What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s response through a feeling of fear, dread, anguish, or a mixture of emotion similar emotions leading to added stress, panic, and anomalies in mental processing capabilities. It is quite ordinary to feel anxious at times. But in some cases, an individual may feel anxious more often and this may affect their day to day operations. If such is the case with you, you should consider taking the right steps in the right direction to avoid any complications in the near future.
Physical comforts cannot subdue mental suffering, and if we look closely, we can see that those who have many possessions are not necessarily happy. In fact, being wealthy often brings even more anxiety.
When left uncontrolled without scrutiny, anxiety leads to panic attacks, chronic overthinking, stress, and more. A person diagnosed with anxiety may experience increased heart rate, high blood pressure, rapid and erratic breathing, restlessness, occasional seizures, insomnia, or simply have trouble concentrating on an easy task. To battle with anxiety, you first need to equip yourself with the right weapons that begin with awareness and information.
What causes Anxiety?
There are various reasons why you may suffer from anxiety. Some of the common causes include Stress that can result from work, school, personal relationship past emotional trauma, financial concerns, stress caused by a chronic illness or the treatment of a serious medical condition, a major event or performance in the near future, as a side effect of certain allopathic medications, uncontrolled consumption
of alcohol and depressants such as opium, heroin, and cocaine. There are several other reasons why you may also have anxiety and it may have absolutely nothing to do with the conditions listed above. In today’s world, it is quite normal to worry. A prolonged period of worry may also lead to anxiety. For instance, if you have an examination upcoming or if you have been deprived of essential information about a gathering you always wanted to be a part of. There are various complications that may lead to anxiety.
How to understand you have Anxiety?
It is human to get nervous or anxious from time to time. Being nervous makes you aware of the surroundings and circumstances prevailing around you. For instance, when speaking in public or when going through a period of financial difficulty and debt. Anxiety really becomes an issue if it becomes so frequent and intense that it begins to take over your daily life habits and routine.
How can you tell if your everyday anxiety has manifested itself into a mental disorder? It is not easy and there is only a thin line separating the ordinary condition to the clinical one. Perhaps this is why it is so important to understand what anxiety represents and how you can understand if your level of anxiety has crossed the line. Anxiety expresses itself in different forms. You may have frequent panic attacks, irregular phobias especially claustrophobia, altophobia, nyctophobia, among others; or, you may have social anxiety which basically means you build a wall so high that people scare you and you refrain from opening up in environments you are not sure of.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The most prominent form of anxiety is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. If you are diagnosed with GAD, it means that you have been experiencing persistent anxious thoughts on most days of the week, for at least four to six months. It should also have some visible or tangible manifestation in your life through noticeable symptoms such as fatigue, hypertension, loss of appetite, etc. This becomes a serious medical condition if the dysfunctions go beyond the limit and sustain over a period of time.
While it is true that it is common to experience sleep problems if you are diagnosed with GAD if you cannot fall asleep it does not mean that you have GAD. Sleep-related disorders are common to a wide range of health conditions of both physical and psychological nature.
However, if you chronically find yourself lying awake, frustrated, or worried about specific problems small problems in life, or nothing important in particular, it might be a sign of an anxiety disorder. If you are diagnosed with GAD it is ordinary to wake up from a period of sleep with a feeling that your mind is racing and you are unable to calm yourself down.
Are phobias/fears a concern for anxiety?
It is true that experiencing your fears can cause anxiety in the process, it is also true that this feeling of anxiety is specific and temporary. For instance, if you are scared of the water and you are in the deep end of a swimming pool or if you are scared of heights and you are skydiving, the fear becomes overwhelming, disruptive, and way out of proportion to the actual risk involved. Feeling anxious in these cases aren’t as risky. Phobias may be crippling at times but they are not really obvious. In fact, the feeling of anxiety may not surface at all until you confront a specific situation and discover you’re incapable of overcoming your fear. In case such a situation does arise, you will experience constant muscle stiffening, clenching of your lower jaw and fists, etc. These symptoms can be persistent and pervasive to an extent that the people who have lived with it for a long time may stop noticing it after a while.
What is Social Anxiety?
There are conflicting opinions about this particular form of anxiety. Many consider this a relatively new form of the disorder that stems from the complex lifestyle choices one has to make in the 21st century. People with social anxiety tend to worry about a particular situation for days or even weeks. Social anxiety disorders do not always involve speaking to a crowd or being the center of attention. In most cases, social anxiety is provoked by everyday situations such as trying to start a one-on-one conversation at a social gathering or eating in public.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~Attributed to Bernard Baruch
If you suffer from social anxiety it is common to experience that all eyes are on you when you are in public. It is also common to feel judged in gatherings and events. You may often experience nausea, trembling, profuse sweating, and jumbled speech. In dire situations, this may also lead to panic attacks and seizures. This issue may become so disruptive that it becomes difficult to meet new people and make new friends.
Can Anxiety cause panic attacks?
