Everyone experiences anxiety before exam, interview or any big occasion. When this becomes acute distress, it can hamper our daily functioning. The constant and overwhelming feeling of intense nervousness and fear before doing anything is termed as anxiety disorder or sometimes as a nervous system disorder.
In today’s world, many people suffer from mild to strong anxiety disorders. The worst thing about anxiety is that it can strike anyone at any time and in any place. Also, because of social media and other industrialization factors, anxiety disorders are increasing day by day.
Anxiety is a natural reaction that usually a result of environmental and psychological stress, poor-upbringing, a character flaw etc.
There are mainly four types of anxiety disorder:
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Phobias and
- General anxiety disorder
Anxiety paralyzes a person mentally, emotionally and physically. It causes several health problems, such as mental illness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, irritability, fidgetiness, twitching, etc. These problems might not seem much, but when those panic attacks or anxiety attacks happen anytime, it gets dangerous.
Imagine a person driving a car suddenly gets an anxiety attack, then he or she would not only harm himself/herself but also the people around him/her.
Similarly, those who have social anxiety find it very difficult to work among their peers. The intense fear may even cause them to not be able to go outdoors.
While you might not be able to eradicate anxiety, you can cope with it. Some of the ways are listed below
- Distract yourself: Listen to music, meditate, practice yoga or pick up a hobby. Help your body relax.
- Have a good diet: A healthy mind needs a healthy body. So, make your diet rich in all grades of foods.
- Avoid Caffeine or Alcohol: Studies reveal that people with anxiety disorder are 3 times more likely to have issues with drugs, alcohol or caffeine. Intaking them can cause panic attacks and aggravate anxiety. Instead of consuming alcohol or caffeine, you can opt for some healthy alternatives loaded with various nutrients and antioxidants.
- Be satisfied: Instead of trying to make everything perfect, be happy with what you have and celebrate yourself.
- Learn your triggers: Understand the things that cause you anxiety and try to learn how to handle them slowly.
- Laugh: Laughter is known to produce enzymes that help your brain be happy. So, keep the company of good humour.
- Be positive: It is hard to not have negative thoughts, but try to replace them with positive ones instead.
- Count to 10: During a panic attack the best thing to do is count to 10 and breath along with it to calm yourself down.
- Exercise: Exercising releases norepinephrine, which helps the brain deal with stress. You can also set a few small goals such as to walk every day for 20-25 minutes, or you can dance 2 or 3 times a week for half an hour. Researches show that physical activity releases endorphins, known as feel-good hormones, that are helpful in reducing stress hormones.
- Take Proper Sleep: When feel stressed, give more rest to your body.
- Talk to someone: Join groups and talk to a doctor. Taking help is never bad. There are also anxiety medication and treatment that can be taken after consulting a doctor.
Anxiety is a big issue now days, but as with everything else, it too has its bundle of myths and legends.
People often believe that a person suffering from anxiety is a ‘worrier’. What you need to understand it that they do not want to worry about things. But due to a biological problem their brain can’t help feeling threatened when they are, in fact, safe.
Anxiety is not a phase or something that a person can just get-over. It can’t be controlled, and thus the person needs a lot of support from friends and family.
Many people think that a person who has anxiety is actually looking for attention. This is wrong, they would actually much rather be left alone.
Anxiety does not make a person ‘weak’. They can still function in the society.