Understand Anxiety to Better Prevent It

There are close to 400 million cases of anxiety disorders, according to a study cited in Scientific American. Thus, trying to understand anxiety can be challenging. 

Like many things in life, anxiety exists on a spectrum and can be caused by brain chemistry, genetics, or life events. Learning how to manage or prevent anxiety is a daily task for many. 

To help you understand anxiety along the way, Serenity Wellness & Counseling shares the following insight.

Major Types of Anxiety

There are five major types of anxiety that are classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5):

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Globally, close to 4% of adults have this long-term condition that leaves them feeling anxious about a variety of issues.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a chronic disorder where someone has uncontrollable bouts of recurring thoughts and behaviors that they must continuously repeat.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder. Also known as social phobia, this is a fear of social situations.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is caused by enduring a terrifying, traumatic event, such as war or personal assault, and, as Rethink Mental Illness notes, it can manifest in several ways
  • Panic Disorder. The sudden feeling of terror without any cause can make you feel as if you’re losing control of yourself. There are several physical symptoms that worsen the experience and make it more terrifying.

What Triggers Anxiety Attacks

While the causes of anxiety disorders aren’t well known, because of a potential inherited component, there are some triggers that you need to be aware of.

  • Medications. Ironic as it may seem, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs that you need to control your allergies or asthma, for example, may be anxiety triggers. While everyone is different, if you find that you’re more anxious while using these medications, speak to your doctor to see if there are better alternatives.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is not only an ingredient in coffee and some teas but also in favorite foods like chocolate. Too much caffeine can cause jittery behavior, but for those who are already anxiety-prone, even a small amount can stimulate the fight-or-flight response. 
  • Job Stress. Studies have shown that 22% of workers experience stress related to their jobs. In some cases, workers are burnt out and hate going to work, while others fear losing their major source of income. One way to combat job anxiety is to find a new job. Just be sure your resume is up to snuff. In fact, you can create it fast with this tool that offers a library of templates, colors, fonts and images. Once your resume is ready to go, start looking for a new employment. 
  • Skipping Meals. Skipping meals may seem like a good calorie-cutting idea but it’s a definite anxiety trigger. When you skip a meal, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol which not only increases anxiety but also depression.

Preventing Anxiety Attacks Requires Small Changes

Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety knows that it can be a debilitating condition. Seemingly innocuous things can trigger an anxiety attack, and the worry and stress can quickly spiral out of control. 

If you’re looking for ways to manage your anxiety, try these techniques. 

Take a deep breath. It sounds simple, but deep breathing, particularly in a high-stress situation, helps to oxygenate the blood and slow down the heart rate, both of which can help to reduce anxiety

Talk to a pro. Work with a therapist like Serenity Wellness & Counseling. These professionals can help you to identify anxiety triggers and develop coping mechanisms to deal with them. 

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just knowing that you have someone to lean on can make a world of difference.

Anxiety attacks are serious, and you should contact a therapist if you frequently experience debilitating episodes. 

Once you’ve acknowledged that an anxiety attack has occurred, you may discover that it’s triggered by certain behaviors that can be changed. Reorienting one’s lifestyle with an intention toward wellness can help keep anxiety at bay. This could be changing your medication, updating your resume to find a new job or working with a professional. 

Take control of your anxiety today so that you can live the life you deserve. 

If you are someone who suffers from anxiety call us today at 281-944-7922.  We have several therapist that specialize in treatment options that can best serve your needs.  If you are unsure if you have anxiety head over to our quiz page and take a quick 5 minute assessment https://serenitywellnessandcounseling.com/free-mental-health-test/ 

Written by Jennifer McGregor.

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