A lot of people do not recognize when they are experiencing anxiety and instead think that there is something wrong with them. Some people who experience anxiety will focus on the physical symptoms of anxiety and others on their thoughts which only exacerbates their anxiety.
Being able to recognize anxiety when you are actually experiencing it and knowing what you can do will help you cope in a big way.
When Anxiety is the norm.
It is very normal for people to experience anxiety from time to time, such as when you are going for a job interview, or getting your hair cut or changed to a different color this can all make you feel anxious and that is considered normal.
Anxiety helps us deal with real danger and real threats, it helps prepare our body for the fight or flight response and this will prepare your body to defend itself. We can also experience this response when we perceive something as dangerous but really is not such as a job interview.
What you also need to know is anxiety is not a danger to yourself it may make you feel uncomfortable, therefore it is not dangerous or harmful to you after all the sensations you are experiencing is to protect you from danger and not to hurt you.
When you do get anxious you might feel like it is going to last forever but it will only be temporary and will decrease.
When anxiety becomes a problem
Anxiety will become a major problem to you when your body will react as if there is real danger and there is no real danger what happens we can become overly sensitive and it sends the alarm system off in our body. Just like a smoke alarm, anxiety is very helpful and adaptive when it is working right for you, if it is not then it can become very exhausting for you.
More importantly we do not want to eliminate our alarm i.e. anxiety as it does protect us from danger. What the aim is to bring back your anxiety levels to be working at normal levels.
Here we have symptoms of what you will experience with anxiety
- Rapid breathing and heart rate will occur as the body prepares itself for action, i.e. enough blood and oxygen is circulated to the major muscle groups and essential organs in turn this will allow you to run or fight off any danger.
- Sweating will occur as this will assist in cooling down your body and make your body slippery and it will make it more difficult for a person to grab you etc.
- Stomach upset and nausea will be experienced when facing danger the body will shut down these processes as they are not required in a danger situation, therefore a person experiencing anxiety will feel nausea, diarrhea and upset stomach.
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy as less oxygen is pumped to the brain when you are experiencing anxiety.
- Painful or tight chest is experienced as the muscles tense up the body to prepare it for danger
- Tingling and numbness can also be experienced in fingers and toes
- A sensation of feeling heavy legs as it prepares you for action.
Anxiety also affects your thoughts and behaviours. In total there are three parts to anxiety and being able to identify these will help you cope with anxiety and help you to be less afraid. Listed below are the 3 parts to anxiety.
- Physical symptoms such as stomach ache, racing heart, cold sweat etc.
- Behaviours i.e. you will go out of your way to make excuses to get out of doing something.
- Thoughts i.e. You go through thoughts of fear of doing something as an e.g. what if I do not remember how to do this when I am being tested etc.
Help For Anxiety
There are many ways in which you can help yourself deal with anxiety, if it has become chronic then it is wise to see a professional person who can assist you.
The best thing that you can do for yourself when experiencing an anxiety attack is to slow your breathing down, know that it will pass, and all will be ok.
To help yourself cope with anxiety you can help yourself in many ways or alternatively you can seek professional help. Many people are unaware that they are suffering from anxiety so if you do see someone suffering with the signs and symptoms then do make them aware to get help is their choice and if you suffer from anxiety to get help becomes your choice.