How to Cope with Anxiety: Much More than Stress

Describing anxiety

Photo by Meghan Hessler on Unsplash

Always On Edge

We all know what it’s like to be afraid. Sweaty hands, a pounding heart, and racing thoughts come to mind. Our body uses fear to prepare us for potentially dangerous situations. It doesn’t feel good, but it is a necessary tool in certain situations that helps keep us aware and safe.

What if you felt that way often enough that just talking on the phone or leaving your house makes your heart race? For over 40 million adults in the U.S., this is our reality. As someone with anxiety, I know how exhausting it is to feel constantly unsafe and on edge. When these symptoms occur often and are intense enough to start affecting one’s everyday life, it’s vital to bring attention to these issues with a doctor and start taking steps to ease the anxiety. Let’s look at the illness before looking at how to cope with anxiety.

Anxiety Explained

Just like any mental illness, there is no simple cause or solution for anxiety. Our minds are immensely complex, and each of us has different experiences and perspectives. Evidence shows that genetics and environmental stressors cause anxiety disorders, and many factors can cause the illness to manifest. Car accidents, abusive households, and the loss of loved ones are just a handful of situations that can propagate anxiety disorders.

Anxiety can take many forms and have a wide scope in severity. People with more mild forms of anxiety disorder will experience symptoms slightly more than the average person, and they will only affect their lives in minor ways. This condition can heighten to moderate and severe anxiety disorders, where panic attacks, high fatigue and stress, and interference with daily activities are much more likely to occur. In summation, anxiety can range from mildly tiresome to extremely debilitating and anywhere in between.

Treatment for Anxiety

The good news is we have many treatments for anxiety disorders! Several forms of therapy and medications are available and effective for coping with anxiety. As every person has different needs and characteristics, the best course of action for those afflicted with anxiety is to discuss their options with a medical professional. The process of finding effective treatment can also vary depending on the needs of the patient. Sometimes the first form of treatment works well enough to start and can be adjusted over time. While in other cases, it can take longer to find a treatment with decent results. It’s important to acknowledge the difficulties of this process and emphasize the importance of patience and kindness to oneself during this time. Getting help for anxiety is not easy. It can be quite tumultuous, but once a patient clears that hurdle, it greatly improves the quality of the person’s life.

Resources Make a Difference

Anyone can get anxiety at any time, and the symptoms may be lifelong and debilitating. Raising awareness of mental health issues is one of the best ways to provide these resources and care to communities across the country. Websites such as the National Institute of Mental Health provide educational materials and basic coping tools for anxiety. Everyone with mental illnesses like anxiety disorders deserves to find the best care for themselves so they can live freely. The best we can do as a society is to make that care more accessible.

Thank you for reading! If you want to learn more about how to cope with anxiety, click here.

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