“Did someone say anxiety? Story of my life.” Does this sound familiar? First and foremost, one must understand how anxiety works before overcoming it. Many people describe anxiety in many ways such as “worry, stress, fear, and an ongoing berate of never ending thoughts.” All in all, anxiety affects our whole self, physiologically, mentally, and behaviorally. When left unaddressed, anxiety becomes problematic in that it becomes excessive in nature, lasts longer than “normal” stress, and begins to interfere and affect other ares of your functioning. For example, one becomes so anxious that they are no longer able to sleep, eat, or even focus as they once did.
Understand this, although it can be torturous, anxiety, can also be very normal in certain stressful situations, such as a job interview, first day at a new school, or maybe even a first date. All of these situations are understandably anxiety provoking events, however if not managed properly, the anxiety symptoms can become excessive and long term,which can the become detrimental to other areas of functioning in our lives.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilating)
- Sweating, trembling
- Feeling weak, tired, fatigued
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep difficulties (trouble falling or staying asleep)
- Difficulty controlling ones worrying
- Feeling agitated
- Irrational fears and/or thoughts
“So what can I do about it?” Don’t fret, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders affect18% of adults in the U.S, which is approximately 40 million adults, between the ages of 18-54. This number is estimated to be much higher (approximately 30%), as many people don’t seek help, are misdiagnosed, or some are even unaware that they suffer from anxiety. Below are just a few tips to help you successfully kick anxiety in the butt and regain control.
- Seek help. Anxiety is a common disorder and there are many trained professionals that utilize specific techniques to help support and assist you in developing healthy coping skills to address and combat anxiety. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist, just visit your physician to rule out any other possibilities.
- Accept what you cannot control. Face it…there’s a lot of things around us that aren’t in our control…AND IT’S OK!
- Maintain a positive attitude. Learn to replace negative thoughts with positive, or healthier ones. Change your “stinking thinking” to “silver lining thinking.”Find the silver lining in the situation and focus on that instead of focusing solely on the negative.
- Be kind to yourself. Self compassion is critical. DO YOUR BEST…the goal is progress, not perfection
- Take care of the body: enough sleep, eat a balanced meal, exercise
- Relax. engage in deep breathing, meditation, count to 10 and back, listen to music, get a massage, draw, color, journal
- Learn your triggers
- Utilize technology. Download apps such as Headspace, Guided Mind, Calm, Mindfulness. Youtube is also a great resource.
Call us now, to speak with one of our therapist to help you navigate and overcome your anxiety, and take your control back!