Anxiety is an umbrella term for feelings of fear, nervousness, apprehensiveness or worry such as negative thoughts and seeing potential threats where they don’t exist.


Everybody gets anxious at times and some anxiety actually helps us to function well BUT anxiety can become a problem when:

  • It happens too often;
  • It goes on for a long time;
  • It stops us from doing things that we want to do.

Symptoms can be psychological (feeling frequently worried, tired, irritable and weepy with difficulty concentrating) and/or physical (including rapid breathing, rising blood pressure and pounding heart, a sense of restlessness or feeling on edge, muscle tension, sleep disturbance and nausea/sickness).

There is no single cause for anxiety but there are several factors that may contribute to its development:

  • Brain Chemistry - most strongly implicated here are imbalances of serotonin and dopamine that regulate thought and feeling - makes for feeling depressed and anxious;
  • Heredity - anxiety disorders run in families. Children are at higher risk if parents have an anxiety disorder- learned behaviour;  
  • Life Experiences - any distressing or traumatic experience may be ground for the development of anxiety.  Exhaustion and certain medications can also be triggers for anxiety;
  • Drug Use - stimulant drugs like amphetamines and caffeine can trigger anxiety.  Prolonged amphetamine use can cause feelings of panic and anxiety that last for years after the drug is stopped.


Some tips that may help you deal with your anxiety include:

  • Self-awareness - identify the symptoms early.  Ask yourself “what is making me feel this way?” You may be able to change the “anxiety-making circumstances” but if not you can deal with it  better if you acknowledge it;
  • Interpret it positively - anxious about a situation?  Instead of viewing as threatening put a positive interpretation which will reduce the anxiety to a more manageable level;
  • A little anxiety is a good thing - too much is damaging but too little can mean you may not perform to your best ability.  View anxiety as a resource you can manage;
  • Diet - the gut flora can get out of balance eg. use more probiotics and omega3 foods.  Research has shown maintaining a balanced diet can reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Exercise boosts levels of vital brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that may reduce stress and anxiety.  
  • Relaxation and meditation programs – can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.  You can find many resources for these online eg. progressive muscle relaxation.  
  • Therapy - there are some good programs that are offered by psychologists/counsellors that help to re-program those unhelpful and negative ways of thinking that underpins anxiety.

Situations, or life events, can come from many places including relationship issues, financial burden, physical health, trauma, or just dealing with difficult times.  As these situations develop we need to take steps to reduce anxiety for ourselves and for those close to us.  Remember …before it all gets too much… Talk to a Mate!

Tim and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative partnership with the West Australian Country Football League (WACFL) to sponsor a round of football enters its second year. This partnership brings us into contact with 25 football associations and 150 senior country football leagues and helps deliver our key message to a younger demographic of men (predominately aged 16-40) throughout regional WA.  The “Talk to a Mate” Men’s Wellbeing Round will be held over the weekend of 13th and 14th June 2015.  

Coming off the back of some good rain across the State there is definitely some positivity and no doubt plenty of action beginning to happen in the paddocks, but before we can take action on something we have to make a decision first.

Stress is usually associated with not being in control of a particular situation or an environment leading us to feel uncomfortable in body and/or mind.  It is a part of life and it affects everyone at one time or another.  Stress is normal, a certain amount of stress energizes people consequently improving performance and efficiency. 

Quite often as blokes we have been told to get in touch with our feminine side. What an affront and insult to our intelligence, over time this has been part of the language barrier that has put blokes positive approaches to wellbeing issues in reverse.