Finding it hard to breathe… constant worrying… feeling aches and pains… feeling like your heart is going to literally beat out of your chest.
These are all signs of Anxiety.
Imagine you are going to a movie. This movie is truly terrifying. You crouch into your chair trying to hide behind your hands all while still trying to watch the scene playing out in front of you. You start to get a slight clammy feeling and your heart is racing. This is a similar effect of how it feels to live with anxiety.
When your movie ends, you and your friends get to laugh and go on about your day or night. However, for an anxious person, it is just not that easy.
While many choose to not speak about their anxiety, living with it can be an immensely difficult feat. The truth is that those who have never had a panic attack ,or general anxiety itself, cannot comprehend how this mental illness affects people. Many others pretend to not understand anxiety so that they can hide the fact that they have it.
What Exactly IS Anxiety?
So what exactly is this mental illness that affects millions of people? Well, that is a BIG can of worms to open. It’s more complex than just worrying about something small. There are different kinds of anxieties like obsessive-compulsive disorder, certain traumas can cause anxiety, some worry about the future, while others have a more emotional anxiety about the here and now.
We aren’t going to get all scientific on you in this article… basically according to anxiety.org, the shortened version of what anxiety is, simply put, is “Anxiety disorders are characterized by a general feature of excessive fear and can have negative behavioral and emotional consequences.” Pretty generic huh? That’s because it is a broad term for many different fears. Phobias, for example, are a type of anxiety.
So How Do I Handle My Anxiety?
This is another wide-open question. There are several ways to reduce anxiety. It just depends how severe your anxiety is. For most people, simply speaking to their doctor or therapist and being put onto some kind of medication can help.
For those who dislike the medication path, there are a lot of natural ways to help reduce anxiety. Like meditation or exercise. Sometimes changing how you think can be difficult. Being mindful can be hard, but it’s another way to get into tune with your being. This can also help with anxiety. For some, simply facing their fears can help them get over their anxiety. Again, I must mention that this is for those with less severe anxieties.
When anxiety gets to be more severe, it is highly recommended to speak with a therapist and build a plan with them. This way you will know your diagnosis for certain and how to get on the road of being mentally healthy.
Anxiety Does Not Define You
There are a LOT of stigmas surrounding mental illness and mental health treatment. The more we open up the subject and talk about what others are going through, the more understanding those who do not suffer the illness can be.
You are not a crazy person if you have anxiety. The truth is, it started from somewhere. Maybe a lost memory sparked your fear or a previous trauma. Whatever the reason, you are justified in your anxiety, but it doesn’t need to take over your life.
Just like with depression, anxiety can take a toll on the body. You can get severe headaches or muscle pains. You can get panic attacks in which case your breath becomes unsteady, your heart rate jumps up, and you start to feel a little dizzy.
Speaking of depression, anxiety and depression tend to go hand in hand. This is why many medications that treat one also treats the other.
When you start to feel a panic attack coming one, the best thing a person can do is to try and regulate their breaths. Taking long deep breaths versus short shallow breaths.
How Do I Open Up About My Anxiety?
The best thing a person can do is come to terms with their mental states. It is nothing to be afraid of. There are so many stigmas against those with mental illnesses. The truth is, any website will tell you that millions of people have mental illnesses. Many of which don’t seek out the help they need.
Becoming familiar with your disorder is a great way to understand it. Speaking with a professional can also help with that.
The important thing to know here is that it is your call on opening up about anxiety. We live in a time when people share a LOT of information on social media platforms (check out our #MeToo Blog) but this is your life. It is your choice to share your story.
Everyone has fears, and although you may not be diagnosed with anxiety, at some point in your life you will have an anxious moment. That moment may only be a second long but think of someone who deals with their anxiety day in and day out.
Having anxiety can feel lonely, depressing, and scary. It’s hard to reach out because chances are you will have anxiety about talking about anxiety. So, if you know someone is suffering from this mental illness, be kind and understanding.
If YOU are suffering from this mental illness, as scary as it is, speak with someone about it if you haven’t done so yet. You don’t have to feel this constant ache of worry 24/7 and you definitely don’t have to bear it alone.
Now, for a shameless plug… ;)
We truly do have amazing therapists here at Mindful Therapy Group, if you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, give us a call. Let us help you feel better. Contact us at phone number or email us at email@example.com.