What is anxiety?
Everyone worries sometimes. But when we talk about having anxiety, it’s usually about an anxiety-related disorder. If you have an anxiety disorder, your fear or worry remains for extended periods of time, and it’s even likely to worsen.
Anxiety disorders almost always interfere with a person’s ability to carry on regular daily tasks, like going to school or work. A person with an anxiety disorder may also have exaggerated responses to stress.
Obsessive-compulsive and trauma-related disorders also fall under the umbrella of anxiety.
3 things you should know about anxiety
If you’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time, you may think it’s a way of life. Fortunately, when you come to understand your anxiety, you may be able to find a way out. Here are 3 things you should know about anxiety before we go any further.
- Symptoms are ever present – If you’re a long-term sufferer, you may not always realiSe that you’re anxious. Your body will. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you will likely have symptoms that can strike at any time. Such symptoms include things like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and muscle tension. Even in your happiest, most carefree moments, you’re likely to experience physical symptoms of chronic anxiety.
- You’ll have good days – With anxiety, you have good days and bad days. Unfortunately, good days don’t necessarily mean that you’re on an upswing. Sometimes, a good day is just a good day. But don’t lose hope. We’ll soon cover some things you can do to help overcome your anxiety.
- There are different types of anxiety – We’ve covered that OCD and trauma-related disorders fall under anxiety disorders, but there are also different types of anxiety you can have.
- Generalised anxiety disorder – If your anxiety is persistent, meaning it doesn’t seem to go away, you may have generalised anxiety disorder. You may be overly concerned with things like money, healthy, family or relationships. You may always fear impending disaster.
- Social anxiety disorder – With this type of anxiety, you may be fine when you’re in the comfort of your own home. But you’ll start getting anxious whenever you have to be around other people. Any type of social setting will give you extreme anxiety, and it is likely to interfere with your ability to have a social life.
How to overcome anxiety
If anxiety is interfering with your ability to live a full and healthy life, first, talk to your doctor. Anxiety medications can help, and they can be a good stop-gap solution. Just know that they aren’t the only solution. There are also plenty of ways to treat anxiety without medication.
Try any of the following natural remedies for anxiety.
- Breathing – Breathing is such a simple and obvious anxiety treatment, but not everyone does it. This is the low-hanging fruit that can help ease your symptoms when things are especially tense. When you’re feeling like things are getting out of control, take a deep breath in and hold it. Make sure this breath is a deep one that comes from your gut and not your chest. Slow and deliberate breaths like this can help you start feeling better right away.
- Grounding – When tensions get high, mindfulness is essential. Find something you can do to bring yourself into the present moment. For some people, it may be (gently) snapping a rubber band against the wrist or focusing on a clenched fist. The key to this technique is to put all your focus on this physical thing. This shift should help you remember that you are not in immediate danger.
- Exercise – Exercise can help combat the symptoms of anxiety immediately, but it can also have a more significant impact over time.
- Meditation – With daily meditation practice, you can train yourself to become more mindful. This way, your mind won’t dwell on past hurts or impending disasters.
- Proper nutrition – In order for your brain and body to function properly, you’ll need the right nutrients. To ensure you’re getting enough of the good stuff, set a goal to eat more vegetables and try to balance your meals to include protein, veggies and healthy carbs.
Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life. You can regain control with simple changes. Why not start today?