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How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety Issues?

Do you find yourself worrying most of the time? Is it difficult for you to gain control over your thoughts? Are your thoughts and constant worries disrupting your life?

If you feel your answer to these questions is a yes, you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety is the fear of worry an individual has regarding their future. Fear is a response to a threat whereas anxiety is the anticipation of future events/threats. For an instance, during flight turbulence, a person will likely experience a fear response but if the person feels threatened even before the flight starts, they likely suffer from anxiety. Another example could be, an individual when asked to introduce themselves in a class may start getting restless, or their heart starts pounding, fearing that the moment they open their mouth, they’ll embarrass themselves or say something which will make others judge them. These are the six prominent symptoms of anxiety:-

  1. Inability to relax

  2. Getting easily tired

  3. Difficulty concentrating

  4. Getting easily irritated

  5. Muscle tension

  6. Difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep

Individuals dealing with anxiety find it difficult to do things that a person otherwise may do effortlessly. For example, individuals dealing with anxiety find it difficult to wake up in the morning and go to school, college or their workplace. Or they may find it strenuous to talk to people or attend a social event.

Here are some ways to manage anxiety symptoms:-

  1. Taking deep breaths

  2. Rubbing your palms

  3. Exercising or meditating

  4. Participating in things you enjoy

The most effective way to manage anxiety is by practicing the 5-4-3-2-1 technique.

  • Five - Mentioning five things around you.

  • Four - Naming four things that can be touched.

  • Three - Pointing out three sounds around you.

  • Two - Naming two things that you can smell.

  • One - Acknowledging one thing that you can taste.

It is natural and okay to feel anxious sometimes like in interviews, on the first day of school or college, but suffering from anxiety is completely different because it is more severe, and its symptoms are more defined and profound. Severe anxiety affects the functioning of an individual’s life and sometimes requires the help of a mental health professional.

Anxiety can be treated by self-care skills such as healthy diet, indulging in exercises, reducing caffeine intake or practicing relaxation techniques as mentioned above.

It can also be treated by different therapeutic approaches such as, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which is a widely accepted therapy technique where the negative behaviors of an individual are modified.

In some cases, a mix of psychotherapy and medications like anti-anxiety pills or antidepressants are prescribed to relieve symptoms.

-By Rajiv Patt

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