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How To Identify Anxiety And Learning To Cope With It
An anxiety disorder can show up at any point in your life. It is normal to feel anxious when you are about to face certain life situations.
Are you anxious about speaking in public? Job interviews? Travelling to a foreign country?Everyone gets nervous or anxious from time to time.
If your worries are taking over or even interfering with your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. It is important to learn what triggers your anxiety. Family, school, work or people?
Stress and Anxiety: How To Tell The Difference
Anxiety and stress share many of the same physical symptoms. This makes it difficult to spot the differences between the two.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a trigger. It is generally a short-term experience. Anxiety can be triggered by stress and often lasts longer.
Excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities. The broadest type of anxiety is worrying too much about everyday things. But what constitutes “too much”?
Different Forms Of Anxiety
As we all deal with anxiety and worry in our own way, it can be difficult to identify levels of anxiety.
Do you worry about things that are out of your control?
Is your daily life is significantly filled with constant worry? if it causes suffering and dysfunction then you may be suffering from anxiety disorder.
I am not a doctor. So I only share my thoughts and experiences. I do not offer medical advice.
Are You Experiencing Any Of The Following Symptoms?
Panic – Accompanied by physical symptoms – shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and heart racing.
Self-Consciousness – Trouble having one-on-one conversations, eating and drinking in front of others.
Sleep Problems – Constantly having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep .
Irrational Fears – A constant feeling that something terrible is about to happen.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/ Flashbacks – Reliving a traumatic event.
Failure Of Making Mistakes (Perfectionism) – Judging yourself or anxiety about making mistakes or not being up to standard.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – In any one of the following categories:
- Doubters and Sinners
- Counters and Arrangers
- Self Doubt
If you are then you should see a doctor. Someone that can help you get to the root of the problem. This will help you to identify where your anxiety stems from.
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Anxiety involves a range of physical symptoms which sufferers may mistake for a medical illness.
Physical symptoms of anxiety include:
Shortness of breath
'To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.” ― Richie Norton'Click To Tweet
The Following Strategies Will Help You Cope With Anxiety And Stress:
– Learn what triggers your anxiety
– Take deep breaths
– Limit alcohol, nicotine and caffeine
– Daily exercise
– Listen to soothing music
– Get enough sleep
– Maintain a well-balanced diet
– Pay attention to the positive things in your life
– Accept that you cannot control everything
– Always talk to someone you trust – Friends or family
– Seek professional help
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
The two main treatments for anxiety are psychotherapy and medication.
- Psychotherapy: Talk therapy is effective in helping people identify, process, and cope with their triggers of anxiety using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
- Medication: Antidepressants generally have some mild side effects but help alleviate some symptoms of anxiety.
I always say, before starting medication, we should always look into natural and holistic methods if possible.
There are several changes you can make at home. Daily exercise, rest and sleep, and healthy eating to name a few.
Self-Help for Anxiety Disorder
If your lifestyle is unhealthy and stressful, you’re more likely to feel anxious regardless of whether you have an anxiety disorder or not. You can lower your anxiety by:
Connecting with others: Loneliness or isolation from friends and family can trigger or worsen anxiety. Talk about your stressors and worries with a person you trust.
Manage your time: If your stress levels are overwhelming, try to share some of your responsibilities and see if there are any you can give up, turn down, or delegate to others.
Practice relaxation techniques: Meditation, mindfulness and yoga, along with deep breathing exercises can reduce anxiety symptoms.
Changing habits: Worrying is a mental habit you can learn how to break. Learning to accept uncertainty can significantly reduce worry and calm anxious thoughts.
Living With An Anxiety Disorder
When stress no longer feels manageable and symptoms of anxiety interfere with your daily living, it’s time to seek an evaluation from a licensed mental health practitioner.
I am learning to chase my fears away. Replace fears and negative thoughts with positive affirmations.This will not happen overnight, so you have to make this a daily habit!
Need positive affirmations to speak to yourself everyday? Download your free guide here.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or know someone who does? How have you tried to help yourself or others?
Please share you experiences with me in the comments section below.
I suffered from pain and anxiety when my partner has illicit affairs. Whenever I sit infront of the computer my hands were shaking and heart is pounding. I feel shaken, panic, fear of nothing and nervous. That is where I found everything while sitting infront of the computer. I struggled. Sometimes, I stand up to go to bed and cry. It is difficult to fight at first. With your will power to fight and prayers, you will be all right.
[…] I was pregnant with my little one in 2015 and I was suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. […]
We just went through a crazy US election. So many of us Americans have (and still are) experiencing anxiety about what is to come. The one tip you gave that I totally agree with? Accept that some things are out of our control. I have to tell myself this daily 🙂
This is good to know. I don’t have it and don’t really know someone close to me. but it’s good to know these kind of things so you know what to do in the future. thanks for sharing.
