Feelings of anxiety and stress have many causes, such as facing an experienced panel while appearing for a job interview, talking in front of a huge crowd, preparing yourself for your school or college examinations and many more. The feeling of anxiety in people can cause a lot of physical and emotional stress. These days, life has become very hectic due to intense competition, long work hours and stress. With technology booming the world over, it’s quite likely that you spend a large part of your time worrying about stuff that may or may not affect you. The result is a state called anxiety. Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state, a bit like fear that affects the way we feel and behave. Today, it is the most common mental health problem in the United States with approximately 19 million people suffering from anxiety disorders. It has also been observed that women are more likely than men to suffer from such disorders. In the quest to successfully deal with anxiety, it is imperative that we know how to identify and detect it.
The symptoms of anxiety in each individual are unique, as each person is distinct from the other and the intensity and type of symptoms exhibited may vary. This is because the anxiety attack can be mild or serious displaying some or certain typical symptoms. Mentioned below are some signs that will help you identify anxiety.
- A person may often feel out of control about their health and life and struggle with low self-esteem.
- May have difficulty managing pressure and feel nervous in many social situations.
- Experience excessive, ongoing worry and tension.
- Have difficulty in concentrating, or feel the need to go to the bathroom frequently.
- May start trembling or are easily startled.
- Some individuals may experience an upset stomach or nausea.
- Increased blood pressure and pacing palpitations with steep rise in the heartbeats or throbbing pain in the chest.
Ways to Deal With Anxiety
The two major options to deal with anxiety are medication and therapy. Another aspect about treating or dealing with anxiety is either dealing with the symptoms of anxiety or dealing with the underlying causes. Statistical studies have revealed that about 65% of North Americans take prescription medications daily, while 43% take mood altering prescriptions regularly. The most important message here is that anxiety disorder or attacks are totally curable and it is better to opt for long-term cure of anxiety through therapy and knowledge, rather than medication which helps diminish the symptoms and is short-term relief.
Drugs and medication are prescribed to deal with anxiety symptoms such as restlessness or muscle stress. These drugs are of commonly referred to as tranquilizers. Paxil and Zoloft are two of the more popular antianxiety medications in the US. Some of these medication may take some time to start working but they are generally appropriate for long-term treatment. A point to remember here is that these medications are to be taken only under prescription from a certified doctor and in the correct dosage to minimize side effects.
Counseling and Therapy
An important option to cure an individual of anxiety is through counseling and therapy sessions carried out by experienced professionals. These interactive sessions would involve understanding and rationalizing an individuals anxiety related problems and challenges. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one of the widely used therapies that emphasizes the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps an individual to identify unhelpful and unrealistic beliefs and behavioral patterns. CBT focuses on the problems that are experienced in the present, rather than events from the past. This therapy also teaches how to better understand the situations that cause anxiety and how to react more positively to those situations.
Meditation and Exercise
Meditation or deep breathing is also a good way of beating stress as it helps to relax the body and mind and helps increase the oxygen level in the body. After practicing these methods for a few months, you will most probably see positive results for your efforts. Meditation and deep breathing are proven to have reduced the frequency and duration of anxiety attacks considerably. Exercising 30 minutes a day can work wonders for people who suffer from anxiety attacks. Besides acting as a distraction, exercising or performing any outdoor activity can reduce stress and is less likely to induce the feeling of being trapped that is experienced by most sufferers. The added benefit of exercise is that it will keep the body healthy and functioning properly thus allaying fears about the body failing during an anxiety attack.
Think Positive and Build Self-esteem
You cannot keep worrying about things over which you have no control, like the weather or somebody’s reaction or opinion. The desired action here is to analyze a situation or problem and try to detect the root cause or source and then act on it accordingly. Sometimes you may realize that it is not a problem at all and your mind has unnecessarily created anxiety. A great way to keep our minds off the worry track is to focus our thoughts on things that are good, beautiful, and positive. Allow yourself to dream, wish, and imagine the best that could happen. Self-improvement is the most effective way of raising the levels of your self-esteem. Try to increase your self-esteem by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Learn to accept the truth and be bold enough to face the difficulties in life. You should try to maintain your strengths and improve on your weaknesses.
Indulge in Hobbies and Special Interests
Another alternative to deal with anxiety is, by devoting some time to one’s hobbies and special interests. Hobbies like listening to music, painting, sculpture, making greeting cards, playing fun games are good relaxation tips suggested by most medical practitioners. Go out and watch a nice movie or have a dinner at a fine restaurant to change the monotonous routine of everyday life.
Though anxiety in moderation is not all that bad and in some cases beneficial, constant and overwhelming anxiety is definitely a health hazard. Fortunately, there are many treatment options and self-help strategies that can quickly help you control anxiety attacks, reduce their symptoms, and regain control of your life.