Living with anxiety can be a challenging experience, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone. While it isn’t necessarily physically apparent, anxiety is affecting millions of people worldwide. The good news is that there are strategies and resources available to help manage the symptoms. Every person has different triggers or events that ignite that “anxious” feeling. It is a normal human emotion that we all experience at times, but for some people, it can become overwhelming and interfere with daily life.
To confuse ourselves further, anxiety and excitement may actually feel similar on a physiological level because they both trigger the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. However, the key difference between anxiety and excitement lies in the way we interpret and respond to those feelings. Excitement is typically seen as a positive emotion associated with something desirable or enjoyable, while anxiety is often associated with negative thoughts or feelings of apprehension about potential future events.
While symptoms vary from person to person, some of the most common ones include:
- Excessive worrying
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Panic attacks
There are going to be times where it feels impossible to choose how you respond to a trigger, but it is possible to live a happy life WITH your anxiety! Taking care of yourself is an important part of managing anxiety. Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take time for activities that you enjoy. Try learning some new relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to help calm the mind. Incorporate these techniques into your daily routine. Seek outside support! Talking to friends, family, or a mental health professional can help you feel less alone and provide support during difficult times. Don’t underestimate your power over your own thoughts. Anxiety can cause negative beliefs that may not be accurate. Challenge these thoughts with evidence-based reasoning and focus on positive outcomes. Finally, identify what triggers your anxiety and develop a plan to manage them. Avoiding triggers may not be possible, but you can learn to cope with them in a healthy way.
Living with anxiety can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that help is available. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, seek support from a mental health professional or support group. With the right tools and resources, it’s possible to manage anxiety and lead a fulfilling life.
*If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or know someone in need of help, you can call or text 988 and receive free support 24 hours a day!