Are you often worried about day-to-day details? Do you usually fret over small things? Are you often nervous about situations and their outcome? These are anxiety symptoms.
Sure, it’s normal to be worried every now and then. But if you find yourself frequently fretting about a lot of things, it’s important to realize if it may be an anxiety disorder.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety can simply be described as a feeling of uneasiness. Mostly, it’s caused by worry or fear of future occurrences that can harm our well-being. For instance, you can feel worried when undergoing certain lab tests.
Psychologists say that being anxious at different situations is completely normal. Feeling worried or anxious actually helps us deal with the real danger. But how can you tell if those feelings of anxiety are actually a disorder?
Anxiety comes in many different forms. These include panic attacks, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. If you frequently feel very anxious or worried, and experience the symptoms for a few months, you may have anxiety.
There are different types of anxiety disorders. However, these are common signs for almost all of them:
- An increased heart beat and nervousness. The body’s natural alarm initiates such responses when faced with danger. It prepares the body by directing blood to major organs to keep us alert and free from harm.
- Sweating, trembling and feeling weak in the legs. These are usual signs of fear. People with social phobias frequently have these symptoms.
- Nausea and stomach upset. Anxiety makes our body shut down all systems which are not crucial for survival. This allows the system to focus all energy to organs that ensure well-being. Because digestion isn’t needed, the body shuts it down temporarily. This results in stomach upset and other digestive-related symptoms.
- Dizziness and shortness of breath. During anxiety attacks, blood and oxygen are mostly directed to the major organs. This forces the body to increase its breathing rate to take in more oxygen. Additionally, there is a decrease in blood supply to the brain. This results in dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Chest tightness and pain. This increased breathing rate can make you feel pain in the chest area. Additionally, you may also feel tightness when trying to breathe.
Next steps you can take
If you think you have an anxiety disorder, it’s best to see your doctor. He can refer you to a mental health specialist to help you with treatment. Additionally, there are simple things you can do at home to keep anxiety at bay:
- Stop drinking coffee and other drinks with caffeine. Caffeine can increase symptoms of anxiety and nervousness.
- Avoid alcohol and other recreational drugs. These substances can increase your anxiety as well.
- Quit smoking. The nicotine content of cigarettes can worsen anxiety.
- Try relaxation techniques. Tai chi, yoga and meditation, along with other techniques, can prove to be beneficial.
- Get enough zzzz’s. Lack of sleep can trigger anxiety. Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Get moving with exercise and physical activity. Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety. Try to set a routine that you can follow for at least 3-4 days a week.
- Manage your stress well. Stress is a big trigger for anxiety. Deep breathing and various other stress management techniques can help prevent a blowup of anxiety symptoms.