When you’re feeling anxious, remember that you’re still you. You are not your anxiety.
It’s one of the most common of all emotional wellness issues.
It’s in the news. In the schools. At work. All around.
If you haven’t experienced it yourself, chances are very good that someone close to you has.
And while the amount of information out there might feel overwhelming, you can learn all you need to know in just a few minutes.
Today we’re sharing 5 fast facts about anxiety:
1. It’s not “one size fits all”.
For some, it’s unrelenting worry and wondering “What if…?“. For others, it’s intrusive thoughts and compulsive patterns of behavior. For you, it might be overwhelming physical sensations or a sense of panic. Whether it hits out of the blue, comes in response to certain circumstances, or seems to be always present… anxiety is real, and looks very different for each one of us.
2. It thrives on avoidance.
No matter what the focus of your anxious feelings is, just about every type is driven by a strong desire to avoid feeling anxious. This shapes our behavior in a variety of ways, from avoiding certain situations and people to engaging in habits and rituals designed to avoid a feeling of risk or fear. So, if you notice yourself behaving in ways that are puzzling to you (or the people around you), it might signal a need for additional support.
3. It’s affected by substance use.
From your morning coffee to your afternoon trip to the pop machine to that last glass of wine at night, your habits with substances like caffeine and alcohol may be exacerbating your anxiety more than you realize. Each of our bodies reacts differently. But, generally speaking, stimulants heighten your likelihood of experiencing sleep disruptions and other physical symptoms (which can trigger a worry response). Depressants, meanwhile, can produce an effect called “rebound anxiety”, increasing your chances of feeling anxious when the depressant wears off. (Want to learn more about how you can safely manage your anxiety with medication? A medication evaluation with a member of our team may be right for you.)
4. It’s not as simple as “mind over matter”.
One of the greatest frustrations for those living with anxiety is the lack of understanding from people around them. And, to be fair, if you’ve never experienced anxiety, it’s easy to believe that relief is simply a matter of making up your mind to feel better. But in reality? It’s far more complex than that. Not only does it exist all on its own without anyone causing it to occur, but it’s also unresponsive to most of our instinctual attempts to get rid of it on our own. But don’t lose hope(!), because…
5. It’s treatable.
It’s one of the leading reasons that sends people to therapy, to their primary care provider, and even to the emergency room, looking for answers. So, if you’re experiencing anxiety, please know that you’re not alone! And here’s some very good news: It’s highly treatable. From therapy to medication to a wide range of modifiable lifestyle factors, you’ve got a whole world of options to work with when it comes to addressing the root cause of your symptoms. It’s all about finding the combination that’s right for you, and we’re ready to help whenever you are.
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Think you may be experiencing anxiety?