Very helpful post for those struggling with identifying anxiety. I myself suffer from various forms of anxiety disorders and recently started seeking help for it. I think there needs to be more information out there about mental illnesses in order to stop the stigma that comes with finding out someone has one.
Yes, so much stigma comes with anxiety disorder or “unessen” illnesses. People are afraid to share about it or even let people know they suffer from it. I am trying to bring light to this and more awareness. Thanks for sharing part of your story Kitty! hugs from Vienna.
This post is so informative. Anxiety is such a difficult subject, i always try to let the people whom suffer from it know that i am there for them.
Its so tough to watch from the side
Mental health comes in so many different forms!! Well done for speaking up about an issue many are scared to face. Keep it up x
Hi Tomilola, thanks so much for your kind words. Anxiety disorder needs to be spoken about more often.
Gosh, I have anxiety and panic attacks. Have had enough of them to last a lifetime! Very informative post, I’m sure it will help many who suffer from these.
Thanks so much!
Another amazing post and very well written dear Shery. Worried and nervous, it was happened to me too sometime. Specially when I had to prepared my belly dance solo performance for my very first time. Btw, love your article and give so much informative for other. Thanks so much sharing.
Great post, so informative! That list of things to do to cope is so useful!
wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this, it gave so much information about the important issue. It’s good to raise awareness of these things 🙂
Really helpful, I feel like so many people can’t even recognise this disorder! Absolutely love your blog, such a fab post. Keep doing what you’re doing and writing these great posts! Please check out my blog if you get a sec. x
Hi Natascha! Thank you for your lovely comments and feedback. Yes, many people brush of anxiety disorder as being something else or a phase you can just “get over”. I am glad you enjoyed the read and I will be taking a look at your page now. Hope to see you back soon, Sheri.
Thank you. I can relate so much to this post. I too wrote about anxiety and my experience.
Great information here, perfect for anyone looking for more info, especially if you’re concerned! Always stay positive!
I’ve learnt a lot through your post! I knew about anxiety disorder, but I guess since I’m pretty nervous and stressful all the time, I didn’t know it was that bad. It depends on the person I guess! Thanks for the head up! x
This is a wonderful post, Sheri! Love how you are trying to make it simple for people to understand what anxiety disorder is. It does not need to be a huge deal either, people knowingly or unknowingly could be suffering too. Self help really is the best help, so awesome for you that you are replacing your fears and negative thoughts with positive affirmations – way to go girl!
I don’t think I am suffering from this disorder but sometimes when I have like way to many things to be done in a short pile of time I just feel guilty for almost everything I do, I would even prefer to skip my meals and stuff. I get so stressed out and I feel bad with sleeping or waking up at 8 instead of 6 or 7 and going on with the work I have to complete. It does not happen often, like just a few times yearly but I think your tips may help me a lot in my bad-times. I had this bad time like two years ago I was so focused on studing I hardly had any time for friends and hobbies, meditation is so helpful. Now I can combine good working and time for my things and I feel so much better now! and I think these things you wrote are really true!
This is a great resource for people who suffer from anxiety. It’s helpful to be open about it, especially since this is such a common ailment! I’ve heard yoga does wonders as well…
I have OCD and get anxiety from it–I have checker OCD. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn to work through every day tasks and have found a system that works and gives me freedom to move on and go about my day. This is all a lot of good info you’ve given–I hope someone finds it really helpful!
My mom does, or did. It was horrible seeing her have anxiety attacks that she didn’t really know what brought them on. Scary to watch, I can’t imagine the feeling.
As a psychologist I work with a lot of anxiety disorders. Many are kids. Anxiety manifests in so many different ways.
Since becoming a mama almost 8 years ago, I think I definitely have a lot more worry in my life. Knowing the situations that make me uncomfortable and then trying to find ways to change the reactions to the situations has helped.
I suffer anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia as part of fibromyalgia. I’ve found that mindfulness meditation can really help. Now that I’ve learnt the techniques I can do it more quickly to fight off a panic attack. It’s very powerful.
I used to exhibit a certain amount of compulsive behavior as a high school student, but over the years it seemed to gradually ease of its own accord. I’m not sure if this often happens, but I was glad it did in my case. It was a great deal of fun for me, but it was even worse for my parents, who couldn’t understand what was going on. Remember, this was before the days of the Internet when information on just about any topic is only a couple of clicks away.
This is a great post for someone who suffer from anxiety attacks. You have shared some great tips dear. Would you like to follow each other on Bloglovin and other social media 🙂 x
Thank you Ambi. I will add you to my blog, and you can add me back. Let’s stay connected!
I do have anxiety and I have for years now. It is definitely a struggle!
