Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems in the United States according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Anxiety is a normal life experience but becomes problematic when it causes excessive, uncontrollable fear and worry impacting daily life.
7 Facts about Anxiety
- Anxiety can manifest itself through physical symptoms. People who experience anxiety often report symptoms such as restlessness, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and gastrointestinal issues.
- A person may experience anger as a symptom of anxiety. When life feels out of control, often people express themselves through anger and externalize conflict.
- There is a link between anxiety and depression. About half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety.
- Anxiety can be genetic. Research shows that anxiety disorders run in families and that there are biological risk factors.
- Anxiety increases the risk of physical health problems. When we are anxious, our bodies release a stress hormone known as cortisol. High levels of cortisol, left unchecked, can lead to decreased immune function and problems such as diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, and substance abuse among others.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mind-body therapies such as EMDR and Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) have been proven beneficial in reducing or even eliminating symptoms of anxiety. For some, medication has also been helpful in managing their symptoms.
- Exercise is correlated with a reduction in anxious symptoms. Exercise releases natural feel-good hormones in our bodies such as endorphins and serotonin.
It’s Not all Bad
While anxiety is uncomfortable, it’s not always bad. Anxiety keeps us safe and alerts us to danger. It can also provide motivation to do well on a test or presentation. However, if the anxiety you’re experiencing is affecting your everyday life, you’re avoiding situations, and feel the anxiety is not in proportion to the situation, it may be time to reach out for help.
Graceful Balance specializes in treating stress and anxiety disorders. If you’re curious about learning how to reduce your anxiety, reach out today.