Twelve Things You Need To Know About Anxiety
Anxiety is universal, and it serves as an adaptive function. In the face of real danger and imminent threats, anxiety is crucial to our survival. Anxiety can impact individuals on a physical, psychological, and behavioral level. While anxiety is a normal reaction in the face of a real threat, chronic fear that persists in the absence of any direct threat is crippling and should not be left untreated. Anxiety can become a disorder when it disrupts normal functioning. Anxiety can have multiple contributing factors including biological factors, family background, upbringing, environmental factors etc. No matter how anxiety is developed, the twelve maintaining causes of anxiety are:
1. Avoidance of phobic situations
2. Anxious self-talk- internal monologue
3. Mistaken belief
4. Withheld feelings
5. Denying feelings of anger, frustration, sadness or even excitement can contribute to a state of free-floating anxiety.
6. Perfection, or aiming to be pleasing to others rather than express strong feelings
7. Lack of assertiveness
8. Lack of self-nurturing skills
9. Muscle tension- feeling uptight due to muscle tension, which can restrict one’s breathing. Shallow breathing is more likely to trigger symptoms of anxiety
10. Stimulants and other dietary factors- caffeine (tea, coffee, cola etc.) and nicotine can aggravate anxiety
11. High stress lifestyle
12. Lack of meaning - sense of purpose and direction
Chronic anxiety can be treated with the help of a qualified therapist. In treating your anxiety, let us not aim to completely get rid of it. In fact, it is not possible to completely get rid of all anxiety. We must instead focus on chronic debilitating anxiety and work towards bringing it back down to a maintainable level.