Stressed Woman

ANXIETY

Understanding Your Mental Health

Anxiety is probably one of the most universal emotional struggles.  All people experience anxiety and in small doses anxiety can actually help us be more motivated, organized, and aware.  However, in large doses anxiety can hijack sleep and motivation, damage relationships, inhibit focus and rational thinking, as well as contribute to physical health problems. 


Anxiety triggers our body’s stress response, also known as the Fight, Flight, or Freeze response.  This mechanism is designed to help our body react quickly to dangerous situations, which is a crucial survival response that is invaluable when used correctly.  The problem is that our bodies interpret so many experiences and worries as “dangerous” that are not. This response also inhibits our ability to think rationally.  We feel fear, danger, and anxiety but do not have the capacity to understand we are really safe and okay.


Symptoms of anxiety may include:

-Restlessness

-Loss of sleep

-Muscle Tension

-Head aches

-Nausea

-Panic attacks

-Social withdrawal

-Low self esteem 

-Poor focus

-Fear of danger or impending doom


Treatment approaches include:

Mindfulness

Breath awareness

Anxiety awareness and exposure training

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Self compassion/ Self love training


Whether the anxiety is so severe that it is a legitimate disorder, or it may be less severe but still causing daily resistance and struggle, there is hope and support.  Anxiety may be one of the most common emotional struggles, but it is also one of the most treatable.  


Medication is often a useful treatment when used in combination with other therapy techniques.  Those options can be discussed and referrals are available for local prescribing providers.