We all experience anxiety throughout our lives but when it becomes debilitating and gets in the way of our ability to function at work, enjoy our relationships and live our best life, it requires us to do extra to overcome it. First, we need to understand what's going on so that we can learn how to respond better.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of worry, despair, and fear in our day-to-day life. While it's common for all of us to feel some degree of anxiousness, anxiety disorders are much more intense and get in the way of our ability to function. When anxiety is frequent, intense and impacts our daily life, it's beneficial to seek out counseling to help get to the root of where our anxiety is coming from and gain better ways to cope.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety looks different for everyone who experiences it but there are some common overarching features. For some, it may look like a physical reaction such as shortness of breath and excessive sweating while others may endure a more mental reaction along the lines of over-analyzing, avoidance, or uncontrollable worries. When you feel your anxiety taking over your ability to move or speak, it may be difficult to reach out for help when you need it most, so being able to notice the symptoms before they feel unbearable could make all the difference in recovering from anxiety.
- heart palpitations
- muscle tension
- stomach aches & diarrhea
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
- frequent urination
- being easily startled
- shortness of breath
- avoiding everyday circumstances
- forced intense self-disclosure in new relationships
- difficulty speaking or over-speaking
- hypervigilence (scanning environment for danger)
- increasing ruminations about our fears
- catastrophizing situations
- increasing self-judgments
If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
– Lao Tzu
Potential Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Get the Help You Need
If you're experiencing anxiety symptoms and attacks, please do not hesitate to seek help through therapy. Therapy can make all the difference in the world by guiding you to respond to your anxiety differently, and in a way that enables you to enjoy life more fully. Anxiety can't be cured overnight, but it can be managed with the right tools and guidance, leaving you feeling more empowered with every session.
Mindfulness Can Calm Anxiety
Mindfulness is being aware in the present moment, with curiosity, not judgment.
Podcast Series: Mindfulness
If you prefer listening to a podcast at your convenience, then check out my podcast series on this topic, in short bite-sized episodes.