Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is a normal and often healthy emotion, but it can become overwhelming in some people. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. These disorders alter how a person processes emotions and behaves, also causing physical symptoms. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S. and it affects about 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population every year.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
- Constant worrying or fear about everyday situations
- Avoiding certain situations or places due to anxiety
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
- Stomach problems, such as nausea or diarrhea
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Perspiration or sweating
It’s important to note that everyone experiences anxiety differently and some people may have symptoms not listed above.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they are impacting your daily life, it is recommended to talk to a healthcare professional or mental health professional. They can help you determine if your symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder or if there may be another underlying cause.
There are several ways to overcome anxiety, including:
- Therapy: Talking to a therapist or counselor can help you understand and manage your anxiety.
- Medication: Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Relaxation techniques: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to help calm your mind and body.
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet and exercise routine can help improve your physical and mental well-being.
- Exposure therapy: Gradually exposing yourself to the things that make you anxious can help desensitize you to them over time.
It’s important to note that what works for one person may not work for another, so it may take some trial and error to find the best approach for you. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.