Anxiety is a mental health disorder that can affect anyone at any time. Although mental health services and awareness have improved over the last few decades, it can be difficult to clinically diagnose someone with anxiety because it presents itself differently in different people.
Let’s look into more about what the disorder is and how you can take steps to minimize the effects and cope with the feelings of anxiety day to day.
Anxiety is a well-known mental health disorder that can affect how a person can function in their day-to-day lives, depending on the severity. The disorder is typically defined as feelings of intense, overwhelming, and persistent worry or fear surrounding everyday scenarios.
The feelings of anxiety can be based on real life, stressful or dangerous situations, or something that the person fears will happen. Not all anxiety comes from something that is real. However, the anxious thoughts and the perceived threat feel very real to the person experiencing them. Anxiety is your body’s way of preparing for actual or perceived harm.
There is no one way that someone can experience anxiety. Some people experience a mild level of anxiety from an exam that is coming up or a presentation at work. This type of anxiety tends to be situational and relieves itself once the task is completed.
Others suffer more severe, constant anxiety that does not simply dissipate once the actual or perceived threat is gone. This can be diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder and can affect anyone at any age. Certain stressful situations may set it off, or it may be something they have dealt with most of their lives.
As mentioned previously, anxiety can be hard to clinically diagnose due to the vast range of symptoms people may experience. Although symptoms experienced during an anxiety attack can differ significantly from person to person, there are a few common ones that seem to be shared by many people.
Those who have experienced anxiety have noted feelings of dread, fatigue, shortness of breath, racing thoughts, elevated heart rate, and sweaty palms and feet. Other symptoms that have been noted included insomnia, lack of concentration, nausea, shaking, restlessness and irritability.
There are many other physical or mental symptoms those with anxiety may experience because everyone’s body deals with the feelings of anxiety in different ways.
Thanks to the improvement in mental health awareness, there is no shortage of tips and tricks out there to cope with feelings of anxiety. Below are some that are standard practices among the mental health community.
This is one of the most common tips for coping with shortness of breath due to anxiety. If you feel like you are having issues breathing deeply, you can try different methods of slow breathing to combat the feelings and slow your heart rate down. There are many different methods available online with a quick search!
Exercise is a great technique to calm your mind and give your body something else to focus on. It also helps release endorphins, a hormone that can help improve mood.
This tip may seem counterintuitive since difficulty sleeping can be a side effect of anxiety. However, getting adequate amounts of sleep can be very helpful in combating anxiety. In addition, there are methods you can try to help you fall asleep if you are struggling with it. For example, not having your phone at night and refraining from caffeine after a specific time can be helpful.
In addition to getting enough sleep, leading a healthy lifestyle, in general, can help to combat or minimize feelings of anxiety.
Therapy is a powerful tool for coping with anxiety. No matter how severe you feel, your anxiety may or may not be. Regularly seeing a therapist can give you the tools to work through your feelings and what may be causing them at the root.
Anxiety is a fairly common disorder that affects people of all ages, genders, and races. However, with the proper knowledge and tools, it is possible to live with anxiety and not have it affect your ability to function in your day-to-day life.