Chronic Anxiety Can Damage a Person's Day to Day Life

Sep 01, 2021

Anxiety is a state of mental tension and worry. It can be experienced in various forms, such as general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic attacks, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

In the United States alone, it is estimated that millions of adults experience anxiety with some people suffering from full-blown panic attacks at least once in their lifetime. Chronic anxiety has a devastating impact on daily life and can lead to sleep deprivation, inability to concentrate, decreased productivity, and other problems. This article will discuss the different causes of anxiety disorders, signs of anxiety, signs of an anxiety attack, and ways of handling anxiety.

Causes of Anxiety 

Five major causes of anxiety are social comparison, memory, physical symptoms, negative thinking, and stressful events.

  • Anxiety caused by social comparison: Social Media has created an environment where people are constantly unfavorably comparing themselves to others. Many Americans use social media to compare themselves with their friends and family members in a negative and self-destructive way.
  • Anxiety caused by traumatic memories: Many people suffer from anxiety disorders as a result of traumatic memories. Some examples of traumatic memories are those that have been caused by violence, natural disasters, or accidents. These memories of traumatic experiences can cause intense anxiety as well as flashbacks to the distressing events.
  • Anxiety caused by physical symptoms: Anxiety may be caused by physical problems such as chronic pain or gastrointestinal issues that create concern about health and well-being.
  • Anxiety caused by negative thinking: Some people may suffer from anxiety due to their own thoughts or worries, such as a shortage of money before the rent is due. Some events, too, may be purely imaginary. For instance, someone may worry about what will happen if they lose their job despite no evidence to suggest this possibility.
  • Anxiety caused by stress: An accumulation of stressful events in quick succession may result in a state of high anxiety.

Signs of Anxiety or an Anxiety Attack

Anxiety is a very real and prevalent issue in the United States. Millions of Americans are affected by anxiety disorders, and rates continue to rise. Anxiety may be triggered by stress, but it often creates physiological sensations out of proportion to the stressor.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or dread about something that might happen in the future. It is a heightened response to a stressful situation, even if the situation is mild, something that is neither severe, dangerous, or life-threatening. Signs of anxiety are rapid heartbeat, chest pain or tightness, headaches, dizziness, or lightheadedness

Anxiety attacks, on the other hand, are an escalation of anxious symptoms, resulting in a sense of panic. Symptoms of an anxiety attack include dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating, rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, tremors, muscle tension, and more.

Handling Anxiety 

Anxiety is a feeling that can be described as an extreme fear of the future. It might start with thoughts such as “will I be able to pay bills or keep my job?” but then turn into “what if I lose my housing and end up on the streets?”

Anxiety can be managed by using various coping skills. Some of the best ways to reduce anxiety are exercise, mindfulness, and therapy.

  • Exercise: Exercise is a powerful way to reduce anxiety. People who exercise regularly are able to reduce their symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Some research has found that people who exercise are also better at regulating emotions and moods.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness can reduce anxiety and stress levels. This is an awareness-based approach to living that helps people live in the present moment and cultivate positive human qualities such as kindness, patience, empathy, and creativity. It’s also the practice of purposely focusing one's attention on one's own thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and actions without judgment or criticism.
  • Therapy: Cognitive behavior therapy is a psychological treatment that helps people with anxiety disorders like OCD, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder. It involves techniques like behavioral rehearsal, exposure therapy, and cognitive restructuring to help patients change the way they think about their disorder.

In summary, anxiety arises from many possible causes. If left untreated, it can cause mild symptoms like worry or severe symptoms like a panic attack. Some of the most effective ways of handling anxiety are regular exercise, practicing mindfulness, and getting cognitive behavior therapy.

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