Agonizing Anxiety, and How to Keep a Clear Mind

The mind is a powerful force. It can enslave us or empower us. It can plunge us into the depths of misery or take us to the heights of ecstasy. Learn to use this power wisely.

With a mind so powerful, one would expect that anxiety and depression would not be as common as it is, and yet – 40 million adults in the United States alone, are affected every year.

So What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural and healthy emotion. The feeling of anxiety is often the cause of the “fight or flight” adrenaline surge that we experience when we consider ourselves to be in danger. Since the earliest days of humanity, this was brought on by survival tactics such as avoiding predators etc. Nowadays, it’s more common to experience anxious thoughts as a result of work, family, financial pressures, health etc. When the feeling of anxiety is severe, and out of proportion to the ‘danger’ trigger (or the duration is extended), one could be facing an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder:

Everyone reacts differently to certain events and has slightly different chemical balances resulting in a number of possible symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Restlessness
  • Uncontrollable feelings of worry
  • Increased irritability
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Feeling faint / dizzy
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Chills / Hot Ffushes
  • Fear

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

Anxiety is a key part in several types of anxiety disorders. See 5 of the most common disorders below:

  1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – involves excessive, long-lasting anxiety and often the person is not able to identify the cause of their anxiety.
  2. Panic Disorder – Brief or sudden attacks of terror and apprehension, often resulting in shortness of breath, confusion and shaking (amongst others).
  3. Social Anxiety Disorder / Social Phobia – the fear of negative judgement from others in a social situation, or of public embarrassment / humiliation.
  4. Separation Anxiety Disorder – separating from a person or place that provides feelings of security.
  5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – recurring irrational thoughts that lead to repeating specific behaviours.

What brings on Anxiety?

The causes of anxiety can be complicated as what would bring on an ‘attack’ for one person, may have no affect on another. Often, it’s a combination of factors that can cause a person to worry or trigger the feeling of anxiety. Possible stressors can include:

  • Environmental (such a work, relationships / family issues)
  • Genetics (If someone in the family suffers from an anxiety disorder, there is an increased likeliness that it’s passed down)
  • Medical Factors (some side effects of medication can cause stress on the body)
  • Brain Chemistry (a misalignment of hormones and electrical signals to the brain)
  • Withdrawal from an illicit substance (the effects may intensify the feeling of anxiety)

Treatment:

There are some common methods of managing an anxiety disorder depending on the severity and cause:

Is Prevention an Option?

Remembering that anxiety is a natural and healthy emotion, experiencing it does not mean that you have a disorder. There are some steps you could take though in order to moderate anxious emotions.

  • Reduce caffeine, cola and chocolate intake
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Keep a regular sleep pattern
  • Avoid alcohol, cannabis / other drugs
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Exercise your brain everyday
  • Be careful of falling into the “if only” hole
  • And LASTLY, take part in our 30-day challenge
* https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
* https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323454.php
* https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety#outlook
* https://drleaf.com/blog/5-mental-health-mistakes-that-could-be-causing-you-unnecessary-anxiety/?fbclid=IwAR1iVTDapZUMgLGvmWNAHsssHGkLmwYP43WBgJ9iT2OYITuCzfe9qnvQgRg
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