Anxiety is commonly experienced as part of people’s everyday lives, and as a general rule, everyone experiences stress at some stage of their lives. When anxiety takes on a form that becomes difficult to manage, it will interfere with people’s daily life and frequently cause the person to feel extraordinarily distressed or unusually awkward, embarrassed, and have heart palpitations, sweaty hands, and even nausea.
In more severe cases, when a person suffers from “General Anxiety Disorder” this is likely to bring on panic attacks. Often, this is brought on by images that the individual will connect with as a result of a coming interview, meeting a new partner, or performing at work on a project. Could even be reporting to the team to present the next part of the project. It’s any number of things where a familiar image is associated with the situation at hand that then creates the stressful response, and this might bring on an anxiety episode. Individuals have reported that their reality becomes warped, with a feeling of being on edge or feeling fearful much of the time, with excessive concerns and anxious thoughts, and avoiding situations that make you nervous. Physical symptoms like a racing heartbeat or skipping heartbeats, rapid breathing, dry mouth, sweating, trembling dizziness. Some people get panic attacks with all these features combining intensely.
While symptoms vary from person to person, researchers similarly had found a wide range of factors that increase our vulnerabilities, including stresses and past adverse life experiences, even stretching back to when they were babies in the womb.
So what is the best way of dealing with this? Firstly, please acknowledge that you have a problem and then start talking about it. The day to day anxious thoughts and feelings are something that most people experience that usually go away quickly, but an anxiety disorder can last for months or years. So it’s imperative to recognize it and get help as soon as possible.
Anxiety is straightforward to “fix” because it’s not an illness, nor is it a mental problem. It’s merely a response like an automatic ‘knee jerk response’ that has become ingrained and transformed into a habit. People usually associate images with experiences. If there is a solid response to a particular situation, then that image would be linked as an indelible stable connection in mind to that experience. An automatic response can be triggered; for example, if a person is prone to fear spiders and then hears the word ‘spiders’, this could bring on an anxiety episode. They could automatically conjure up an image and imagine it in the most unlikely unexpected situation.
Other anxiety situations are connected to irrational fears, like possible nightmares, or a previous experience of an accident, assault, possibly a childhood memory of being mistreated and having developed low self-esteem or self-worth as a result from any number of life experiences that have been stored in the subconscious that could come up in an instant creating an anxiety episode.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT) is the best treatment, which effectively is mindfulness. When individuals can finally decide that they have had enough of this situation and actively want to be rid of it, joining a group helps a lot. Talking about your anxiety and sharing your fears allows an individual to manage it better, especially when you listen to how other people in the group manage theirs. Mindfulness is being able to pause and become aware when your anxiety kicks in. Waiting in the middle of your anxiety enables you to watch ‘how’ you’re reacting and what you start doing to mitigate it; what thoughts are coming up at that very moment? IF you can start doing this, it becomes the beginning of you getting control of an otherwise ‘knee jerk reaction’. So effectively, you are learning to respond rather than react to your situation.