We all feel worried from time to time.
Even the occasional episode of severe worry or nervousness can be healthy. That is because worry and apprehension can help keep us safe and away from dangerous situations.
But when feelings of extreme worry and obsessive thoughts creep into our daily routines, they become something much more serious.
If you find yourself ruminating over your own thoughts and fears to an irrational level, you may be suffering from a mental health condition known as anxiety.
What Exactly Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a chronic, steady feeling of severe worry and uneasiness. This worry is felt in overwhelming, disproportionate amounts on a daily or near-daily basis. And it is drastically different from the general, occasional feelings of nervousness or dread we may feel when faced with a scary situation, such as public speaking.
Anxiety disorder is a formally-recognized mental health condition. In reality, there are actually several different anxiety-related disorders with varying symptoms. These disorders can exist concurrently and are typically more common in women than men.
What Does Anxiety Look Like?
Anxiety looks slightly different for each person who presents with the disorder, but individuals who suffer from anxiety disorder generally experience exaggerated senses of worry, fear, or expectation. The anxious thoughts and feelings typically focus on social or personal situations and their potential outcomes, which leaves the individual nervous or even terrified at what may occur.
Often, anxiety manifests itself physically as well. Anxious individuals commonly suffer from symptoms such as:
- A heavy, tight chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive sweating
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty swallowing
How Can You Relieve Anxiety?
For those who suffer, anxiety rarely disappears altogether. Luckily, however, it is often possible to significantly relieve anxiety.
There are many different ways to cope with anxiety disorder. Some people are able to make adjustments to their lifestyle and behaviors to reduce the amount of anxiety they feel. Thus, coping with anxiety independently works for some people. But it will not work for everyone. Some may feel more comfortable and find more success when they also seek professional help.
Individual Anxiety Relief
There are several approaches you can take if you have chosen to first try to cope with your anxiety independently. Behavioral modifications may help you learn to relieve your anxiety to a certain extent.
Some of the more common approaches to relieving anxiety include:
- Practicing meditation and purposeful breathing
- Using short-term distractions such as taking a hot bath or going for a walk
- Challenging your negative thought patterns through journaling or making charts
- Exposing yourself gradually to a specific trigger or fear
- Talking through your anxieties with a friend or loved one
Your behaviors have the potential to either feed or reduce your anxiety. To some extent, you are in control of your thoughts and can fight to relieve the anxiety. If coping on your own proves too challenging, however, you can always seek professional help.
Professional Anxiety Relief
Because anxiety disorders are so common, licensed clinical psychologists are extensively trained at helping their patients find relief from their anxiety. If you have decided to seek professional help for your anxiety, you are definitely not alone.
A clinical psychologist can use a variety of techniques—including potential referral to a psychiatrist for medication management—to help you control your anxious thoughts and feelings. Psychologists commonly use therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy and psychotherapy. Whatever your personal situation may require, a licensed clinical psychologist can work with you.
If you are struggling with anxiety disorder in the Beverly Hills, CA, area, I would love to help you. Contact my office today to find out more about how professional anxiety treatment can help you learn to relieve anxiety!