I sit here writing this post with such a feeling hanging over me. I feel worried, stressed and sick to my stomach for no real reason. I am suffering from anxiety. Anxiety is a very common emotion that everyone will feel at some point in their life. It can be triggered by many different things and it’s not the same for everyone. Some people thrive off it and others become emotionally paralyzed because of it.
What can be a trigger for anxiety?
Anything and everything can be a trigger it is dependent on the person experiencing the anxiety. Triggers for me are:
Too much caffeine
Speaking in public
Sometimes there is no real trigger and the feeling just washes over me with no cause.
What does anxiety feel like?
There is no one size fits all. It’s different for each individual. Personally I experience heightened heart rate, a churning in the pit of my stomach, shortness of breath and a general unexplained feeling of worry. Depending on the trigger and the situation defines how severe my symptoms are ranging from mild discomfort to excessive panic attacks.
When is anxiety a problem?
There is no ‘normal’ level of anxiety and if for example, you live a lifestyle that includes heightened stress then you may experience more levels of anxiety than someone else. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem though. It’s OK to experience some anxious feelings especially in certain situations like before a big exam. There only becomes a problem when it stops or prevents you from living your life, or doing things you would usually enjoy.
How can I cope with anxiety?
If anxiety isn’t getting in the way of your life and you just want ways to manage it day to day then you can try some things to help prevent it and contain it if these feelings arise:
Regular daily exercise
Getting away from whatever is making you anxious or if that’s not possible visualize in your mind being somewhere you are more comfortable
Face your fears – Sometimes the idea of facing your fear is much worse than actually doing it
Talking about it with someone you are comfortable with and trust
However, if anxiety is a big part of your life or it is gradually preventing you from living your life in the way you’d like or it is becoming unbearable it is important to:
Speak with a close friend or family member for support and consult your GP.
Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and a GP can simply offer you access to other lines of support and help with other ways of dealing with this common emotion. For example, you may be referred to someone specifically trained in dealing with feelings of anxiety who may be able to help you find the route cause and support you through your ability to deal with your anxiety.
It is important to remember that anxiety isn’t who you are it is simply just an emotion we feel. I have suffered from anxiety for the last twelve years and it has ranged in severity through my life from mild to extremely severe. I have days where I suddenly feel sick to my stomach as though something bad is going to happen and my heart races but there is no rhyme or reason to why. I begin to panic and its not always easy to get it under control it has taken me years to get to where I am and with still a long way to go. Never be afraid to get support with any issues you have no matter how big or small. There is no quick fix but I can guarantee once you start making progress you will feel a million times better.
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Love as always!
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