Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, but it’s never fun to experience. According to the Office of Women’s Health, chronic anxiety disorders affect one in five adults in the United States — and women are twice as likely to develop anxiety than men. Symptoms manifest in our minds as extreme fear and dread for things that might happen, which can lead to avoiding activities we would ordinarily do without issue. There are also physical symptoms, but they can often be confused as signs for other ailments. Common physical indicators of anxiety can include shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, upset stomach, hot flashes, and dizziness, all of which can easily mislead you as symptoms of other health problems — while the real culprit continues to grow worse and worse.
So, what can we do to keep calm when our stress levels rise? Swedish researchers recently observed three generations of women to see how anxiety can be passed down through families. The study focused on women who had given birth between 1973 and 1977, their daughters, and their daughters’ offspring. Researchers found high levels of anxiety inherited from one generation to the next, and recommended an increased awareness of anxiety issues as well as the use of effective treatment. Another study from the International Journal of Preventive Medicine lists yoga as one of the most complementary methods of reducing stress, anxiety, and depression for women — while also adhering to any prescriptions or advice from your doctor, of course.
Another potential method that can help reduce anxiety? Sound therapy, or the idea that certain types of noise can have a calming affect on our overall well-being.
Anxiety-Calming Music: Does It Work?
Macaroni Union, a whimsically named UK band, got serious about crafting the most relaxing song possible. The group combined forces with Lyz Cooper from the British Academy of Sound Therapy in order to create a song with the specific methods of sound therapy uncovered in her research on the therapeutic benefits of sound. The result: a 10-minute song that, according to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, a neuropsychologist and founder of the MindLab International, can lower a person’s level of stress and anxiety by 65 percent. It might seem far-fetched, but you can at least try listening to the song, shown below, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. There are also official 30-minute and 10-hour long versions for those days when your stress just refuses to settle down. If you feel mellowed out listening to this tune, just imagine how beneficial it could be while also practicing yoga.