If any of you that don’t know… I have anxiety – I could never admit this in the past, I was very embarrassed. Now, it’s become a part of me, please read I Must Confess… (A blog I wrote when I shared my anxiety w/ you all)
Below I share with you what anxiety is, why it happens, what are the symptoms & an activity where you can ask yourself questions about your own anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
There are jitters – those that you feel when you’re about to go on stage for a presentation, or those you feel when you see your crush and are afraid of what he/she thinks. And then there is anxiety – a condition that causes fear, nervousness, or general apprehension and worry. Those affected by anxiety know that it does not only affect a person mentally, it can also affect the person in such a way that he’d feel physical pain. It makes a person feel agitated, and may not help him sleep, which, of course, would affect his everyday life. When this happens, it means that a person is already suffering from severe anxiety.
But, here is the good news:
- It’s normal to feel anxious. We are human beings, not machines. When we leave our comfort zone, we naturally experience fear, and from this point we start to grow, this is human nature.
- You can get your anxiety under your control. And you’ll definitely do so with this anxiety guidebook, which provides you with ideas on how to both prevent and handle your anxiety. You can benefit from your fight with anxiety. Once you get rid of it, you will be able to possess tools and knowledge, to grow and boost your full potential. So, relax and enjoy reading!
Why does it happen?
Like most mental illnesses, it is not exactly known why anxiety happens. But more often than not, it is brought upon by environmental stress and a lack of certain chemicals in the brain. Change also is a big indicator of anxiety. Research shows that those affected with anxiety experience a lot of changes in their brain structure, especially with hormones that control emotions. Sometimes, life experiences, especially the traumatic ones, may also be the reason why the person is experiencing anxiety problems. Moreover, if the parent of a person also suffered from anxiety before, he’s more likely to develop the problem, too.
Though, there are some upsides even for a mental illness like Anxiety Disorders.
Anxiety Disorder has a lot of benefits, science says.
Instead of trying to constantly cheer yourself up, and you fail badly at it many times, maybe it is time to consider the benefits of anxiety.
What are the symptoms?
So, how do you know that you are already suffering from anxiety? These symptoms are often called “alarm reactions”, whenever a person feels threatened or fearful. Basically, alarm reactions are actions that may help people protect themselves in threatening situations.
- Sweating. Because sweating cools the body down, it would be difficult for another person, or even an animal to attack a person.
- Light-headiness or Dizziness. When someone feels dizzy, blood circulates faster and in turn, oxygen is distributed throughout the body—and that’s why your mind may feel tired.
- Rapid Breathing. Rapid breathing is caused by the rapid beating of the heart. Just like dizziness, it helps blood circulate more throughout your body, especially towards essential organs, which will help you run away in case of danger.
- Nausea. The feeling of being nausea-tic happens when the body shuts down the process of digestion, since it’s not necessarily needed for survival, and that’s why you usually feel this way whenever you feel upset.
- Tightness of Chest. This is caused by breathing rapidly because of muscle tension.
- Heaviness of Legs. There is an increased tension of leg muscles because of trying to be ready for the flight or fight response.
- Brighter Vision. In order to make sure that one sees clearly, the pupils naturally dilate so that more light could be taken in.
- Numbness. You may also feel numb, mainly due to hyperventilation, when you suffer from anxiety. This is because of how your nerve endings react because blood flows through the body in a way that’s much faster than usual.
Also, more often than not, your thoughts are very much affected by anxiety. You’ll notice this when you start worrying about things that you don’t usually worry about, or when you worry about almost every single thing in life. You may ask yourself questions as listed below:
- What if people don’t like what I’m wearing?
- What if I miss the bus at 7:30?
- What if I’m late for work?
- What if I don’t get that job?
- I just feel like crap. This day probably won’t be good.
- I feel like nothing good is ever going to me.
- I probably would die alone.
