Anxiety is a common sensation that we all experience from time to time. Whilst feeling anxious is an uncomfortable experience, if this sensation occurs at appropriate moments and is not too severe, it just shows that your body is working exactly as it should be.
Unfortunately, for many people, the frequency and intensity of this emotional state becomes overwhelming and unhealthy. Understanding more about what anxiety is, why it happens and how to cope with it can be extremely helpful.
What Is Anxiety?
‘Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.’
– NHS Inform Website
Symptoms of feeling anxious can be physical or psychological and may include, but are not limited to:
A noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
Muscle aches and tension
Trembling or shaking
Shortness of breath
Pins and needles
Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
A sense of dread or fear
Feeling constantly “on edge”
If you experience these symptoms frequently and/or intensely, you may have an anxiety disorder. There are many different diagnoses and it is important that you get yours from a qualified medical professional.
Why Am I Feeling Anxious?
The reason why you are feeling anxious can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint. Stressors that trigger anxiety differ from person to person – something you can cope with easily may be difficult for someone else. However, certain risk factors make an individual more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Trauma – Childhood trauma can lead to struggling with anxiety later in life. Adults who experience a traumatic event may also develop an anxiety disorder.
Illness – Unfortunately, health conditions or serious illnesses can result in anxiety due to worrying about treatment or your future
Stress – Repetitive acute or chronic stress can impact your health in many ways (learn more here), including anxiety.
Personality – Certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders than others.
Other Mental Health Disorders – Comorbidity exists between certain mental health disorders. For example, those who suffer from depression have a higher chance of also experiencing difficulties with anxiety.
Family – Anxiety disorders can run in families. If you have a blood relative with an anxiety disorder, you are consequently more likely to have one.
Drugs and/or Alcohol – Substance misuse and/or withdrawal can exacerbate anxiety.
What To Do If You’re Feeling Anxious
Understanding what anxiety is and the possible reasons why you experience it can help you to feel calmer and more in control. However, it is also helpful to have some suggestions about what you can do to help stop you from feeling anxious.
Talk! – Find someone you trust and tell them how you feel, you may find that they have had similar experiences, helping you feel less alone. If you do not feel comfortable opening up to someone you know personally, Anxiety UK operates a helpline that may be beneficial.
Manage your worries – Don’t allow yourself to keep going over things that are worrying you. Set specific time aside to focus on what is causing you stress and avoid thinking about it outside of this time (of course, this is easier said than done!).
Look after your physical health – Eating, sleeping and exercising enough can work wonders for your mental health.
Breathing exercises – These can be incredibly calming, find some tips here.
Keep a diary – Noting down when you have been feeling anxious may help you to identify your triggers, making them easier to avoid in future. This also gives you the chance to write down positive experiences, allowing you to look back on things that you enjoyed, showing you that living with anxiety is manageable.
Seek professional help – Book an appointment with your GP and ensure that you let them know what you are experiencing. There are numerous types of therapy/counselling that you can try and Dr Jan’s methods may be the best fit for you.
We Can Help
To find out whether Dr Jan’s methods will work for you, the first thing that you need to do is book your FREE Discovery Call. In this 20-minute conversation, Dr Jan will get to know you and what you are struggling with, after which he can devise a plan of action to improve your mental health and well-being.
If you are not ready to take this step and would prefer to begin with some self-help, you may benefit from Dr Jan’s best-selling book ‘How To Achieve What You Want’. Learn more about this book and Dr Jan’s methods on our website.