We all suffer from anxiety, however some people suffer with it more than others. Anxiety can be crippling and can prevent us from achieving our goals or even just simple day to day tasks.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is basically fear, nervousness and worrying about uncertainties in life.
it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious in situations where the outcome is uncertain, for example job interviews, visiting the doctors or taking an exam. Anxiety can be a good thing, it makes us more alert and to focus more on the situation at hand which can result in a better performance. Excessive anxiety can cause health problems in the long term such as high blood pressure so it is important to try and resolve any issues that may be causing it.
Symptoms of anxiety
- Can’t concentrate
- Often feeling uneasy or worried
- Trouble sleeping
- Sweating for no reason
- Loss of appetite
- Unable to relax
- Chest pain
- The common butterflies in the stomach
- Light headed
- Pounding heart and increased breathing rate
- Feeling more alert
There are certain disorders related to anxiety, these disorders are.
Social Anxiety – avoiding people and social situations to avoid being judged, thought negatively of or avoid social embarrassment in some way. A possible negative side to this is that it can result in social isolation.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – common compulsions people have would be constantly checking things over and over, for example if the door is locked or the gas is turned off. Constantly checking things over and over again can really become troublesome, stressful and time consuming.
Panic Disorder – an individual fears panic attacks, believing they could do serious harm to them. They may avoid people and situations to avoid or reduce the risk of having a panic attack. Obviously this can be very limiting to a person’s life.
Post Traumatic Stress – this is when a person has suffered or witnessed a serious or life endangering event. The person may suffer from flash backs of the event triggered by normal everyday things, they may believe currently their life is in danger when it is not. This could lead to serious mental problems without the help from a professional.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – generally just worrying about anything and everything, they may constantly feel nervous and they may struggle to relax. It may also effect a person’s concentration as well as their appetite and their sleeping habits.
The cause of these disorders
It’s believed that any one or a combination of the following factors can result in developing these disorders. Inherited genetics, over active parts of the brain, brain chemical imbalances, past stressful or traumatic events, drugs and alcohol abuse and long term health conditions.
Tips to help get rid of mild anxiety problems
If the anxiety is just a normal reaction to everyday things, (does not apply to serious anxiety disorders) then there are certain things that can be done to help reduce it.
Outward Focus – Focus your attention externally rather than internally. Anxiety is worse when you’re self reflexive and inward thinking. Live in the moment and focus your attention outward to other people, or even the environment around you. Negative internal thinking can’t manifest if you don’t give it the opportunity to.
Be Prepared – Let’s use public speaking as an example, the anxiety in this situation comes from fear of messing up the speech, letting people down and being publicly embarrassed. One way to reduce the anxiety here would be to make sure you are prepared. If you have a speech to remember make sure you know it like that back of your hand.
Learn New Skills – This is a great way to boost your confidence/self image and building up your self image can be a great way to reduce fear in a general way.
Positive Self Talk – Anxiety can cause a lot of negative thoughts to enter into our heads. Positive self talk can be a great way to stop some of those negative unconscious thoughts from influencing us.
Question the Anxiety – Ask yourself what are you really afraid of and what is likely to actually happen. Much of anxiety is simply irrational fear and it can sometimes be reduced by rational thinking. Rational thinking can make you realize it is irrational and it helps to reduce the power the anxiety has over you.
Serious anxiety disorders should be dealt with by a doctor or a specialist.