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What Is Anxiety?

What Is Anxiety?

woman standing outside in a winter coat with a half smile on her face

You can’t help but feel as if something is off. Lately, it seems as if you are worried about absolutely everything. Your thoughts always seem to be so negative, and you can’t seem to focus on anything else. When you start to feel even a little bit stressed, your heart feels like it’s going to beat right out of your chest. You feel clammy and on edge. And what is it with this intense fear that something will go wrong at any time?

If any of this sounds familiar, you are likely one of the millions of people in the United States who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD. You’ve heard of anxiety before, of course. But you didn’t think it could feel this intense. Let’s talk about what anxiety is exactly.

What Is Anxiety?

Let’s start with how anxiety began in the human race. It might be surprising to hear that we know the origins.

A very long time ago, our ancestor’s bodies developed anxiety as a survival response. Now known as the fight or flight response, they had two choices—stay and fight through the danger or remove themselves from it. It helped humanity, overall, survive and flourish throughout ancient times.

It’s an emotional response. Now, though, it isn’t actually useful. We don’t normally encounter situations that are of the life or death nature. However, our bodies still remember this and have held on to it.

Symptoms Of Anxiety

When someone experiences anxiety, they may go through any of the following mental or physical symptoms.

Excessive Worrying

We all worry; that isn’t uncommon. We all juggle a lot on our plates, and it’s normal to feel stressed with so much to do. However, there comes a point when it is considered excessive. Excessively worrying is when these thoughts happen frequently and about absolutely everything. Often, with anxiety, a lot of these worries are not founded on anything specific. “I have a bad feeling something is going to happen today,” for example. But there is no evidence that says anything would happen.

woman standing outside in a winter coat with a half smile on her faceThinking The Worst Is Bound To Happen

If you think about the phrase “Jumping to conclusions” it is very applicable to anxiety. When someone has anxiety, they often assume the worse will happen. Or they will play out every outcome possible and assume that the most negative scenario will come to pass.

Other Symptoms Of Anxiety

While the above can be considered the hallmark/classic symptoms of anxiety, there are, unfortunately, a lot more. It’s important to note that not every person will experience all of the symptoms of anxiety. Some may go through only a few, while others might experience all of them.

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches or digestive issues
  • Restlessness
  • Easily irritated or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Racing heart
  • Feeling sweaty/clammy
  • Always feeling on edge

How To Cope With Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. However, the good news is it is also one of the most highly treatable conditions out there.

Depending on the person, they might be able to find relief from their anxiety symptoms by:

  • Journaling
  • Meditating/Yoga
  • Breathing techniques
  • Grounding techniques
  • Medications

Sometimes, it takes a while to be able to find what works best for someone to relieve their anxiety.

One of the most effective ways to help manage anxiety is through multiple approaches. But nothing can compare to going to anxiety therapy to help take control back. If you are interested in learning more about anxiety therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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2805 Butterfield Road suite 120
Oak Brook, IL 60523

(630) 522-3124

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