Anxiety is a common experience in everyday life. Many people feel anxious when starting a new job, preparing to give an important presentation or when making important decisions. However, anxiety can become problematic if it begins to impact your ability to function in your daily activities. A closer look at anxiety and how they affect peoples’ lives can provide important information on managing the problem:
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety can be described as a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear or unease over a situation or event. It can occur suddenly, or it can be a recurring problem that interferes with normal function at work, at home or in social situations. When intense episodes of anxiety occur, they often beget even greater anxiety about having another episode, in a cycle of reaction-fear of reaction-and increased reaction.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety is often expressed in physical symptoms that can at times be so severe that they interfere in our day to day functioning, for example:
· Feeling on edge or wound up
· Muscle tension
· Problems with concentration or focus
· Overwhelming fatigue
· Sleep problems
Causes of Anxiety
Research suggests that there is no one single “cause” that can lead to us experiencing anxiety. Also, it is often difficult to determine one “specific” reason for a person feeling anxious. Clinical research has demonstrated that an interaction of several factors can be contributing to feeling anxious. For instance, biological factors (genetics or family history), psychological factors (history of bullying, growing up in a strict environment, seeing someone criticized, receiving messages that making a good impression is extremely important or we can never make any mistakes), environmental factors (stressful life circumstances) and thoughts or beliefs (catastrophic interpretation of a situation, negative predictions, being overly concerned about being negatively evaluated etc).
Treatment for Anxiety
Highly effective and brief interventions are available to provide you with the skills and strategies to overcome your anxious thoughts, mange your physical sensations and get you to start participating in the activities and situations that you may be avoiding.
Research based psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) have been found to be an effective form of treatment for anxiety. Taking the first step towards seeking help for your worry can be challenging. In particular, speaking to a psychologist may seem daunting, however, participating in psychological services can help you learn to overcome your anxiety.
If anxiety is preventing you from achieving your goals and making everyday experiences more difficult, take action to find a solution, so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.