It is normal to experience anxiety if you know how to handle it.
Do you remember the days when you were worried for no particular reason? Or a real problem bothered so much that you couldn’t live your normal life? You are not alone! Lots of people around the world experience the same. This feeling is called anxiety. It’s hard to eliminate it, but there are certain ways to ease it. We live in a world full of events and stress factors that cause various feelings and reactions in our bodies and minds. It is impossible to cancel negative emotions and only keep positive. We need to learn how to live through both and handle ourselves through anxiety and stress.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. are anxiety disorders. They affect over 40 million adults aged over 18 years and above. Only 43.2% of U.S. citizens receive treatment having Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Let’s look at the deep causes of anxiety, signs, and first symptoms of the upcoming condition. Usually, they are divided into physiological and psychological.
The physiological symptoms could be identified as heavy and rapid breathing, increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, heartache, sweating, trembling, headache, dizziness.
Psychological signs are disorientation, racing thoughts, problems with sleep, or a feeling of fear.
When you know the signs, remember five simple steps that may prevent or even soothe the upcoming anxiety.
1. Connect with others
Talk to your family or friends, join the community of like-minded people, use social media to share your thoughts and fears, try AI-based chatbot solutions in apps or texts. Staying at home eating chips or drinking wine and having endless internal conversations will not help you feel better. The pandemic made it easier and safer for people to connect using Zoom, FaceTime, social media platforms, and online events.
Meditation does not necessarily mean you need to learn yoga and sit in a certain position. Turn on your favorite relaxing music, go for a walk without your phone, listen to the birds or read an interesting book. Anything that helps to zone out, switch your mind will help you take your focus away from the problem. Don’t push yourself to find a solution and take away the anxiety. Focus on your feelings around it and try to identify what brings those negative thoughts.
3. Follow the 3-3-3 rule
Here is a very quick and effective exercise. Look around and pronounce the 3 things you see. Then, name the 3 things you hear. At last, move 3 parts of your body. Now you feel present and calm. Repeat this exercise whenever you feel that anxiety is trying to get you.
4. Accept professional help
It seems everyone is talking about anxiety these days, and it’s not a bad thing. Shining a light on mental health helps reduce the stigma that keeps many people from seeking support. At the same time, it can be hard to know if the worries and racing heart you experience are normal, or you could benefit from seeing a professional. When anxious thoughts are interfering with your life and causing you significant distress, that isn’t something you should just push through. That’s reason enough to see a mental health professional.
If you are an introvert, talking to a professional about your deepest worries could be challenging and require more time. You may want to check teletherapy options as texting, Zoom sessions or use specialized chatbot-powered apps first before heading to an in-personal session.
5. Give journaling a try
Start writing down your thoughts. Make journaling your daily ritual. What lesson have I learned from today’s events? What am I grateful for? Focusing on positive achievements and gratitude helps me quickly realize that I have a lot to be grateful for and helps me ease my mind.
Practicing these steps will help you realize what works for you. You will feel more confident facing everyday events and meeting new people.