Do people say that you are a worrywart? Are you afraid to go out of your house? When you are about to meet people, do you suffer from panic attacks? Is your anxiety threatening your daily life? Let us talk about this mental disorder and how you can manage anxiety early to prevent it from taking over your life.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your body and mind’s natural reaction to a stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situation. It is the uneasiness you feel when you wait for the results of an exam. For others, it is the dread they feel when they run out of money.
The intensity of anxiety revolves around many factors such as your personality and health, the gravity of a situation, and the response of people around you.
Normal anxiety is sometimes considered helpful because it keeps you aware of your surroundings or it guides you when you need to make a decision. It often goes away when the source or situation has passed. Sometimes, though, some people suffer from persistent or acute anxiety that becomes debilitating.
What Causes Anxiety?
Since each person is unique, the causes of anxiety also vary. What can trigger anxiety in one person may not have any effect on another. Traits inherited from family can also be a factor.
Anxiety may also be a symptom of underlying health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Respiratory problems like asthma
Further, this condition can be a reaction to certain medications, drug abuse, or processes such as alcohol withdrawal.
Your doctor may request tests to determine if your anxiety is caused by a medical problem if you have the following conditions:
- Your anxiety manifests suddenly.
- You or any member of your family has a history of anxiety.
- You start avoiding certain things or situations, and anxiety is affecting your ability to function in daily life.
Although the causes of anxiety are still unclear, the following factors have been proven to increase the chances of a person developing this condition:
Trauma. Physical, verbal, or emotional abuse or trauma. Whether you experience it as a child or as an adult, your chances of developing the condition at some point in your life becomes higher because of the injury, pain, or mental anguish you experience during the traumatic event.
Stress. As noted above, an underlying illness can cause anxiety because it can trigger the body’s natural flight or fight response. However, knowing that you have a serious medical condition can lead to worry, which can result in mental stress and anxiety. A buildup of worries from daily life, work, relationships, finances, and other factors can also lead to stress-induced anxiety.
Personality. Just like how some people have a low tolerance for pain, some people are more prone to developing mental disorders like anxiety because of their personalities. Those who are timid or lack self-esteem are obvious examples, but perfectionists and those who want to control everything are also high-risk personalities.
Mental disorders. Depression is one of the leading triggers of an anxiety disorder. However, other mental disorders can also cause this condition.
Genetics. Some anxiety disorders can be inherited from family members.
How Do You Manage Anxiety Early?
Living with a disorder every day for a long period can ruin your life. Here are some self-care tips to manage anxiety.
Talk to someone you trust
The act of talking to a family member or friend you trust about what is bothering you can help your mental health. The act of talking can usually relieve the pressure of what you are feeling.
If you can’t open up to someone close to you, then you may be able to talk with a professional. The Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines Facebook group has a list of free online mental health services. Silakbo also has its own list. During the COVID-19 pandemic, UP Diliman is extending its psychosocial services to the public for free.
Consulting a professional can benefit you in different ways. You can express yourself and what you are feeling. There is someone neutral who listens to you without personal or social prejudice and will not dismiss or, worse, laugh about your worries. Trained medical professionals can give sound advice that may help you overcome your anxiety.
Address your worries
Having anxiety may feel like you have lost control. But you have to remember that you do not need to run away from your fears or worries. You can explore various ways of addressing your anxiety.
For example, you can start a journal. Write down your thoughts and worries. As you keep writing, you can find patterns when you review your journal entries. You can spot the triggers to your panic attacks and learn how to avoid or solve them.
Practice alternative therapies
If you do not like talking to other people or if you feel that consulting someone is not enough, there are alternatives you can explore. Some people find yoga or meditation as powerful ways of relieving anxiety and helping their minds find peace. Aromatherapy, massages, and reflexology are designed to de-stress the body, which can lead to a more relaxed mind.
Stay physically healthy
A healthy body can lead to a healthy mind. Staying physically fit means getting enough sleep. This may be hard to do since anxiety can disturb sleep. Try to practice meditation or yoga as you wind down before sleep. Or, you can write in your journal before you sleep as a way to reflect on your day and plan for the next day. This may help ease your mind and make it stop racing so that you can fall asleep.
Of course, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you as well. Eat food and drink beverages that boost positive moods like blueberries, avocado, walnuts, chocolate, green tea, chickpeas, broccoli, quinoa, bananas, zucchini, and coffee.
In addition, exercise so that you can keep your mind off your worries and focused on physical activity.
It is human nature to worry about uncertain things. But this worry should not rule your life. Your mental health is as important as your physical wellbeing. Seek help when you notice that your anxiety is affecting your life more than normal. Explore ways to address, avoid, or alleviate your condition. To ensure better mental health, manage anxiety early before it develops into a more debilitating condition.
Learn more about a Healthy Mind here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.