The general idea is that anxiety is the body’s reaction to a tense or fearful situation. However, it goes a bit deeper than that. It can affect people in a variety of ways and there are varying degrees of anxiety. These range from stress to crippling anxiety in the face of social situations. Multiple anxiety disorders are plaguing the global population. According to statistics, nearly 19.1% of the US population has an anxiety disorder.
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We have all felt anxious at least once in our lives. However, an anxiety disorder is a different situation altogether. It can make functioning difficult for individuals. Here is how the best way one can deal with anxiety:
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, here are a few symptoms of GAD:
- An overwhelming sense of worry
- Difficulty in focusing
- Lack of sleep
- Trembling and increased heart rate
Take a Deep Breath
This may seem like clichéd advice that does not work. However, that is not true. One of the first symptoms one experiences as a response to feeling anxiety is troubled breathing. When you are anxious, you will notice your breathing becoming shallower and quicker.
Therefore, a good way to counter anxiety is by focusing on your breathing. Take slow and deep breaths. You can count to five as you hold your breath and then on five let it go. Slow and deliberate breathing can help calm you down, shift your focus, and help you feel less anxious.
Do Not Let Your Mind Wander
When faced with a stressful situation, anxious people are unable to stay in the present and their mind wanders off. They will think about the worst possible future outcome and feel horrible. It is crucial to actively prevent this and take control of your feelings.
Try to stay in the moment. Keep reminding yourself that worrying about a thing in the future is futile. You can take the right decisions in the present and present a future outcome as long as you are mentally available. This will help calm your nerves.
Take Out Time to Freak Out
The reality is that there will always be things that are not in our control. We will feel anxious about them, but we cannot help the situation. It is not always possible to divert or avoid your concerns. At times, indulging in the sadness and worry can help deal with it better.
Occasionally, plan time to freak out. This can be alone or with a bunch of friends. This should be your time to sit and worry about the problems that bother you. It can be great for self-reflection. You can write down these thoughts and later decide if these concerns are worth feeling such anxiety over.
People can be incredibly self-critical. Where some amount of self-criticism can prove to be good for growth, going overboard with criticism can tear your confidence. Try to be kind to yourself. It is okay if you have not been doing well at work or in your personal life, have faith that you will figure it out.
Learn the Patterns
Keep a journal to note down your thoughts whenever you feel anxiety creeping in. This does not have to be a physical diary; it could be an informal note on your phone. Make sure you describe the scene and the situation, which led to you feeling anxious. This will help identify your triggers. You can then ignore or handle them better to keep your anxiety at bay.
Anxiety has varying degrees and people have different mechanisms of dealing with anxiety. If you struggle with an anxiety disorder, follow the above-mentioned tips to deal with an overwhelming sense of anxiety.