4 Signs That You Might Have an Anxiety Disorder
Feeling anxious every once in a while and having an anxiety disorder are two very different things. When you have an anxiety disorder, you can become fixated on a thought or feeling that leads you down a rabbit hole of anxious thoughts. While there are different types of anxiety disorders, a common thread between them all is that it interferes with your daily life. Here are four signs that may signal you are dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Your Anxious Thoughts Don’t Go Away
When you have an anxiety disorder, you often become incredibly anxious in situations where others might only get a little anxious, like during family gatherings.
This anxiety also tends to last longer and is more persistent. When your anxious thoughts start to impact your daily life, that’s when it becomes an issue.
Your Anxiety Manifests Itself Physically
If your anxious thoughts are accompanied by physical conditions, like restlessness, fatigue, and muscle pain, among others, it could signal that you have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can lead to gastrointestinal issues, like heartburn, cramping, and even diarrhea. These physical symptoms are as a result of your body being in a constant heightened state of anxiety.
You Can’t Focus
It isn’t that uncommon for people who have a general anxiety disorder to be mistakenly diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is because when you have an anxiety disorder, you tend to have difficulty focusing. When you’re always anxious, you tend to be in your head constantly and can get distracted by the negative thoughts and obsessions rattling around in your head. To an outsider, it looks like you have ADHD.
You Have Trouble Sleeping
The anxiety that you experience tends to take your thoughts on a ride that leaves you struggling to catch some zzz’s. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), some level of sleep disruption is present in almost all mental disorders, including anxiety.
If you have more than one of these symptoms, there’s a good chance that you might be dealing with an anxiety disorder. However, before you jump to any conclusions, it’s best to speak with your doctor to rule out any other conditions, because anxiety symptoms often mimic other medical conditions. Fortunately, anxiety disorders can be treated so that you can learn to manage your symptoms and get back to living your life.
5 Signs That You’re Experiencing an Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attack symptoms tend to mimic many of the same symptoms as a heart attack and can come on you without any warning. You don’t need to have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to suffer from an anxiety attack, they don’t discriminate and can strike anyone. Here are five signs that you might be experiencing an anxiety attack.
Sudden Terror or Sense of Impending Doom
One of the most common signs that you are experiencing an anxiety attack is the overwhelming fear or sense of impending doom. The terror that you experience can be paralyzing and is a result of adrenaline flooding your body due to the perception of immediate danger.
This is the most common symptom that might have you feeling like you’re having a heart attack. The pains that you feel in your chest during a panic attack can be severe and choking. If you are experiencing chest pains, its best to get checked out by the doctor to rule out a heart attack.
A panic attack can have you struggling to breathe properly, or you may feel like you’re having to gasp for air. With high levels of anxiety, you can end up hyperventilating, which can cause an imbalance in the carbon dioxide levels in your body. This can lead to dizziness and other symptoms.
Increased Heart Rate
When you are experiencing an anxiety attack, your body responds as if it is facing imminent danger. Nervous signals activate the fight-or-flight response in your body, which produces a rush of adrenaline in your blood stream. This surge in hormones causes many symptoms, including an increased heart rate, which can make you think that you are suffering from a heart attack.
Feeling Out of Control
The intense fear and physical symptoms that you experience during a panic attack can often leave you feeling out of control. This can significantly heighten the fear that you are already suffering and may lead you to feel disconnected from yourself. The surrounding environment may feel distorted or foggy.
The symptoms that you may be experiencing during a panic attack are much like the fight-or-flight response that is encountered during a dangerous situation, but they tend to come from nowhere when you are dealing with an anxiety attack. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to help alleviate your symptoms and stop the panic attack in its tracks.
Top 6 Things That Will Trigger Your Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are incredibly common, as are many of the things that will trigger anxiety. For most people dealing with anxiety, they find that they have multiple triggers, while other people’s anxiety attacks are triggered for no reason at all. If you want to gain control of your anxiety, it’s important to discover any triggers that you may have. Here are six common triggers that can cause your anxiety to rise.
A diagnosis of a medical condition, like cancer or a chronic illness, can trigger anxiety or make it worse. This is a powerful trigger because of the immediate and personal feelings that it tends to produce. You can help reduce your anxiety by being proactive and engaged with your doctor.
There are certain over-the-counter and prescription medications that can trigger your symptoms of anxiety. Many of the active ingredients in some medicines may make you feel unwell or uneasy, which can set off a series of reactions in your body and mind that may lead you to experience anxiety.
Your morning cup of coffee may be triggering or making your anxiety worse. According to a recent study, people with panic disorders are especially sensitive to the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine.