And so on. There are also other emotional symptoms such as:
- You have trouble concentrating
- You feel dreadful
- Feeling somewhat apprehensive
- Feeling particularly tense
- Watching for signs of danger
Usually, when the mind does not work the way it usually does, your thoughts race, and you’d feel so much worse about yourself. When this happens, it means that you are already suffering from anxiety. Also, it’s a given fact that most people who suffer from anxiety may also be suffering from depression. However, it’s best that you know which type of anxiety you’re suffering from so that you would also begin to understand yourself more. In the next chapter, the different types of anxiety will be discussed.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This happens when a person feels tense or fearful and so much worried about everyday situations. When their worries are provoked, they might do drastic things, such as hurt themselves.
Phobias are probably the most common kinds of anxiety disorders as mostly everyone suffers from them. Basically, phobias are your intense fear of certain things or situations, such as heights, dogs, snakes, crowds, flying, etc. When you feel like you wouldn’t be able to function once you’re in a situation where the feared object is present, it means that you are suffering from a phobia.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This means that you may have an overwhelming fear about social situations, even the smallest things such as paying for food at a restaurant, talking to strangers, or basically just having to talk to people face to face. This anxiety disorder stems from the fear of being judged, or fear of being embarrassed because of who and what you are.
When a person suffers from panic disorders, he may suddenly feel fearful, even if he’s in a good mood. It’s as if the panic strikes even if there is no reason for it to strike. This way, a person may find it hard to breathe, or feel like he is choking. Others may even feel like they are suffering from heart attacks. Some also say that the situation makes them feel “crazy”.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This happens after a traumatic or life-threatening situation, such as being involved in an accident, breaking up with your significant other, family issues, death of someone close to you, and the likes. When a person suffers from this, he may suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, and being easily startled, which makes it hard for him to go forth with his day.
If you can relate to any of these, don’t worry, keep reading!
Don’t prioritize your worries.
If you’re a worry wart, then you know what this means. Sometimes, you let your life be controlled by all of the things you’re worried about. But you know what? You actually can choose to prioritize other things. Here are some ways for you to do so.
Postpone your worries
You know how when you’re procrastinating you tend to postpone what you have to do because you feel lazy, and because you feel like there are other things that you should focus on? You could do that with your worries, too! For example, you’re working on a project and you suddenly think about the number of clothes in your hamper and the thought that you may have nothing to wear tomorrow. Ignore the thought, or just write it down, and worry about it later. The more you tell yourself to worry about that certain event later, the more you’ll be able to forget about it—and be able to focus on the bigger things in life!
Make your own period of worry
You allot some time for exercise or meditation sometime in the day if you want to be in the pink of health. Well, instead of worrying about every single thing every single time of the day, just make your own time for “worry”. No, it’s not about telling yourself that you should worry about this or that; it’s about allowing yourself to go over your worries at one point of the day, then forget all about them. This way, you’d feel lighter. Give around 5 to 20 minutes of your time to your worries, probably just after going home from work—and definitely not before bedtime, okay? Worry about whatever you have in mind, and then leave them be. And then…
Get over your worries
It would be good to jot down your worries and reflect about them, so that you’d understand that they can be solved and then ask yourself some questions that are related to your worries, such as:
- Do you really think that this thing you’re worrying about will happen, and why?
- Are you worried about something real, or is it all just in your mind?
- Is there something you can do to prevent the problem from happening, or is it out of your control?
- Why exactly are you worried?
- What situations affect you?
- Which kind of people make you anxious?
- Are you taking good care of yourself?
- Do you always feel overworked?
- Do you feel undeserving or unappreciated or unwanted?
- What makes you so scared?
- Do you feel like you’re not getting enough emotional support?
- Why do you think that it’s important to be certain about everything in life?
- Do you think that it’s possible to be sure about everything?
- Why do you always think that bad things will happen?
- Do you think you can still live your life, even if you’re not certain about everything?
- Do you think you’re helping yourself by worrying?
With the help of these questions, you can come to terms with your worries, and understand that some of them may probably just be in your mind, so you can relax!
Don’t prioritize your worries because really, there are so many other things that you could focus on—so deal with those.
I hope this post has helped some of you bc I know when I did these exercises – I felt better.
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