It’s very common to get anxious from time to time. Maybe you have a presentation to give at work, or a special date night coming up. For others, their anxiety may seem to be unwarranted, but this doesn’t mean it is any less valid. While it is normal to get anxiety over stressful and important life events, there are people who suffer from anxiety disorders and are unable to control their anxiety when it gets out of hand.
A common type of anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about many different things. GAD is different from a phobia, since it doesn’t tend to focus on one specific situation. It may be hard for an individual with GAD to control their anxiety.
If small situations in your daily life cause extreme stress and debilitating anxiety, such as a friend taking a while to return a phone call or your boss scheduling a meeting with you, these may be signs that your anxiety is more than just normal. A regular amount of anxiety is not persistent, excessive, disruptive to your life, or intrusive to your thoughts.
If you believe that your anxiety falls into this category, there is no reason to worry. Anxiety disorders can be treated in a few different ways. An individual with anxiety disorders can seek therapeutic treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing the way an individual looks at the world and themselves and by challenging the negative thoughts you may have. There are also medications that an individual can take for anxiety, such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants, which would be determined and prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist.
You don’t have to wait for a therapy session or medication to relieve some of the anxiety that is interfering with your life. There are different ways in which you can change habits and your lifestyle that will help improve your mental health. It is important to create a strong support system that you feel you can talk to about your anxiety and who you know will be there for you when you feel that your anxiety is out of control. You can also work on self-soothing yourself in situations where you don’t have a friend nearby, in ways such as listening to relaxing music, smelling a calming candle, drinking tea, or exercising. Deep breathing and meditation are also effective ways to calm yourself down and overcome your anxiety.
It is easy to feel as if you don’t have a handle on your anxiety, or the life events and situations that cause it. When these anxious thoughts begin to invade your head and distract you from your life, try to remember that the situation may not warrant the reaction, that everything will work out okay, and that there are ways to get help and relieve your mind from this unnecessary stress.