If you are one of the whopping 40% of Americans living with an anxiety disorder, it probably has a big impact on your life. From your work life and your time at home to your relationships, the fact is that anxiety will have an impact on every aspect of your life. Anxiety is like a shadow that casts itself over every segment of a sufferer’s life, making leading a ‘normal’ life close to impossible.
A common issue that people with anxiety have to deal with is hearing people who clearly don’t have an anxiety problem stating how much their anxiety impacts them – aka feelings of nervousness or stress. Anxiety is linked to these two things, but for anxiety to be classed as a disorder, it has to have a bigger impact on your life that simply giving you butterflies now and then.
There’s a common misconception that having anxiety is simply a feeling of nervousness, but that isn’t the case. Anxiety is so much more than that; it has a much wider and further reaching impact. With that in mind, the question is, what is life with anxiety really like?
How does anxiety make you act?
Anxiety is known to make people living with it feel fear; fear of all different aspects of everyday life. While some sufferers find themselves struggling to leave the house and developing agoraphobia, others find that panic attacks become a frequent part of their lives.
Anxiety tends to create fear of a particular situation, such as crowds, or of activities, like eating in front of other people. It can also make holding down a job or attending school difficult. It can impact social situations in a range of ways. Anxiety can cause repetitive behaviors, and sometimes as part of this, it can cause addiction.
How does anxiety make you feel?
The emotional response that anxiety causes is subjective – it changes from person to person. However, the most common responses to anxiety include an elevated heart rate – your heart beats so fast that it feels like it’s going to pop out of your chest, sweating profusely, feeling physically sick (sometimes being sick), and finding it difficult to breathe normally.
Everyone gets anxious from time to time and may feel some of the feelings described above, but an anxiety disorder causes these symptoms more often and tends to be much more severe.
What can you do to beat an anxiety disorder?
The fact is that there is no cure for anxiety disorders, just like there is no cure for a lot of other mental health problems. However, just because there is no cure for anxiety disorders, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways that anxiety can be beaten.
The key to beating anxiety disorders is learning management techniques so that when feelings of anxiety get out of hand, you can effectively manage them. There are an array of management techniques that you can try – the Redicalm Pinterest page has lots of examples on it – it’s just a case of finding the ones that work best for you.
Pressure point management tends to work well; this is where pressure points, such as the palm, are used to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that massaging the palm of the hand in steady circles can relieve feelings of anxiety and help to prevent panic attacks from taking hold.
Deep breathing is another management method that tends to have high success rates. When feelings of anxiety hit, slowing your breathing and gently breathing in and out while counting to ten, is a management method that has high rates of success.
Living with anxiety isn’t nice. It can make leading a normal life almost impossible at times. However, if you are clued about the best management methods, it is possible to get your life (and mental health) back on track.