Anxiety Disorder : Symptoms,Causes and the Best ways to Handle It!
22-07-2019 | Posted By: Admin | 2633 View(s)
Do you worry all the time? Do you feel nervous without any apparent cause? You may have anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or nervousness that typically occurs in the absence of an imminent threat. Anxiety is not fear; it is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Hence, it may be helpful at times by making you alert. However, worrying all the time and feeling nervousness is not a good thing for health. When feelings of nervousness or fear become difficult to control or interfere with our daily life, it becomes an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is caused by traumatic events, genetics, and brain structures. We need to understand the Anxiety Disorder as there are many negative effects of anxiety that can take a toll on your life.
Anxiety is a normal emotion. Everyone goes through the feelings of anxiousness now and then- when speaking in public, giving a job interview, before the examinations, dealing with a crisis, etc. But when, anxiety starts occurring frequently, without any genuine cause, it leads to anxiety disorders. Thus, you must know some ways to reduce anxiety and practice it to save yourself from getting Anxiety Disorders.
Many times, people are not able to understand if they have anxiety, or they are just feeling nervous. You must know the signs of anxiety so that you can use some tactics to relieve it.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
• Feelings of fear, panic, and uneasiness
• Difficulty sleeping
• Cold or sweaty hands or feet
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Not being able to be calm and still
• Dry mouth
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
• Muscle tension
• Trouble Concentrating
• Lack of Energy
• Unwanted thoughts
Effects of Anxiety Disorder on our Health?
1. Heart Disease
Too much anxiousness can cause palpitations, rapid heart rate, and chest pain. Anxiety disorders can also cause high blood pressure and heart disease. If you have heart disease, anxiety may the risk of coronary events. This is one of the most common side effects of anxiety.
2. Digestive Problems
Do you experience stomach pain when you are anxious? That is because stress causes gastrointestinal disorders. You may have nausea, diarrhoea, stomachaches, and other digestive problems when you are anxious. It is also common to experience loss of appetite when you have an anxiety disorder. There is a connection between anxiety problems and the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, or constipation.
3. Weak Immune System
One of the most common effects of anxiety disorder is that it weakens our immune system. Anxiety triggers a flight-or-fight stress response and releases many chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline, into your system. This may increase your pulse and breathing rate so that your brain gets more oxygen. This prepares you to respond appropriately to an intense situation. Your body’s immune system too may get a brief boost. In a normal stressful event, the body returns to normal functioning when the stress is gone.
However, if you frequently feel stressed and anxious, or it lasts a long time, your body doesn’t get the signal to go back to normal functioning. This, in turn, weakens your immune system, increasing your risk of viral infections and frequent illnesses. You must also know that your vaccines may not work if you have anxiety.
4. Respiratory Problems
Anxiety also causes rapid, shallow breathing. It can even make your asthma symptoms worse.
5. Damage to Central Nervous System
Long-term anxiety can cause your brain to release stress hormones regularly, which in turn increases the frequency of symptoms such as dizziness, depression, and headaches. When you are stressed or anxious, your brain fills your nervous system with chemicals and hormones that are designed to help you respond to a threat.
These hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are good for occasional stress event, but long-term exposure to stress hormones can be harmful to your physical health. For example, it can make you gain weight in the long run.
Some of the other effects of anxiety disorder are:
• Social isolation
• Muscle tension
• Urinary tract infections
• Loss of interest in sex
• Suicidal thoughts
• Chronic pain conditions
• Substance abuse disorders
Talk properly to a therapist if you have an anxiety problem. Also, you should follow some tips if you have an anxiety disorder.
