Help for Anxiety
Anxiety is generally a feeling of worry–a feeling that something is wrong, concern about the past, fear for the future, or worry that doesn’t seem to be about anything specific at all.
We all experience some worry. But in order to be diagnosed with anxiety, you need to have more than just one or two symptoms. These symptoms include excessive worry, fear, panic, muscle tension, hyperventilation, sleep issues, or even shortness of breath.
Talking with someone you trust about your thoughts and feelings is usually the most helpful way to begin to address anxiety symptoms. Ask them to just listen and not try to “fix” your problems. Talking through it usually helps us realize that our worries are often not very realistic or that things are better than we fear they are. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is realize that we don’t have to control the future or fix everything in the world. Letting go and just focusing on what we actually have control over is extremely helpful.
Even if we don’t struggle with anxiety ourselves, we often know someone who does. If you notice that a loved one seems extraordinarily worried and can’t seem to relax, ask if they want to talk. Let them open up. You can tell them that you’re available to listen. Just knowing someone else cares is often enough to help us feel much better.
People with anxiety can often still function, go to school, and complete tasks. Often the anxiety is under the surface, keeping people from fully feeling like themselves or fully enjoying the moment, even if they’re able to complete basic life functions
The biggest risk factor for feeling anxiety seems to be uncertainty. People get worried about the future. They feel upset about things that happened in the past that they can’t change. They worry what people think about them. The feeling of ‘not knowing’ is really hard on people. To confront anxiety, most people need to learn to tolerate uncertainty and live without having to control everything. is extremely beneficial in dealing with anxiety.
Treatment can include cognitive behavioral therapy, where you learn to combat automatic thoughts that might perpetuate feelings of anxiety. You can do eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the case that the anxiety is actually linked to past or present traumas. Narrative therapy can help you create a new story about your life in which you use the feelings of anxiety part of your story of overcoming, rather than part of a story of helplessness. There are a lot of options to treat anxiety. And in general people who seek treatment feel much better within weeks or months.
Anxiety is usually diagnosed with a written assessment and a conversation with a professional like a doctor or mental health therapist.