Anxiety & Stress
It is normal to feel anxious if you are facing something dangerous or difficult, but it is not usual to feel anxious all the time or to feel that anxiety is ruling your life. Severe anxiety is like a “false alarm” – the body over-reacting to something that is not really dangerous. The most noticeable physical signs are nausea, light headedness, sweating, a racing heart, palpitations and rapid breathing.
People often react to severe anxiety by avoiding the situation that makes them feel bad. However this is not helpful in the long run, because the more you avoid something, the more difficult it will seem to you. It also limits what you can do and does not give you the chance to discover that the situation was not really dangerous after all.
Try making a plan to help you face your feared situation, with the least frighteningevent to be tackled first.
When people are under stress, there is also a tendency to worry more than usual. Worry and unrealistic or negative thinking can be triggers for anxiety. People who get anxious sometimes think in ways that bring on the anxiety or make it worse. You may also have beliefs about yourself and about other people that are unrealistic.
Anxious people often imagine that other people are judging them harshly.
Sometimes worry can get out of hand and you may need treatment to help you get symptoms back under control General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is described as constant, excessive anxiety and worry about specific events or activities. This may be accompanied by symptoms such as being restless, edgy, poor concentration or poor sleep.
Factors that may keep worry going typically include:
- Attention may be focused on a future threat such as asking the question ‘what if?’.
- This may also be followed by thoughts about the individual such as ‘I am going crazy’, and thoughts about the function of worry such as ‘worrying will stop terrible things happening’. Such thoughts can encourage more worry and it becomes a habit.
Psychological help may typically include looking at the underlying worry, encouraging acceptance of uncertainty, challenging the function of worry and have ‘worry time’ at a specific time and agreed duration. You may also be encouraged to learn to relax and or meditate.