Yes, severe cases of anxiety in any of its forms may lead to a panic attack especially if the anxiety is stress-induced in nature. In this respect, panic attacks can be extremely terrifying. If you have ever felt a gripping feeling of fear and sudden helplessness that has lasted for several minutes even hours, accompanied by physical symptoms such as erratic breathing, racing heart, numbness of hands, profuse sweating, dizziness, intense chest pain, stomach ache, and feeling unnaturally hot or cold. It may also cause convulsions and vomiting.
However, not everyone who has a panic attack has an anxiety disorder, but people who experience them repeatedly may be diagnosed with panic disorder. People with panic disorder live in fear about when, where, and why their next attack might happen, and they tend to avoid places where attacks have occurred in the past.
What to do when you are not being able to control anxiety?
Firstly you must understand that the key to treating anxiety is to be aware of anxiety. If you understand what anxiety is, it becomes easy to deal with it. You can begin by forming a routine for your self and chalk out any particular activity that concerns you for that day. If you have anxiety, its most likely that, that is the most likely time when anxiety will affect you. And, then during the day when you are at that activity, be self-aware about what you are feeling. For instance, if you are nervous, are you seeing eyes on you everywhere, if you’re overthinking, etc. When you are anxious always reach out for help. At Winy we are always ready to assist you with all your grievances.
You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.
— Dan Millman
Essential Remedies for Anxiety
There are various remedies for anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety is it essential that you seek a professional opinion. Tell someone that you are anxious and need help. For instance, we at Winy provide round the clock communication possibilities when working with customers. We also have an anonymous feature to save you of any embarrassment if you are concerned about your identity. The conversations are securely encrypted and are covered under the privileges of confidentiality. However, there are several ways in which you can mediate your anxiety yourself, at least for some time. There are as follows:
- Deep breathing for a few minutes.
- Write about how you feel and all the negative thoughts in your head.
- Write down the positives and negatives that can help you understand the situation better.
- Write a note to yourself
- Go for a walk
- Listen to your favorite playlist
- Practice Art or just doodle
- Read a book
There are a few commonplace professional advice that fit the bill for commonplace worries that lead to severe anxiety in the long run. It’s not your fault, its the society.
- Stop comparing yourself with others: Comparison leads to unnecessary worry.
- Try mediation for sometime early in the morning.
- Practice yoga or exercise regularly.
- Take up a habit that you can perform every day.
- Get good sleep every day.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety.
- Set yourself to a routine that you do not digress from without cause.
- Limit indulgences such as alcohol and caffeine.
- Maintain a positive attitude about life in general. Believe in what happens, happens for the good. Always look forward to life, carpe diem.
- Drink enough glasses of water every day.
- Have a balanced diet.
- Visit a counselor if you notice that the anxiety is interfering with daily tasks if the previous history of anxiety if the anxiety is associated with insomnia or hypertension.
- Seek immediate help from trusted companions if you are having any suicidal thoughts or are having panic attacks or seizures.
What Does An Anxiety Disorder Feel Like?
It’s easy to assume that because we all experience anxiety, we have an idea of what living with Anxiety might feel like. But that’s simply not the case. Experiencing anxiety includes being nervous or stressed out in situations that naturally create those feelings, like a job interview. Living with an Anxiety condition makes you feel overwhelming fear and distress constantly—even in everyday situations. There are many types of Anxiety disorders, but they all share these symptoms:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Feeling tense and jumpy
- Restlessness or irritability
- Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
- Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
- Upset stomach
- Sweating, tremors, and twitches
- Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
- Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea
What is Panic Disorder?
You’re waiting in line at the bank. You’re running late, you have a million other errands to run and the child at the back of the line won’t stop screaming. Suddenly you start feeling strange. Your heart starts racing. You start to feel dizzy, nauseous
and sweaty. After a minute, it feels so bad that you get the overwhelming feeling you’re going to die. It’s hard to breathe and your hands and feet start to tingle. You are absolutely terrified. Within a few minutes, the terror slowly starts to subside. Your heart rate and breathing start to return to normal. This is what a panic attack feels like.
What to do when you go through panic disorder?
There are a few different things you can do that have been shown by research to help the most:
- Counseling: Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from a form of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. A mental health professional trained in the CBT approach can help you work through the thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and triggers contributing to your panic disorder. They can also teach you coping skills. Part of CBT may involve slowly introducing you to things that may more easily trigger your panic until you feel more comfortable. Although CBT is usually a short-term treatment, practicing the skills you learn both during and after treatment can help you manage your symptoms for a long time to come.
- Medication: Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants can be used in combination with counseling to reduce your body’s response to anxiety.
- Support groups: You are not alone. Anxiety disorder support groups, including panic disorder, are a great way to share your experiences and learn from the experiences of others.
- Self-help: During and after treatment, there are some things you can do on your own to help keep you feeling better. Regular exercise, eating well, managing stress, spending time with friends and family, spirituality, and monitoring your use of alcohol and other drugs can help keep anxiety from getting worse or coming back. Talking to your doctor, asking questions, and feeling in charge of your own health are also very important. Always talk to your doctor about what you’re doing on your own.