Not eating will cause your blood sugar to drop, which can lead to jittery hands and can trigger your anxiety. Eating balanced meals is important because it will provide you with energy and essential nutrients.
Much of your body is controlled by your mind, and it’s certainly true when dealing with anxiety. When you’re frustrated or upset, the words that you say to yourself can trigger greater feelings and increase your anxiety. If you tend to use negative words when you think about yourself, you need to learn how to refocus your language.
Worries about your lack of savings or massive debt can trigger anxiety. So can unexpected bills or money fears. You might have to seek the help of a professional, like a financial advisor, to learn how to manage these kinds of triggers. It can help to ease your concern if you feel as if you have a guide through the process.
Identifying your anxiety triggers might take some time, but it is essential so that you can learn how to manage your symptoms and hopefully, you can eventually overcome it and get back your life.
Quick Ways to Relieve Your Anxiety
The horrible thing about anxiety is that the very feeling makes you even more anxious. It tends to create a feedback loop that can leave you feeling helpless and trapped, which leads to you feeling even worse. If you suffer from anxiety often, here are some quick ways that you can start to relieve your anxiety.
Make Yourself Comfortable
The first thing that you need to do when you are experiencing anxiety symptoms is to make yourself as comfortable as you can while the feeling passes. It is important to remember that your anxiety will pass, so you need to try and concentrate on making yourself comfortable, both emotionally and physically.
Use Calming Self Talk
If you’re like most people who suffer from anxiety, much of what you say to yourself when you are experiencing anxiety actually causes you to become even more anxious. To help relieve your anxiety instantly, tell yourself calming phrases like, ‘this feeling will pass,’ or ‘I am feeling anxious now, but soon I’ll be calm.”
Acknowledge and Accept Your Anxious Thoughts
When you fight the anxiety, you are only making it stronger. On the other hand, when you can accept that you are feeling anxious can help make the anxiety go away. Facing your fears is a great way to get relief from your concern quickly. You can try this powerful anxiety treatment strategy to learn how to accept your anxious thoughts.
For ten minutes, make yourself as anxious as possible. Try to get your anxiety to increase to the highest level that you can handle. When your anxiety level reaches a ten, try to keep it there for at least five minutes. You will probably find that you can’t keep your anxiety at a high level. This kind of exposure technique has you facing your fears to the point where they vanish.
An effective way to put your mind at ease and relieve anxiety is to distract yourself from the thoughts that are causing your symptoms. It is tough for your mind to focus on more than one thing at a time. If you find something that you can focus intently on, your mind won’t be able to maintain the anxiety for long.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation exercises and techniques can help to reverse the stress response in your body, which makes relaxation your body’s natural cure for anxiety. Start by using a quick relaxation technique that can help to induce the relaxation response. This will help to counter your body’s stress response and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Dealing with the onslaught of anxiety can be incredibly overwhelming. Using these five techniques can help you quickly relieve your anxiety and get on with your life.
5 Tips for Facing Your Fears and Overcoming Your Anxiety
If your fears and anxiety are holding you back from living the life you want, you’re not alone. More than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. The good news is that there are studies that show by facing your fears you can gain the courage you need to overcome other concerns that you may have. Here are five tips for facing your fears and overcoming anxiety.
Don’t Go It Alone
When you are facing down your fears, it can be beneficial to have someone along for the journey that can cheer you on. Perhaps you know someone who has the same fear as you, that can partner with you so that you can encourage and cheer each other on.
Boost Your Confidence
When you are getting ready to stare down your fear, it can be immensely helpful to remember all of the other courageous things that you’ve accomplished in your life. Remember how it felt to achieve your goal. Recognizing previous acts of courage can go a long way in helping you face your fears.
Acknowledge the Fear
Many times our fears are relegated to the back of our minds, unacknowledged and ignored. Even when faced with anxiety, we often choose just to feel the issue, and never really take the time to understand our fear. Start paying attention to how your body feels and acknowledge the sensation as a symptom rather than something more significant.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
There have been many studies over the years on the positive effects of keeping a gratitude journal. These studies suggest that people who practice gratitude had higher levels of positive emotions, a stronger immune system, felt less lonely, and had more happiness in their lives. Rather than focusing on the negative in your life, be thankful for everything that you have.
Expose Yourself to What You Fear
Even though it can be terrifying, if you want to overcome your fears, then you just have to face them. Sit down and define the worst-case scenario of the unknown outcome, an realize that the worst scenario rarely happens. Doing this you’ll start to notice that each time you do the scary thing, it gets a little bit easier.
It is possible to face your fears and overcome your anxiety. Facing your fear will lead you to live a better life, free from stress and anxiety.