Voice 1

If you have anxiety, there are many ways of working through these disorders. There is no single cure. Anxiety disorders do not go away. Instead, these are changes that you can make to your life that may help. Here are some ways of dealing with anxiety:

Voice 3

Get regular exercise. Keeping active helps reduce stress, even in people with severe anxiety.

Voice 4

Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants. These substances can make anxiety worse.

Voice 5

Drink lots of water. Not having enough water can make anxiety more difficult to deal with.

Voice 3

Slow down and find time for yourself. Anxiety can often come from living under stressful circumstances. Avoiding those circumstances can help. But sometimes it is enough just to take a break.

Voice 4

Seek medical help. While there is no cure for anxiety, there are many treatments that work. Medications called anti-depressants are very effective.

Voice 5

Talk to someone or go to therapy. Talking to a professional can help you understand your mind. A therapist can give you methods of working through your anxiety. They can help train you to overcome many of your fears. Anxiety does not have to rule your life. 

Voice 2

Do you have anxiety? Do you know anyone with anxiety? What do you do to help? You can leave a comment on our website at www.spotlightenglish.com. You can also find us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Voice 1

The writer of this program was Dan Christmann. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. This program is called: Living with Anxiety.

Voice 2

Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question: 

Do you have anxiety? What do you think is the best way to deal with anxiety?

Join the discussion

18 comments
  • I’ve have anxiety since I was a child and I’ve learned some tricks to overcome it when it appear. Meditate (or pray) and do exercise. The first let me come back to the calm and manage the tougths when they come to my mind and the second help me to drain the stress and fill me of positive thoughts. Thanks for asking.

  • Yes, I do. My friend Iliana. I advice her to not drink a lot of coffee but she ignores me
    The best way for me it’s do exercise and keep your mind bussy or just talk with my BF or friends

  • Do you have anxiety? -Yes I do, sometimes
    Do you know anyone with anxiety? – Yeah, some of my friends
    What do you do to help? -I try to give an advice, talk about it
    What do you think is the best way to deal with anxiety? talk with someone you trust

  • I used to incur OCD in the past but it was not serious like some guys in this program, i am sympathetic to their feelings, for instance i know that i put a computer on my bag already but my mind still urges me to open the bag check again and if i don’t do that, i will feel very uncomfortable. For god’s sake right now i don’t incur this kind of disease anymore.

  • Yes
    1.- do some sport
    2.- talk to someone about your problems and get advice
    3.- make healthy activities that entertain the mind
    4.- go to the psychologist
    5.- eat and sleep healthy

  • Yes, I have anxiety in a long time from childhood until now. I always worry when I working or even talk to someone. I think that I will say something wrong or work in a bad way. It make me feel in depression without any treatment. I have to find a way to distract it. Play work out, practice breath, travel in a long time,…

  • My opinion avoid from any people have anxiety, you can find same people these are have thinking opened and ever don’t sit alone because this get on a lot thinking isn’t good .. I wish from my Allah about everyone have anxiety become well done soon spotlight English thx a lot about subject …see ya

  • As person struggle of anxiety ,for years ago i had terrible thought of future evey day ,i did not know how i did live for that long becouse i could not sleep as normaly humen becouse iwas thinking all time of what will happing in the future i had that herrible sence of my future but since four or five months ago i was practsing meditation this helps me alot to abandon all my fears and trust in my God giving

  • Hi every one
    thank you for this kind of topic . it was useful and in people’s needs . i don’t know if i have anxiety or not because i cant judge my self . but what i feel that i not feeling very well while i was riding a car . i cant feel relax and the most i hate is that the road time .

  • Yes,I do …sure I know many people who have anxiety there are many tips to reduce anxiety
    1/ spiritual side : for example pray meditation
    2/ sociable side : to take someone who cares you and loves you ,and go outside with your family and friends
    3/ take courses and training about anxiety or you can register with life couch
    4/ listen to broadcast about anxiety it helps to know your self how deal it
    5/take yourself a break by walking in the garden every day 30 minutes
    6/ doing any hoppy you like it and don’t forget breath every day at least 3 minutes

  • I have anxiety but not contiuos, when i feel in the anxiety i do some movements to rid the moments,
    First movement,i take a big breath, after that i go walking in the street for 30 minute to change my mood, and when i come back my home i do push app exercise,after that i feel become better

  • Yes…I used to not to have anxiety attacks prior to covid time. But during the covid period, I have developed anxiety attacks due to a lot of different fears. One thing about anxiety, the symptoms were almost like heart attack, rapid heart rates and sweating. I thought I had a heart attack, I checked myself into the hospital, but it turned out it was an anxiety attack. I still have it occasionally when my mind gets triggered with fears that associated with similar conditions. I am working with a therapist and hope that I can eliminate my irrational fears.

  • I see that best way to live with anxiety is avoid stimulants subtqnces and keep active through playing in gym or working on project that you like to work on.

More from this show

Episode 21