Anxiety in the right quantity at the right time can be a helpful thing. We are likely to score better on an exam when we are mildly anxious compared to when we are lethargic. We are likely to perform better during a presentation if we can capitalize on the extra alertness and attention that a medium dose of anxiety can give us. However, when we find ourselves deteriorating emotionally or being drained physically because we are chronically anxious, it may be time to seek help.
Anxiety can often take many forms (see common symptoms below). Sometimes we recognize the many racing thoughts our worries that we have. Sometimes we are tuned in to the physical tightness in our chest caused by anxiety. Regardless of how someone experiences their personal anxiety, a wide variety of techniques and approaches are available in treating anxiety. A therapist can help by teaching different coping skills which calm the mind and the body. It can also be helpful at other times to learn to accept and cope with anxiety that accompanies stressful days. Or, it may be best to find ways to eliminate the life stressors that are the root cause of anxiety. A discussion with a therapist can be a great place to start determining how to tackle anxiety in your life.
Common symptoms associated with anxiety include:
- Racing thoughts
- Excessive worry
- Feeling on edge
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Racing heart
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