I like to think of anxiety as a red flag-a sign that I have lost my ability to control the outcome of a situation. Researchers define anxiety as an emotion associated with intense feelings, worrisome thoughts, extreme apprehension, or fear. Anxiety disrupts our emotions and our physiology. It’s not an exaggerated over-reaction to situations. It is necessary for our survival because anxiety is our bodies’ alarm system; it helps to keep us safe. For instance, it’s normal to feel nervous before starting a new job, or when you are getting ready to take an exam. However, anxiety can become uncontrollable, last for an extended period, and affect our ability to function!
what causes anxiety
You can’t control what you don’t understand! Alice was recently trapped in the elevator at work. She started having cold sweats, heart palpitations and thoughts that she was going to die. Alice now has nightmares about being trapped in the elevator. She is no longer able to ride on elevators, and she has heart palpitations when she remembers that day. Alice was traumatized; stressful life events, abuse, death of a loved one, and our genetic disposition makes us prone to anxiety disorders.
how to relieve anxiety
Since anxiety affects the body and mind, it is important that you use an approach that provides holistic relief in your mind and body.
- Identify the source of your anxiety and accept that the only thing you can control is your reaction
- Exercise, it is a great way to combat stress. Exercising reduces your stress hormones such as cortisol and increases your happy hormones called endorphins.
- Do deep breathing exercises for five minutes at least twice per day.
- Work with a therapist to learn more techniques to regulate your emotions and reaction to stressful situations
Anxiety only becomes the enemy when you lose your ability to regulate the effects it has on your mind and body.