Living With Anxiety..
Do you ever feel excessive worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome? Do you ever worry about worrying? Has feeling overwhelmed become a repetitive feeling throughout the day for you? If yes, then you might be dealing with situational or short/long term anxiety. Shortness of breath, sweaty palms, increased blood pressure, possible chest pain, increased appetite, sleep disturbances can all be signs and symptoms of anxiety. So before you convince yourself of a medical condition or disorder, take a look at your mental health.
Let me explain to you how common anxiety disorders are with some stats:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older! That is 18% of U.S. population!!
The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and the bad news is that only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill. More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses. People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Life events such as relationships, break-ups, moves, education, finances, and work can all become anxiety triggers if not monitored and dealt with correctly.
What to do when feeling anxious?
No worries! There are many affective forms of treatments out there for anxiety.
- Exercising as little as once a week is known to reduce anxiety by channeling out stress and stiffness.
- Breathing exercises such as just simply breathing in and out for 10 minutes a day can also help with anxiety.
- Getting into the habit of reducing exposure to smart-phones, TV, and electronics (computer games) can also be helpful.
- Taking 15 minutes out of each day to sit down and organize thoughts, make a “to do list” and just check in to see where you are in accomplishing daily tasks rather than becoming overwhelmed.
- Use other feeling words rather than “anxious” to express mood and feelings. Chances are that feelings of frustration, anger, excitement, or sadness are just labeled as anxious because you are used to it.
- Getting in the habit of eating healthier (a big challenge for all of us).
- Forming healthier relationships with healthier people.
- Focusing on positive things in life (positive self-talk) and practicing mindfulness.
- Seeking counseling.
- Considering the use of anti-anxiety medication if recommended by your therapist and prescribed by your psychiatrist.