Do you feel like your day-to-day has become riddled with stress? Do you feel constantly nervous or worried? Are you overwhelmed with daily life? Being stressed, nervous or overwhelmed are feelings everyone experiences. Whether it’s a job interview, financial concerns, a complicated life event, or relationship issues, however, when stress or nervousness becomes completely debilitating, interrupting your day to day activity and quality of life, what you’re feeling could actually be anxiety.
First of all, what is anxiety? Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like blood pressure. There are multiple different types of “anxiety disorders”. Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist who then will treat your anxiety specific to your individualized care and needs. Anxiety looks very different for different people, but getting anxiety treatment is essential to manage it.
Here are 5 things you should know about anxiety…
- Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
Most people experience anxiety and don’t even realize it! We go through our days feeling stressed, or overwhelmed and do not realize it is anxiety that we are feeling. Our bodies, however, physically know and feel the affects. Physical symptoms of anxiety include muscle aches, sweating, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, clenching and unclenching your jaw, stomach aches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, and increased heart rate. The great news is, psychotherapist’s can provide anxiety treatment to help align your mind and body and uncover the root cause of your anxiety right from the comfort of your home.
- Fear gets confused with Anxiety:
When you’re feeling anxious your body releases hormones that can cause physical symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate and increased sweating as mentioned above. Anxiety symptoms are common when thoughts of the future arise. In those moments when thinking about what the future holds often prompting a feeling of fear, most people will naturally become scared or panic. Fear can cause anxiety and vise versa. Next time you are scared or anxious try taking a short walk and getting fresh air. Exercise naturally helps with reducing symptoms of anxiety and works in conjunction with anxiety treatment.
- You don’t have to do it all:
Anxiety can feel like everything is so important. Feeling like you have a never ending to-do list and everything on your list, big or small, is so important to get done in that exact moment. It’s normal to feel like you HAVE to do everything. Reality is that it is completely okay that you don’t overwhelm yourself. It is okay to take a self-care day. You don’t have to clean your entire house today, or plan your entire event in one sitting. Anxiety symptoms can present themselves as stress and cause unnecessary anxiety or feelings of anxiousness. If this is happening to you it can cause burnouts. Instead, take a step back and try some mediation, then after a few breaths sit down and make your to-do list and cut yourself some slack!
- Anxious in social situations:
Social anxiety can be experienced in many different ways. I think it’s safe to say we all know the feeling of being nervous or uncomfortable within certain social situations. For children, it is common for them to feel nervous every year on the first day of school. Other situations can can cause people social anxiety include, people avoiding crowds, parties, starting a conversation, public speaking, dating, or even making eye contact. When suffering from social anxiety the reasoning for feeling anxious over certain situations are different for everyone, however, fear is generally the underlying cause. Social anxiety disorder can prevent you from literally LIVING your life when it does not have to.
- It’s okay to ask for help:
If you have realized you are suffering from anxiety, psychiatrist’s who are medical doctors have specialized training in diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders do not have to define you, rather seeking help allows you to learn how to manage your anxiety and associated disorder. A few common anxiety disorders are, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder. Understanding and listening to your body while recognizing you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety is the first step in taking back control. It’s important to get help from a psychotherapist in order to properly learn how to manage your anxiety disorder and provide the necessary anxiety treatment plan for you.