Quick Tips to Manage Anxiety:
1. Do Deep-Breathing Exercise
Deep-breathing exercise should be practised to control anxiety and have a calm mind. You need to sit with your eyes closed and focus only on your breathing. Breathe through the nostrils and do not attempt to control your breath. Be aware of what is happening inside your body. Feel the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Then you need to place one hand on the belly, and other on the chest. You need to take a deep breath for a count of four and then hold your breath for a count of three. Then exhale for a count of four. The hand on the belly should go in when you inhale and move out as you exhale. Forget about every problem and everything else in the world and concentrate on your breath. Do not be tempted in other thoughts and focus on the sensation of your breath. Do this until your mind settles on your breathing.
2. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a relaxing and calm technique to relieve anxiety and stress. Enjoy solitude and start your day with a positive thought. Be calm and stay away from negative thoughts.
3.Focus on Positive Self-Talk
One of the best and easiest ways to reduce anxiety is changing your negative thoughts by talking to yourself positively. For instance, you have an exam tomorrow, and you know that you have prepared well. Still, you are scared that you will not get a good score. Negative thoughts are coming to your mind like, “I will fail”, “What if luck is not in my favour, and I fall sick tomorrow?” In these instances, you have to do positive self-talk. Keep repeating positive statements inside your head like, “I have studied, I will do well”, “I have faith in myself”, “I can do this”, etc. You have to use positive coping statements to manage your anxiety.
4. Focus on the Present
Usually, anxiety occurs when you are thinking too much about what might happen in the future. Another way to manage anxiety is by focusing on the present and making the best out of it. When you are getting anxious, take a pause, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Focus on what is happening in the present and avoid thinking about the future. Focus on your surroundings; feel it, live your present moment, and you will surely be able to control your anxious thoughts.
5. Stay Away from Soda
Drinking soda early in the morning can satisfy your taste buds and provide you comfort, but the ingredients present in the soda will harm your body in a way you can’t even imagine.
Soda drinks harm the central nervous system and teeth. Also, it is devoid of any minerals and vitamins that are required by your body to function properly. Stay away from soda to stay healthy and anxious free.
6. Do Not Let Financial Problems Trouble you
It is very common to feel anxious when dealing with financial troubles. Financial stress can snatch your sleep and also contribute to feelings of hopelessness and low-self esteem.
To avoid that, you should manage your finances well. And if you are in a financial crisis, then take charge of your finances and do not spend on non-essentials. In the worst cases, you can ask help from your friends or people you trust. But do not let money trouble you to the extent that it makes you anxious and sick.
7. Explore Nature
When you work all day long, study, and then chit-chat with your friends on What’s App, your mind gets cluttered with a lot of unwanted thoughts. Give your mind and body a break from the noise and the mundane routine you have. Plan a trip and spend some time in nature. That will help you stay calm and relax.
8. Pen Down your Feelings
One of the highly effective ways to handle stress and anxiety is to write everything down. Write down what you are stressed about. Another way is to write down what you are grateful for. Gratitude helps to relieve anxiety and stress by thinking about positive thoughts in life.
9. Spend Quality Time with People you Love
It is good to have support from friends and family in stressful times. Spending time with friends and family will put you at ease and help you get through tough times. A few studies found that spending some quality time with friends, children and pets help release oxytocin, which is a natural stress reliever. This phenomenon is called “tend and befriend” and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response.
10. Laugh Heartily
A simple smile can help you relieve tension. It is difficult to feel anxious when you are laughing. Laughing helps to control stress by relieving tension and your stress response. Laughter also helps to improve mood and immune system in the long term. Spend time with friends who can make you laugh, read a funny book or watch an entertaining TV show to laugh and relieve stress.
11. Avoid Procrastination
Procrastination causes a lot of stress, which in turn affects your sleep quality and overall health. Do whatever you have to do on time. Set realistic deadlines and make a to-do list organised properly by priority.Find what triggers you to procrastinate and try to eliminate those triggers. Avoiding procrastination can help you a lot to deal with stress.
12. Join a Hobby Class
It is highly essential to keep yourself busy to stay away from stress. Joining a hobby class will give your mind a moment of peace and allow you to enjoy. So join any hobby class to relieve stress.
