Anxiety is quite the controversial subject. On one hand some people call it the silent killer, on the other, its considered to be “all in your head.” Some think its a product of new technological advances: causing some of us to become desensitized to real world interactions. Some believe its presence is as old and natural as breathing.
As a kid we all can remember the feeling of “butterflies” whenever a situation arose that either promoted stepping out of a comfort zone or spotlighted a chance of embarrassment. I remember as an adolescent the feeling would become so intense that It would begin to affect my speech and motor functional skills. I would begin to stutter, my hands would start to sweat, and the power in my body would just seem to give out. This phenomena affected me from about age 10-18 but began to decline as I started to progress through college.
Later as I got into my early twenties, I started to notice that a certain phenomenon had become a topic in all of my recent conversations. This phenomena was called Anxiety. I remember hearing the word a few times while growing up but began to notice an increase in its popularity. As I proceeded to do more research, I found it to be a very controversial subject. Upon reading the symptoms, I started to piece together my own previous dealings like never before. Unknown at the time, as a kid anxiety had become my greatest adversary for years without me ever knowing it existed.
What is Anxiety?
The funny feeling that can’t be explained with a simple answer: fear, excitement, nervousness? Perhaps, a mixture of all three. For example, themedicalnewstoday.com writes: “Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying.”
What exactly causes anxiety?
Anxiety, at it’s origin, dates back to the early adventures of man. The adrenaline boosting “fight or flight” response was used to identify imminent danger for basic survival. This reaction to a situation the brain deems threatening or dangerous causes the nervous system to instinctively encourage a “fight”(defend) or “flight”(retreat) survival mode. An example of this response would be the feeling of hearing a gun shot, facing a speeding incoming car, or seeing a wild bear on a hiking trail. Anxiety today even though manifested for considerably less “dire” situations, revolve around every day activities that inspire fear, nervousness, and worry: public speaking, performances, sport related games, and other normal day to day reactions.
Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder
This mental illness has crept its way deep into American homes and every life as an evolved version of normal anxiety. . Affecting a staggering 40 million people, this silent epidemic goes largely unnoticed and untreated in 60% of it’s host.
“Yeah, sometimes I get anxiety when” A common phrase one would hear in an everyday conversation. Even though anxiety is somewhat a natural occurrence, an anxiety disorder is another story. Regular anxiety can come and go: anxiety disorders place a hold on your actions and can greatly affect your work, school, and social life. Gut wrenching fear coupled with unshakable nervousness: this mental illness can be a life changer. There are different types of anxiety disorders that provoke different tendencies and behaviors. For example:
Social Anxiety Disorder
As I stated previously in the paragraph above, I realized later in life that I had a small social anxiety disorder. This disorder preys on the fear of humiliation. So much so, that it can cause withdrawal and resentment towards society. This disorder usually manifest itself in any area of your life where you are either facing the most pressure, or have the highest possible chance of failure. The symptoms include unreasonable fear towards social events, panic attacks, vomiting, and flat-out avoidance.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder preys on the comfort of familiar surroundings especially those from childhood. This illness results from an unhealthy attachment to a familiar figure, or place. Although most commonly found in small children, it can also affect teenagers and adults in certain relationship circumstances.
The symptoms include extreme distress when the separation occurs or is about to occur, great despair over unwarranted potential loss of a figure, refusal to participate in acts that take time them away from said figure, and severe insomina without the figure in the vicinity .
A form of social anixety disorder, this is an illness in which the subject declines to speak in situations that could cause potential embarrassment. This disorder differs from being “shy” in the sense that it is more exaggerated. Mutisim is the outright refusal to speak in any situation; a shy person is more inclined to speak if spoken too even if softly.
Specific Phobia Disorder
“I’m afraid of Heights!” Probably one of the most popular sources of anxiety across the glob. This illness reflects a severe irrational fear of specific situations, objects, animals, or people. Also, the fear is coupled with behavioral characteristics like flat out avoidance, vomiting, panic attacks, asthma, and anxiousness. Probably the broadest of the anxiety disorder sections because it can develop as a reaction to just about anything.
How to Overcome Anxiety
Even though anxiety can be a formidable foe, there are ways to manage and completely overcome it. Here are some natural ways to overcome your fears!
A large portion of mental illness results from imbalances from unhealthy diets. The brain is a very complex organ and can either run inefficiently due to lack of resources, or an abundance of unhealthy resources.
“Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.” (Ods.od.nih.gov)
Magnesium is an essential vitamin that is often left out of everyday meals. A low magnesium count can increase susceptibility to attracting certain anxiety disorders.
The idea of facing your inner fear by forcing your self to submerge yourself in what you fear most. Theory based on the idea that there is root or cause for every disorder. By forcing yourself to confront what is causing the anxiety, it can help you to understand more about how to stop it. Habituation is social anxiety disorder joining the speech club.
The biggest misconception about therapy is that its “only for crazy people.” From some of the biggest names like Jay Z – Kevin Heart, all of them agree that therapy can be extremely beneficial for just about anyone.
“Therapy can help you handle emotions from problems or stressors, even if they aren’t dramatically life-altering or traumatic. Therapy is well-known for its problem-solving techniques and reputation as a tool for overcoming anxiety, depression and addiction.”(Thehuffingtonpost.com)
Often anxiety can caused by repressed fears and trauma from situations in our childhood that were never fully addressed. Having someone to talk about the things we don’t want others to know we struggle with is key in releasing yourself from unhealthy disorders.
Mediation remains a heal-all practice with is countless scientific backed benefits. It allows one to master the workings of the inner mind while lowering blood pressure and gray matter density in the brain. By altering the structure of your brain, meditation is one of the most natural and effective ways of overcoming a mental illness.
Noting that a large majority of my anxiety based around how slender I was (something I figured out during meditation), working out helped me to overcome how I felt about my physique. As a kid I was very skinny and In certain situations like basketball, for example, my anxiety would literally almost immobilize my body. For example, Adaa.org writes ” According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long-lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.”
Some much needed gym time might the thing to help you start to love yourself again!
This concludes the article and I hope you found it helpful!
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