Anxiety definition: Problems at work? Stomach in knots? Constant headache? Tight neck and shoulders? Anxious? Unable to sleep? Drinking too much? Uncontrollable acne? Don’t feel well but your doctor cannot identify a reason? You may be too anxious. In both the workplace and at home, stress cannot be avoided; it can be confronted and controlled.
Anxiety, what exactly is?
What is anxiety?
It is common to feel stressed and even normal to experience mild to moderate levels of anxiety from time to time, especially if you are engaged in many activities that place multiple demands on you. To a degree, stress is normal and even expected.
However, when stress becomes chronic, this healthy response can produce anxiety, insomnia,depression, exhaustion, acne, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headaches, muscle pain and evenpanic attacks.
Who suffers from anxiety in USA?
Anxiety affects about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year. Anxiety occurs along a continuum and may be experienced by different people in different ways.Chronic anxiety can also compromise the body’s immune system. Some studies indicatethat as many as 60-90% of visits to ‘health care professions’ are for stress-related conditions.
Symptoms of anxiety
How to recognize anxiety?
However, unlike the mild anxiety that is caused by a specific event and goes away after a short period of time (e.g., giving a public speech or a job interview), more intense anxiety can last at least 6 months and can worsen if it is not treated.
Types of anxiety
Anxiety can come in many forms. Sometimes anxiety is accompanied by an episode of intense panic, dread, or fear in which an individual may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, and/or stomach discomfort. Anxiety can manifest as unwanted, repetitive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that seem impossible to stop. Sometimes anxiety is specifically tied to a certain situation, like speaking in public, riding in an elevator, or encountering a dangerous animal.
Symptoms of anxiety
If you have been experiencing any number of the symptoms listed below for two or more weeks, talking with someone at the Counseling Center can help. As opposed to diagnosing yourself, it is important to meet with a trained professional regarding the symptoms of anxiety that you or others in your life have noticed.
• Excessive worry or obsessive thoughts (often about everyday things even if there is little or no reason)
• Difficulty relaxing
• Restlessness or feeling on edge
• Difficulty concentrating; your mind "going blank"
• Muscle tension or muscle aches
• Trembling, feeling twitchy or being easily startled
• Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
• Sweating, nausea or diarrhea
• Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat
• Avoidance of activities as a means of reducing distress
Good self-care to get rid of anxiety
Outside of professional help (medication
), practicing good self-care can assist in effectively coping with anxiety. Effective self care includes:
• Getting enough rest.
• Exercising. Engaging in regular physical exercise releases endorphins in thebrain and can decrease anxiety.
• Eating healthy.
• Spending time with friends or family.
• Avoiding drugs (including caffeine!) or alcohol. Though drugs and alcoholmight provide temporary relief, they typically add to feelings of anxiety.
• Focus on the positive aspects of your life and try not to dwell on negativeaspects. If doing so is initially difficult, try focusing on the positive for a shortperiod of time. For example, allow yourself not to worry for just ten minutes.
• Focus on your breathing. Make sure you are breathing deeply and slowlywhich will often help the body to slow down and relax.
Anxiety treatment: How to deal with anxiety
It is important to seek help immediately because anxiety
, even in its most severe forms, is treatable and a trained professional can assist you in coming up with a treatment plan. Treatment plans for anxiety are based on the individual’s presenting concerns, and may include group or individual psychotherapy, medication, psychoeducation, and other strategies.