How to Identify, Manage Anxiety
September is National Anxiety Awareness Month, a perfect time to discuss the No. 1 mental health issue among American women: anxiety.
Anxiety comes in so many shapes and sizes that it can be hard to recognize. In general, anxiety is forward thinking. It is worrying about all the “what ifs” and hyper focusing on things that are out of our control until we lose sight of what is in our control. It’s exhausting, frustrating, and leads to feeling hopeless. Sometimes a depressed mood is a form of chronic anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Heightened blood pressure
- Tightened muscles
- Racing thoughts
- Obsessive thoughts
- Digestion problems
- Weight change
- Trouble sleeping
The key to managing anxiety is staying in the present, identifying what is in your control, and focusing on choices. This can be difficult in a society that is future-oriented.
Most of us feel pressure in our personal and professional lives to do more, do it faster, and be the best. We become overwhelmed by trying to keep up and live our lives in fear of not being good enough in one way or another.
Many people do not realize they are suffering from anxiety until it escalates into panic attacks, severe health diagnosis, addictions, eating disorders, or damaged relationships.
You can choose to make your health a priority by living in the present and setting limits. Not everyone will understand or support this lifestyle, but that’s OK. Only you are responsible for your health.
There are three steps to learning to manage your anxiety.
- Gaining control over physical symptoms. Learning to deep breath, relax, and/or meditate calms the body and allows you to more effectively manage negative thoughts associated with anxiety. Think about it, after you leave a massage, it’s pretty hard to be caught up in negative thoughts. Everything just seems to slow down and feel less intense.
- Challenging negative thoughts. Anxiety is fueled by negative and irrational thoughts, although at the time, they feel real. Becoming aware of these thoughts and finding the power to challenge them with more rational and encouraging thoughts alleviates the anxious response.
- Evaluating lifestyle and making necessary changes. Sometimes we have to prioritize where we choose to put our energy. Overextending ourselves heightens stress levels and anxiety.
Course addresses anxiety
If you or a loved one could benefit from learning some new tools for how to manage your anxiety, I welcome you to check out my Claim Your Calm 28-day online course. In this course, I share some of my most effective strategies for conquering anxiety in bite-size pieces.
It only takes a few minutes out of your day to learn and practice these skills that will finally bring you the peace of mind you deserve. Learn more at: pamperyourmind.com/claim-your-calm