When you are anxious: 10 ways to deal with anxiety

Anxiety is a innate human response to stress or perceived threats-- it is a feeling of fear, apprehension, or unease about future events or uncertain situations. While it is normal to experience occasional anxiety, such as before a job interview or a significant life change, anxiety becomes a concern when it is unrestrained, constant, and stand in the way of daily life.

Anxiety can display in several forms, including social disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and specific phobias. Every disorder has specific diagnostic criteria. Still, they all involve excessive and chronic worry or fear that goes beyond what is proportionate to the situation.

Common symptoms of anxiety can include:

  1. Excessive worry or fear about everyday situations.
  2. Feeling restless or on edge.
  3. Difficulty concentrating or finding your mind going blank.
  4. Irritability.
  5. Muscle tension and aches.
  6. Sleep disturbances include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restless sleep.
  7. Racing or pounding heart.
  8. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  9. Sweating.
  10. Trembling or shaking.
  11. Gastrointestinal problems, such as stomachaches or digestive issues.

Causes of Anxiety:

  1. Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders, making them more susceptible to developing anxiety.
  2. Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are involved in mood regulation, can contribute to anxiety.
  3. Environmental Factors: Traumatic events, chronic stress, childhood adversity, and significant life changes can increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders.
  4. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, heart disease, and respiratory disorders, can be associated with anxiety symptoms.
  5. Substance Use or Withdrawal: Substance abuse, including alcohol, drugs, or withdrawal from certain substances, can trigger or exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

 Here are some suggestions for dealing with anxiety:

  1. Identify and Acknowledge Your Anxiety: Recognize and acknowledge that you are feeling anxious. Sometimes simply realizing and labeling your emotions can help reduce their intensity.
  2. Practice Self-Care: Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and engaging in regular exercise. Establish a self-care routine that includes activities you enjoy and that promote relaxation and stress reduction.
  3. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Anxiety often involves negative and distorted thinking patterns. Challenge your anxious thoughts by questioning their validity. Ask yourself if there is any evidence supporting or disproving your worries. Replace negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.
  4. Use Relaxation Techniques: Explore relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or meditation. Find what works best for you and practice these techniques regularly, not just when feeling anxious.
  5. Engage in Mindful Awareness: Practice mindfulness by bringing your attention to the present moment. Focus on the sensations in your body, breathing, or the environment around you. Mindfulness helps ground you in the present and can reduce anxiety by shifting your focus away from worrying thoughts.
  6. Engage in Regular Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Engage in regular exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga to help reduce anxiety and promote overall well-being.
  7. Limit Exposure to Stressors: Identify and limit your exposure to situations, people, or triggers contributing to your anxiety. If certain activities or environments consistently make you anxious, consider making changes to minimize your exposure to them.
  8. Seek Support: Contact a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can provide comfort and perspective. A mental health professional can also offer guidance and strategies specific to your situation.
  9. Practice Relaxation and Self-Soothing Activities: Engage in activities that help you relax and provide a sense of comfort. This may include listening to calming music, taking a warm bath, practicing yoga, reading a book, or engaging in creative pursuits such as painting or writing.
  10. Consider Professional Help: If your anxiety persists or significantly interferes with your daily functioning, seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide a diagnosis, offer effective treatments, and guide you through managing and reducing your anxiety.

Remember, give yourself grace and patience. Finding effective strategies to manage anxiety may take time and experimentation. Anxiety can vary in intensity and impact from person to person, so be open to various approaches until you find what works best. 

It's important to note that  it can be influenced by biological factors, environmental stressors, past experiences, and individual coping mechanisms. Suppose you're experiencing persistent or severe anxiety significantly affecting your daily functioning. I suggest seeking professional help to get a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.


Popular Posts