13. Listen to Music
Listen to music to soothe your mind and body. Music can induce the relaxation response by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones. Nature sounds are very calming, which is why they are usually incorporated in meditation and relaxation music. Listen to soothing music to stay happy.
14. Learn to Practice Gratitude
Take note of all the good things in your life. You should remember that everything in life is temporary – both the good days and the bad days.
Exercise clears your mind and helps you have a good night sleep. Studies claim that people who exercise regularly are 25 per cent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder. Exercise helps to lower your body’s stress hormones. It also helps to stimulate your body to release endorphins, which are body chemicals that improve your mood. Furthermore, when you exercise daily, you feel more confident, which promotes mental wellbeing.
There are many effects of anxiety on health and to get rid of those, you must exercise to lead a happy, fit and healthy life.
16. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants that have many health benefits. Green tea also helps to lower anxiety and stress by increasing serotonin levels.
17.Question your Negative Thoughts
When people are anxious, their brain starts playing tricks and bring all the negative thoughts in mind, which is unlikely to occur and are highly irrational. For example, say you are about to give a college presentation, you may start feeling anxious and get negative thoughts like “Oh my God! I can’t do this. It will kill me. I must make an excuse and cancel giving the presentation. Why does it happen to me? I can’t give the presentation; I am too bad at this.” And these negative thoughts can elevate your anxiety. So, what you must do when you get these kinds of negative thoughts is question them and replace them with positive thoughts. Take the above example and remind yourself that it is just a presentation, you have been doing it all the time, and nobody dies giving a presentation.
Some psychologists suggest that you ask yourself the following questions when replacing your negative thoughts to positive ones:
• Is this worry or fear realistic?
• Is this really going to happen
• Even if the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
• Could I handle that?
• Is this fear really true, or does it just seems that way?
• What might I do to prepare for whatever may happen?
You must try this technique when you are getting anxious as this is one of the scientifically proven ways to reduce anxiety disorder.
18.Visualise something that Makes you Calm
Other than deep breathing techniques, you can also use a visualisation technique wherein all you have to do is close your eyes and visualise anything that soothes your mind. For instance, you can visualise yourself sitting near a beach. Feel the cold breeze touching your face, focus on the winds, and the sound of the trees. When you will picturise all this, your mind will automatically assign positive emotions and thoughts to the images you are visualising, which will calm your brain and relieve anxiety. This is indeed one of the best ways to reduce anxiety.
19. Get Going
Many times when people get anxious, they become still and don’t want to do what they were planning to do. Psychologists say that no matter what, if you are feeling anxious- do what you were supposed to do. When the negative thoughts start pondering over your mind, sit back for some time and relax. Think about you would have been doing if you weren’t anxious and do it. If you were supposed to watch a movie and you got anxious because your best friend cancelled it at the last moment- still go and watch that movie. You will get more anxious if you sit ideally and keep on thinking about what happened. Thus, no matter what happens, get moving and focus on meaningful activities which can help you divert your mind from the negative thoughts. You can also focus on your hobbies while you are getting anxious as when you do what you like you feel happy, and your brain gets filled with positive thoughts. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety.
20. Consult a Therapist
If nothing works -Do not shy away at all from consulting a therapist if you have anxiety problems. Anxiety, in the long run, can cause a lot of problems because there are many harmful effects of anxiety on our health. Consult a psychiatrist if you experience symptoms of anxiety or stress.
Anxiety is a normal emotion, yet it must be dealt with carefully. If your negative thoughts are elevated, it will cause some serious health concerns, both physically and mentally. Thus, it is best to use the ways mentioned above to reduce anxiety disorder. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.
Eat a healthy diet, exercise, sleep well and focus on positive thoughts to fight anxiety. Life is a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. Every cloud has a silver lining, believe in yourself and focus more on what’s good in life. That will help you stay away from negative thoughts. Stay happy, stay healthy!