Anxiety is a human core emotion. A certain amount of anxiety can even be helpful. It is our body's alarm system. It occurs in response to situations where we may be in danger or at risk for some kind of harm.
Breaking Down The Concept Of Anxiety
Experiencing anxiety is normal, everyone experiences anxiety before a test or a job, or a wedding, and even while meeting new people.
It would be very hard to get by in life without these emotions.
The problem may start to unveil itself as this emotion is experienced more intensely and for longer time periods that it becomes a state, also known as state anxiety.
Some common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Excessive fear and worry 😧
- Muscle tension 💪🏽
- Difficulty sleeping 😴
- Irregular heartbeat ❤️🩹
- Nausea 🤢
- Cautious, avoidant behavior ⚠️
- Panic attacks 😱
Anxiety is subjective. Different individuals experience anxiety differently. The amount, intensity, and duration vary. Ergo, it is a whole spectrum.
Too low or too high level of anxiety may lead to a disbalance and cause major issues that can further turn into anxiety disorders. We can tell when normal anxiety turns into a disorder when the person expresses maladaptive behavior, experiences problems in daily life, and deviates socially as well as from the ideal.
It builds up so subtly that you may not notice it at first. Problems at work, school, and relationships take form and People isolate themselves. Jittery thoughts, edging panic attacks, and intense self-consciousness stress them to dodge anxiety-provoking situations altogether.
On top of that, high-level anxiety harms the body. Bodily symptoms include pumped-up stress hormone cortisol and raised blood pressure, which contributes over time to heart problems, stroke, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction.
Actionable steps to deal with your anxiety
The first step to overcoming your anxiety is to accept it.
Denial leads to more problems than solutions. Accepting that one is experiencing symptoms of anxiety that are discomforting and overwhelming is the first step to overcoming it.
Rocket Health has free support groups on our Cancel Stigma community, encouraging you to open up and share your feelings freely with people who may be dealing with the same problems as you.
Understanding the Root Cause of Anxiety
A clinical formulation is a combined activity between you and the psychologist to contemplate your issues. It forces you to peek inside your unresolved emotions, thoughts, and behavior and reflect on your past difficulties and experiences if these are relevant to the present.
Developing this kind of account of your problem gives you the background of your anxiety. If you know the reason why something’s happening, it automatically becomes more controllable.
Working on a clinical formulation is two people putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ are pieces of information such as
- How you feel at the moment;
- What’s going on in your life now;
- When the difficulties or distress started;
- Key experiences and relationships in your life
Try our free assessment where we're going to ask you a series of clinically tested questions to help us understand your needs and emotional state.
Counterproductive Thinking Patterns Because of Anxiety
Do you often get too worked up because of your mental health? Maybe, there is something that’s holding you back.
Here are common counterproductive thinking patterns when people get anxious:
Emotional reasoning is when you think that because your emotions are telling you something is a certain way, it truly is that way. Just because you feel people at parties would laugh at you for existing in the space won’t make it true.
Filtering: refers to a distorted lens through which one views the world. In the case of that party, parties for you are people mocking and conspiring against you.
Catastrophizing: Looking out for the worst-case scenario seeing the situation as completely hopeless and unbearable.
Labeling: Going on the internet and assuming what you are going through is social anxiety without getting a proper diagnosis is labeling. Putting a tag on yourself as such makes you fill in the avatar and dread comes along.
Personalization: Personalization is making everything about yourself. All parties don’t revolve around you.
Other counterproductive thinking patterns include jumping to conclusions, disqualifying the negative, over-generalization, and blank and white thinking.
Mind-Body Approaches to Deal with Anxiety
When your mind is anxious, your thoughts are more chaotic and in less control. it is easy to lose track of reality and not be present. Sitting down doing nothing, just existing, just breathing helps you contemplate your thoughts. It will be difficult in the beginning because your thoughts are more wild and do not sync well with you. Breathing is one of the only involuntary actions that you can take voluntary control of. Controlled breathing suggests your subconscious mind to pace in a rhythm that is steady and syncing with your breath.
Explore a variety of mindfulness activities such as
- progressive muscle relaxation,
- controlled breathing or,
- simple acts on mindfulness
Whatever works for you, exercise it consistently. In fact, we also host mindfulness sessions frequently at our Cancel Stigma community if you’d like to join.
Lifestyle Changes that Help in Anxiety
The simple act of improving yourself by 1% every day will result in exponential growth. This is true for both diet and physical exercise. Physical exercise is not just physical but mental as well.
Yoga can connect your mind and body to your inner self. Going out for a run or doing cardio can help you channelize your racing thoughts. Boxing and weightlifting can help you channelize your aggression and frustration and bad thoughts. The post-workout satisfaction is unbeatable.
Another lifestyle change you can do is give your thoughts and emotions an outlet on a frequent basis. This may include venting out to a close trustable friend, joining a support group, or writing down your thoughts.
And if expressing it verbally is difficult for you, try out alternatives such as expressing yourself through music, art, and dance.
When I get too exhausted to do anything, I listen to intense and heavy music such as metal or heavy rock. I find intensive beats relatable and it gives my emotions the outlet they need.
After a thorough session, I end it with a few lights, wholesome and fun songs such as teen pop.
Therapy And Medication
Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment in which therapists expose patients to challenges and help people confront their fears on a regular basis.
While control of the output is a bit less practical, we could instead try to take more control and accountability for our consistent efforts.
To add on, it is better to try to grow in your comfort zone instead of trying to break out of your comfort zone. That way putting in effort may feel a little more convenient with enhanced results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Relaxation strategies calm bodily sensations, cognitive skills aim to shift anxious thinking, and behavioral strategies help to reduce safety behaviors. CBT helps you identify intrusive and irregular destructive thought patterns that impact your emotions and behavior negatively.
Antidepressants like benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may relieve anxiety. It is best not to start any medicines by yourself and to consult a psychiatrist for the right form of treatment.
Rocket Health can help you find the judgment-free and confidential care you need for anxiety. Whether you’re looking for free anonymous support groups, individual therapy sessions, or psychiatry and medication, we’re here to help.