This is one of the most asked questions today. With this overwhelming situation of global pandemic we are facing, anxiety now is one of the emotions that has become eminent in every sphere. The constant news update of affected people with the virus and unavailability of hospital services, increase in death rate along with other horrifying news such as crime, abuse etc have elevated the level of anxiety in us. If we were to take a survey than there is a bigger chance that the average population might be screened with mild anxiety.
It is sometimes hard to identify what emotions we are actually feeling. Are we really feeling anxious or are there any other emotions which we are mistaking for anxiety?
Anxiety as defined by many is the mind and body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It's the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event. A certain level of Anxiety helps us stay alert and aware. Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion, but for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal - it can be completely debilitating. Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. The exact causes of anxiety disorders are unknown.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Brain chemistry is also being studied as a possible cause. The areas of your brain that control your fear response may be involved. Anxiety disorders often occur alongside other mental health conditions, such as substance abuse and depression. Many people try to ease the symptoms of anxiety by using alcohol or other drugs. The relief these substances provide is temporary. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and other drugs can make an anxiety disorder worse.
WHATEVER WORKS, WORKS.
There are a range of strategies you can try to manage anxiety. What works is different for
everyone. Find what works best for you.
1.Practice focused, deep breathing
Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.
2.Question your thought pattern
Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control.
3.Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga
Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety.
Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing. Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety.
5.Identify and learn to manage your triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious. When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you can’t limit it, like if it’s due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change, using other coping techniques may help.
6.Keep your body and mind healthy
Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to stave off anxiety symptoms.
Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it's the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear.
Anxiety should be treated the same as any chronic health illnesses. Speak to your family doctor about your emotions and feelings. Providers can give assistance and treatment plans for you to help manage anxiety and the physical manifestations that come along with it.
There are also relaxation activities that can help give relief.
Just as the body experiences chemical reactions to negative thoughts, the brain also has the same biological change on happy thoughts.
Although anxiety is part of life, never let it control you.
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How to manage anxiety, blessingmanifesting.com
Jessica Lovell, 14th May 2020, lovellslifestyle.com
Jim Folk, Vitaly Liashko, MD, FRCPS, August 29, 2020, https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms.shtml
June Silny, Oct 28, 2015, 8 Instant Anxiety Solutions, junesilny.com
Lovell, J (2020). lovellslifestyle.com
Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.October 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad.htm
Self Help for Anxiety Blog & Podcast — Anxiety Slayer™. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.anxietyslayer.com/journal/
Silny, J (2015). 8 Instant Anxiety Solutions. Retrieved from junesilny.com
Smith, M. and Segal, J (2019). Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad.htm