What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is that uneasy worry or nervousness that comes over you when you are put into or think about a situation you consider stressful. Often it creates physical reactions to your body beyond the psychological responses, which could include rapid breathing or shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, chest pain, nausea, or other physical stresses.
A little anxiety is natural. You will most likely react with some nervousness thinking about a big job interview or facing your peers after an accidental embarrassing moment, and a little queasy feeling might go along with it.
Anxiety Is No Laughing Matter
But for those who really struggle with anxiety on a more routine basis, you will know that your anxiety isn’t just a simple passing reaction to stressful moments from time-to-time. Anxiety can start to feel like its running your life and giving you more stress, especially when it prevents you from doing certain activities, limits you from being as successful as you’d like, interferes with your relationships, or causes you physical and emotional issues. When not managed, anxiety can spin out of control and quickly become a bigger problem.
Anxiety can stem from a number of explanations such as how you were raised or dealt with things as a child or even an adult, the way your brain interprets situations, having to cope with a traumatic event, the amount of stress or overwhelming responsibilities you have, or several other reasons. But no matter the cause, dealing with your anxiety and keeping it at a level that is not disrupting your life (or others’) is very important to your health and relationships.
The Real Issue with Anxiety
Even if you feel you can control your anxiety most of the time, it may affect you more than you think. Research shows that people with more anxiety typically express more anger. Studies also reveal anxious people tend to assume a more negative outcome of an ambiguous situation rather than “seeing it as it is” or considering a more positive thought. This way of thinking seems circular; if a person is already anxious, then seems to perceive things in a more negative way, it can only cause them to become more anxious… and you start to see how things can spiral downward.
Kick Anxiety to the Curb
This is why it is so important to not just put on a brave face and tell yourself you are handling your anxiety okay when deep down you know it’s really affecting you. If you could be a better you… a less-stressed, less-anxious person, do you think it would help you enjoy life more? Would it help you control your anger, worry, tension, or sleeplessness? Could it help improve your relationships with friends, family, coworkers, and even your spouse and kids too? If your answer is yes, then don’t feel guilty about taking the time to help relieve your anxiety issues. Start working on ways to cope with your anxiety to better yourself… and those around you!
Check back here for our next blog post to learn more helpful tips on managing your anxiety… in the meantime here is one tip to leave you with (you have to start somewhere!): Accept the things you cannot change.
For more information about anxiety and how a local mental health counselor can help you deal with anxiety and stress issues, check out our Anxiety page. Or if you are in South Florida, you can contact Susan Block, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, for a free consultation to see how you can stop anxiety from ruling your life!