One of my best friends suffers from high anxiety and this was a great read to understand better what she experiences and how she can cope.
Yes, I definitely suffer from anxiety! Strategies that have helped me manage my anxiety in the past have been exercising and spending time outside as well as learning about Stoicism. This article is about using Stoicism in business but it explains clearly the basic tenets – https://blog.bidsketch.com/sales/conquer-fear-supercharge-business/
I was a chatty, bubbly, rather opinionated girl with a lot to say! I don’t know what happened, but back in October/November 2015 things suddenly got so bad. I struggled in social settings and would pick all the nail polish off my nails because I was so nervous just having a beer out with my friends. I couldn’t believe it, I’m Sarah, kinda crazy and hyper and super friendly, why is this happening?! I struggled going to a cafe on my own or doing pretty much anything. I was a TEFL teacher at the time in Italy, but had worked abroad previously, even within Italy. It was such a sad time, I lost something of myself.
In January I had a panic attack and realised I needed to up and leave. Although I was “quitting” and coming back home and everyone thought they were right and traveling isn’t something I can do forever- I knew the only place I needed to be was home. I was a couch potato for a month and then finally picked up some work and got things together. My anxiety has reduced so much but I have a feeling it’s something I’m always going to carry around with me. Hopefully I can keep it from controlling me. I too have cut out caffeine and noticed that it’s helped. I also adore my yoga/meditation practice 🙂
Onwards and upwards, I’m back to Italy this June (feel like we left on bad terms) for a 3 month summer position, and then to Spain, Canary Islands, for a year! I’m anxious about the fact I have anxiety, but I have a good feeling about this year. Wish me luck!
Sarah – Thank you for sharing your story with me. I think a lot of people do not realise how anxiety can creep into your life and change who you are. I can understand that because it is also hard for the anxiety sufferer to understand it at times too. I am very happy to hear that you were able to take control of the situation as quickly as you did. I wish you all the best in Italy this summer – and then in Spain too. You are going to be fine! xoxox S.
Thank you lovely! I’m just hoping to come out of it feeling a little stronger within myself 🙂
I have a phobia and it gives me a lot of anxiety. I’ve been trying to deal with it. I know I just have to push through and not run away but it is hard.
I used to suffer terrible from an anxiety disorder. But that was brought on my heart arrhythmia. Everytime my heart started beating irregularly, I panicked, making it worse. I’ve since learned to accept it and don’t panic any more.
I suffered from social phobia and anxiety from a pre-teen to a young adult. Even though I’m no where near bad as I was, I do get nervous during social situations from time to time. Sometimes, it helps me to avoid them altogether. Additionally, I’ve had panic disorder since I was a pre-teen as well. I can’t help but wonder if the latter is hereditary since a lot of my family members have this. – HilLesha
I do worry constantly. Every time my daughter is doing something, I think about every possible thing that could go wrong. It’s bad. I have to breathe and focus on something else. I also check the locks at night like 20 times. It’s even annoying to me!
I suffer from anxiety and see a therapist for my anxiety. I was in the military and just have this fear of crowds so you’ll find me doing my shopping at Walmart at 3am 🙂
My mother has suffered from an anxiety disorder for years so I know how devastating it can be. I’m glad she is getting the help and support that she needs.
I do not – I am pretty mellow – But, my brother has one and it can be quite severe at times. He has some bad days and real struggles.
I think everybody has anxiety, but the level on each person is different. You sharing something valuable to aware of, and you explain it very clear.
This is such a informative piece. It is so difficult dealing with anxiety especially when you’re a parent. Coping mechanisms truly help once you get them down.
I have severe anxiety and it can appear without warning. Often it is when I am alone and vulnerable. Sometimes it is because of fears and other times it is because of stress.
I understand you Ana. I have the same. It can come up at anytime and it is a scary experience because at times it can be hard to remember all the breathing methods while in the moment. I hope you are able to find a way to ease the stress and get through it in the best possible way. Wishing you success and strength.
I really liked this. I wrote a post about this in March. Feel free to check it out. I loved your suggestions as well. Anxiety is very serious, and you should really find some way of getting it under control. Great post.
Thank you for you feedback Marvina. I will check out your blog and post.
Great post for those needing specifics that they don’t want to speak to a dr. about. Thanks for the informative post!
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder while I was in middle school, and I went to a counselor for awhile. I learned some coping mechanisms, how to think differently, and it still helps me!
Wow – such a helpful post about some serious stuff. You really explain it clearly and the advice is really great. Its always wise to know the best ways to reach out – so thanks for this!
Thank You Karen. I try to share it in a way that is easy for readers to understand, and from my heart and experiences, so in non-medical way.I am glad you enjoyed the post.
That must be so hard to live with. I have a good friend who has anxiety and she can barely even leave her house. I feel so bad for her.