5 Actions to Take When Anxiety Is Near
Action # 1 : Normalize Your Feelings
The first and most important thing to do when experiencing anxiety is not to freak out and let it overcome you -- this is easier said than done. However, a good first step is to tell yourself that it is normal to experience anxiety. Sometimes, letting yourself feel anxious is the best thing that you can do to help yourself overcome it. Before I continue, I want to convince you that anxiety can be a positive and constructive thing. (Yes! You read that right...don’t worry -- I’ll explain more, so keep reading.)
Anxiety is a feeling characterized by intense fear, worry, and apprehension. So far, all of this sounds negative, scary, and overwhelming -- and it can be. When you feel anxiety, it is expressed not just emotionally, but also physically. For many, this can be debilitating. These symptoms are typical for millions of people who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, including panic disorder. In the DSM 5 (considered the bible of psychology) there are 12 types of anxiety disorders. I will not include them all, but will briefly mention the criteria that is required to be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Before you tell yourself that you have a “disorder,” you might find it helpful to know that, in order to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder, you have to experience the following symptoms for a certain amount of time. Of course, you will need a professional to help with the diagnosis, but I am including this here so you can understand that what you are experiencing might not necessarily be a disorder, but rather a feeling that many experience. If you allow yourself to experience the anxiety, it may actually dissipate.
When should I seek a professional depression and anxiety therapist near me?
You experience excessive anxiety more days than not about several topics, events, or activities for at least 6 months.
The anxiety and worry that you experience is accompanied by seeking reassurance from others.
The anxiety can be related to work, health, financial matters, or other life circumstances.
The anxiety and worry are associated with at least THREE of the following symptoms:
Edginess or restlessness
Tiring easily; more fatigue than usual
Increased muscle aches or soreness
It is important to note that one can be diagnosed with GAD only if his disorder is not better diagnosed as a different disorder. Also, GAD cannot be diagnosed if the individual is abusing medication or alcohol.
Action #2 : Practice Mindfulness
Before you go any further, I challenge you to try the following exercise. Read the following instructions, and then pause for 60 seconds while completing the task:
Look at the palm of your hand.
Focus on your breath while looking at the palm of your hand.
When you feel that your thoughts are distracted by the m