Anxiety is a natural emotion that is caused by stress, which if it becomes very intense, can be overwhelming and have an effect on one’s mental health and daily life.
Anxiety can vary from constant worrying about something, to paralyzing fear about what could happen tomorrow.
There are 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety in the US every single year. Children and teenagers experience anxiety as well. About 25% are between 13-18 years old.
We are living in challenging times. The pandemic in the last few months, has created a major uncertainty, confusion, even chaos in people’s lives all over the world and we’ve seen anxiety rise in people, everywhere. These days, worry about health, jobs, relationships, their kids, and what is going to happen in the near future, is very common.
All of those things are of course beyond anyone’s control.
Accepting uncertainty, allows you to stop the struggle with the “What if’s” and the catastrophic thoughts about the future.
Here are some questions to ask yourself, if you are concerned that you may suffer from anxiety.
Do you find it hard to relax and turn your thoughts off?
Do you feel that you worry a great deal of the time about things that have not happened?
Do your experience physical tension in your body, dizziness or you often feel out of breath?
Do you feel a sense of overwhelm more than often and you give up on simple tasks?
Do you have a difficult time going to sleep and staying asleep?
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you might be experiencing anxiety that needs your attention and care.
Here are some things you can do to cope with anxiety.
• Learn to recognize and acknowledge that you may be experiencing anxiety symptoms.
• Be aware of how the anxiety shows up and focus on your thoughts and self-talk. Changing negative self-talk to positive encouraging talk, like “ I’m doing the best I can right now.”
• Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Eat three meals a day.
• Try to limit alcohol, caffeine and avoid energy drinks.
• Add an activity in your daily life, that is pleasant and provides a positive distraction from your anxious thoughts. Do 30 minutes exercise daily, work in the garden, share a joke with a friend or do some reminiscing about a happy event.
• Turn off your phone for an hour and take a break from the news and social media.
• Learn and practice meditation, and self -hypnosis. Learning to breath slowly , helps you to lower the stress hormone cortisol in your body, slow down your anxiety and help you to relax.
Living in the moment and having faith in the future, is a useful attitude to adopt.
Henry Ward Beecher said, “Tomorrow has two handles. We can take care of it with the handle of anxiety or with the handle of faith.”
Dr. Eugenia Andrews is a psychologist, life coach and hypnotherapist. She specializes in weight loss, smoking cessation, eating disorders, stress management, individual and family counseling, life/business coaching and clinical hypnosis. She can be reached at 817-894-3739 or firstname.lastname@example.org.