How to Recognise and Manage Anxiety
Do you know what anxiety is?
Would you know how to recognise the signs and symptoms?
And if you did suffer from anxiety, would you know how to manage it?
There are various strategies for coping with anxiety and I’m here to help you! But let’s start at the beginning –
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response to stress, often consisting of feelings of worry, nervousness, and/or fear. Most people can relate to these feelings when under pressure, such as in a job interview, undergoing an exam, or giving a speech. In most cases, these feelings subside after the event or situation has ended. However, if stressors are greater and/or persistent, they can start to interfere with your everyday life and become just as disabling as a physical illness.
Anxiety is generally experienced in the following ways (but not necessarily in any specific order):
- Physically – How your body reacts, e.g. increased heart rate or difficulty breathing
- Emotionally – How you’re feeling when it is happens, e.g. feeling anxious or fearful
- Cognitively – What you’re thinking at the time, e.g. “I don’t want to do this” or “Something bad is going to happen.”
The physical symptoms experienced with anxiety often produce more worry and fear, resulting in even higher levels of anxiety. This pattern can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to manage and/or to cope with.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
Depending on the level of the anxiety being experienced, symptoms can present themselves in many forms.
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms:
- Excessive worry
- Difficulty sleeping
- Exhaustion/always tired
- Lack of motivation
- Tightness in the chest and/or general body tension
- Loss of libido
- Panic attacks
- Irritability/loss of patience
- Difficulty concentrating/memory loss
- Difficulty making decisions/confusion
- Teary or crying often
- Angry outbursts
- Avoidance of specific things, people, or places
- Low mood/depression
What Causes Anxiety?
It is often a combination of factors that cause or lead to anxiety, not just a single event.
Listed below are some common factors to consider:
- Lifestyle factors – everyday life, habits and diet
- Past or traumatic experiences
- Childhood experiences
- Drug and alcohol usage
- Domestic violence
- Physical or mental health
- Life threatening accidents or illness
- Family history of anxiety
- Death or loss of a loved one
Remember, anxiety affects everyone in different ways. You may not always be able to identify the cause or control the situation, but recognising the signs and symptoms and getting the professional support you need is most important.
How to Manage Anxiety
There are various ways to manage and treat anxiety, depending on how you are experiencing it. The most important things are understanding what it is and learning how to manage your anxiety so that it no longer controls you.
Here are some suggestions:
- Regular exercise
- Relaxation techniques including meditation
- Speak to someone you can trust
- Learn what triggers your anxiety
- Listen to music, podcasts, or audio books
- Keep a worry pad/journal
- Get enough sleep – Aim for a full eight hours
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
- Eat healthy food
- Psychotherapy and counselling
- Refer to my e-book for more detailed stress management strategies here
If you are struggling to manage your anxiety, please contact me to help you to understand, identify, and treat your specific symptoms and worries ASAP..
Then you can get back to enjoying the things that matter the most!
Do you need Counselling Support?
If you need counselling support, contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation and find out how she can help. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
Kylie Lepri is a registered Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, and Training Consultant. Since 2003 she has helped individuals and couples work through life stressors, develop new goals and create better relationships. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter here.