The symptoms of anxiety include churning sensations in the stomach or sweating. Anxiety symptoms may also be feeling light-headed, breathing faster than normal, problems sleeping, nausea and panic attacks. How you can identify symptoms and take control to manage your anxiety?
Is anxiety normal?
Everyone feels anxious on occasion and anxiety could be a natural and normal reaction to some life events and experiences.
But if feelings of anxiety are overwhelming, constant or seem out of proportion to the situation, or if they are affecting your daily life to an unacceptable degree, it might be time to take action.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to situations that feel stressful, dangerous or unfamiliar. It has its roots in our primal fight-or-flight responses, as the body and mind sharpen up for conflict or escape.
Handy if you are being chased by a woolly mammoth, not so helpful in the home or workplace. The rush of adrenaline that we feel with anxiety is not pleasant, and experiencing that repeatedly can be exhausting.
This is particularly the case when you don’t know what is making you anxious, which in turn is of course anxiety-provoking in itself. A key coping strategy is to learn to recognise what is making you anxious. This can help reduce or at least calibrate the feelings and help you deal with the anxiety better.
Some people react more strongly than others: factors that influence our response include mental health, our upbringing and the environment we grew up in as a child, and maybe even just our temperament.
But that isn’t to say that we cannot work on how we deal with anxiety. Things are not set in stone.
Tips to cope with anxiety
Here are some practical things you can do to help manage anxiety.
What is making you anxious?
Try to identify the times when you feel anxious and what is going on at the time when you do. This can help you zero in on what is causing the anxiety. Consider keeping notes or a diary.
Challenge anxious thoughts
Is there another way of looking at the things that are making you anxious?
Be cautious about attempts to self-medicate
Alcohol and drugs might provide some short-term relief but might contribute to anxiety feelings down the line.
Allow time for anxious feelings
It sounds strange but trying to set a boundaried time where you think about your anxieties can make the situation feel less overwhelming.
Try to shift your focus
Relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, mindfulness and getting outside into some nature or even a park, can help.
Talk to somebody
Speak to your GP about your situation, and consider if therapy could help you.
Talking about your anxiety will be the first step to regaining control. By fulling understanding what is going on, you will be able to manage better. Get in touch here and begin the process of tackling your anxiety.