Anxiety can influence your life in more ways than you can imagine; it has to do with feelings of uneasiness, unrest, and heightened worry. This can be normal in some cases, but it can also escalate and become a disorder which will disrupt your overall well-being and conduct.
However, anxiety is not such a terrifying foe; you just need to understand the difference between normal worry and anxiety disorder before you can learn the best ways to overcome anxiety. This guide provides your roadmap to calmness; it has all you need to understand and overcome anxiety, so read on as we explore the world of anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural way your body responds to real or perceived danger. Your body uses it to alert you and prepare you for danger, so it is a natural thing for people to experience anxiety. Still, when this experience becomes too frequent, it does stop and becomes overwhelming even when it doesn’t need to. It may be an indication of an anxiety disorder.
While it is okay to be anxious or worried about something, anxiety disorders are characterised by persistent, uncontrollable, excessive worry, nervousness or fear. Sometimes, it is due to a situation you are facing and other times, it is without any apparent reason.
What Causes Anxiety?
The causes of anxiety disorder aren’t fully understood because it is triggered by so many different factors in different people. It can be caused by stress buildup, trauma, stress due to an illness, personality type, environmental stressors, certain mental disorders, and having a family history of anxiety disorder.
Some physical health conditions, such as heart disease, substance abuse, diabetes, COPD, asthma, alcohol withdrawal, thyroid problems, etc., can also cause anxiety disorder in some people. So, the case is different for everyone; however, regardless of the cause, as we progress in this guide, you will learn how to regain calmness and overcome this challenge.
What is the Difference Between Normal Worry and Anxiety Disorder?
It is normal for people to experience worry at some points in life; it is a natural response to some situations, but there is a huge distinction between normal worry and anxiety disorder. Normal worry has a definite cause, and it comes and goes, whereas anxiety disorder may not triggered by any notable event and it persists for longer periods.
So, normal worry is usually proportional to a situation and is usually within your control, which means you can choose not to worry about it. Still, an anxiety disorder is usually excessive, uncontrollable and sometimes unrealistic.
Understanding this difference is the first step to overcoming anxiety. However, there are also various treatment options for anxiety disorder, including therapy, lifestyle changes, medication and support groups. So, if you discover that you are experiencing this disorder, you must first speak with a healthcare professional.
See also: Mental Health Disorder
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
People with anxiety usually experience general unease and excessive worry over a perceived or actual danger, and this feeling can be mild or severe. Still, it is accompanied by some physical symptoms, which include:
- Rapid breathing.
- Increased body temperature.
- Fear and panic.
- Difficulty focusing.
Here are the various steps to overcoming anxiety.
Identify and Manage Your Triggers
The first thing to do when overcoming anxiety is to know what causes it. Since the cause can be different for everyone, you can identify your triggers on your own by observing the patterns, or you can do it with the help of a therapist. If you successfully identify your triggers, then you can address those things or avoid them to reduce the occurrence of anxiety. This will also help you to be aware of any imminent attacks.
If you are experiencing severe anxiety, you may want to consider using medications. Talk to a mental health professional to examine your condition and help you determine the medications that will benefit you the most, depending on your symptoms.
The most common medications for anxiety include:
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
Another very effective way to overcome anxiety is through therapy; psychotherapy can help you understand and manage your feelings and also develop coping strategies that can set you on the pathway to calmness.
A good example of psychotherapy for anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); this can help you learn and understand the negative thought patterns that lead to your anxiety. With CBT, you will observe, identify and challenge your distorted thoughts; this is the best way to manage your triggers and overcome anxiety.
Exercise is also one of the most effective ways to stop anxious thoughts and focus on your body; these activities can occupy your mind and help you manage symptoms of anxiety. Low-impact exercises like yoga, walking, and taichi can help relieve stress, boost your mood, calm your mind and keep you from worrying excessively.
Meditation involves focusing your mind on a particular thought, object or activity to help your mind learn awareness and concentration. This is an excellent way to attain a mentally calm and stable state, where you can deliberately pay attention to what you choose.
Regular meditation will train your mind and help you control anxiety; start by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath; whenever your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath. You can do this daily for a few minutes and observe how well you will improve.
Deep Breathing Exercise
A deep breathing exercise is an excellent way to control your emotions and calm your mind whenever you feel anxious; to do this, take a deep breath through your nose, hold it in for some seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Deep breathing supplies more oxygen to your brain and can cause relaxation and calmness. The best part is that you can do it anywhere and anytime. So, whenever you feel anxious, scared, or extremely worried, practise deep breathing exercises and focus on your breath entering and leaving your lungs.
Diet, Supplements and a Healthy Sleep Routine
Getting a good diet and taking supplements when necessary is also a long-term strategy to overcome anxiety; research has shown that certain foods and supplements can play a significant role as part of an effective anxiety treatment.
These include green tea, lemon balm, valerian root, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. It would also be best to talk to your doctor about your diet before taking supplements. In addition, good sleep goes a long way to promote mental health and overall well-being; it can help you feel more relaxed during the day and reduce stress.
Anxiety may be a regular part of your life, but it shouldn’t disrupt your life and override your emotions, so it is important to keep it in check by understanding what it entails and how you can overcome it. If you have followed this guide to this point, then you are well on your way to regaining your calmness and overcoming anxiety. So consistently practise all we have discussed so far, and you will surely get the result you desire.