The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is anxiety?”. It will elaborate on the various facts about anxiety. Further we will talk about the general types of anxiety, the various symptoms of anxiety, the effect of anxiety on our routine life and the long term effects of anxiety on our life.
What is anxiety?
The word anxiety is generally used as a synonym to refer to stress or tension. Anxiety is much related to our daily life insecurities and apprehensions. Our fear related to our daily life decisions are manifested in the form of anxiety and are referred to as anxiety.
Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling characterized by inner build up of tension, nervousness and restlessness. It may be manifested in our thoughts, behaviors and emotions.
Anxiety is often manifested in our cognitive functioning in the form of repetitive thoughts, obsessions, rigid beliefs, irrational thoughts and concerns.
Anxiety is also featured in our physical and somatic makeup. We feel an accelerated heart rate, increased blood pressure, tensed muscles, severe headache and hot flashes or numbness as a result of anxiety.
Anxiety is often referred to as a constant state of worry. This worry leads to an individual feeling intense negative emotional states and escaping or avoiding situations due to a constant state of worry.
Anxiety often leads our reactions to be much more exaggerated than the situation itself. The individual may perceive a situation to be much more disturbing and distressing than its reality. As a result anxiety emerges as a physical and mental state that is characterized by apprehensions and catastrophization related to life events.
Anxiety causes a person’s perceived stress about an event to multiply due to the inner constant state of worry and negative automatic thoughts.
Facts about anxiety
Anxiety is somehow a necessary fuel for our daily life functioning. Without real life anxiety, humans will have a low motivation to go further in life. For example, anxiety related to exams is necessary inorder to study hard for exams. Similarly, anxiety related to a meeting with the stakeholders is necessary to do your homework for the meeting brief.
The real aim behind anxiety is to maintain the focus of a person on a single area that is most important and needs maximum attention in order to maximize the gains. Anxiety prepares an individual for making necessary changes in the routine and achieving what is meant to be achieved in life while focusing on the goals and keeping self away from distractions.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it causes much threat to the individual that instead of dealing effectively with the stress and worry, the person actually faints out of tension related to exams or an interview.
A consistent anxiety that is pervasive in nature tends to hinder the productivity of an individual across the various life spheres. Anxiety that outweighs the actual situation disturbs the individual’s executive functioning, professional life, personal life and social life.
Recent two years have caused an increase in the anxiety levels of individuals. The rise of corona and pandemic situations across the globe has resulted in uncertainty among humans. During the pandemic, individuals have suffered emotionally, physically and economically and have many apprehensive beliefs related to life.
The outbreak of corona has resulted in an increased incidence of anxiety among all age groups in developing as well as developed countries. Increased exposure to social media and technology has greatly affected the lifestyles of people and they are more tense and irritable.
Further due to increased anxiety,working from home and achieving targets has become more difficult for the adults during the pandemic. Increased exposure to screens further results in exaggerated feelings of discomfort and tension leading to persistent anxiety.
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According to the american psychological association anxiety is defined as an emotion and it is characterized by feelings of tension, thoughts related to constant worry and physical changes like increased heart rate and restlessness.
Who is at a greater risk of developing anxiety?
Everyone has an anxiety feeling related to daily life functioning and the imposed task and duties. For example a little kid might feel anxious about an admission test whereas a baby might feel anxious when the mother is not around.
However for some people anxiety is a pervasive and persistent feeling. They are not able to get rid of their anxiety, rather they live with it 24/7 and get affected by it across all the major domains in life.
Some people are at a greater risk of developing anxiety as compared to others. Some of the predispositional factors for developing anxiety include:
- Personality types play a great role in determining anxiety among individuals. People who are introverted are at a greater risk of developing anxiety in life. Similarly people with histrionic features of personality, narcissistic personality traits, low self esteem and a prominent trait of paranoia and suspiciousness are at a greater risk to develop anxiety.
- Family history has an important role in determining an individual’s tendency to develop anxiety. Lack of support in family, family members or parental figures having anxiety issues or family conflicts lead to greater chances of developing anxiety. In families, dealing with anxiety can be difficult, check out the best anxiety books for parents and teens.
- Any other physical ailment like disability or a disease leads to development of anxiety symptoms. Asthma, cardiac symptoms, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues and diabetes are some of the physical conditions closest to developing signs of anxiety among individuals.
- Substance use is another prominent factor that is related to higher levels of anxiety among individuals. Cannabis, amphetamines and alcohol deteriorate a person’s functioning and result in anxiety. If you are an alcoholic, try other non-alcoholic fermented beverages. Check our Best Kombucha for anxiety.
- Traumatic events lead to unpleasant feelings of persistent worry and constant anxiety among individuals. Witnessing a traumatic event or suffering from one leaves an individual with flashbacks that are related to restlessness and nervousness.
- Relationship issues are often a cause of anxiety among the individuals. These relate to dysfunctional relations and a constant feeling of irritability that gets transferred from one life sphere to another.
- Attachment patterns are related to development of later life relations. Anxious, fearful and insecure attachment patterns are greatly associated with development of anxiety in later life relations.
- Life threatening events like natural disasters and catastrophe are predictors of anxiety among the individual. They leave deep and prominent signs of anxiety and fear on the personalities of the individuals. As a result such individuals develop a negative perspective on life.
- Caffeine intake through various non prescribed drugs, herbal medicines or energy drinks often induces anxiety among individuals.
- Pandemic situations are related to declined life functioning and uncertainties due to lockdown. Such situations often induce feelings of catastrophization among individuals and individuals develop high levels of anxiety.
- Brain chemistry is often a cause of anxiety among many individuals. Low or high levels of any neurotransmitters or hormones may produce greater anxiety symptoms among individuals.
- Genetics are an important factor to consider for the various causes of anxiety. Parents who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or who have a habit of getting way too anxious about things in routine life have greater chances of transferring the same to their kids through genetic makeup.
- Withdrawal from any substance often results in producing anxiety among individuals.
What are the different types of anxiety?
Anxiety is a result of threat and danger posed to a person in response to any situation. There are two major types of anxieties:
- Real anxiety is the anxiety an individual feels in response to any life situation. This type of anxiety is in accordance with the threat being proposed by the situation or the stimulus.
- Imagined anxiety is a result of exaggerated fear and increased apprehensions related to a stimulus or a situation. The stress perceived from a stimulus by an individual is way much higher as compared to its actual level. As a result the individual develops various unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are a result of dysfunctional thoughts.
On the basis of imagined anxiety and the fear associated with it, the anxiety is further divided into various types. Each type of anxiety differs from the other types on the basis of the stimulus that triggers it and the associated behavioral response by the individual.
The anxiety is usually triggered by a stimulus of stress but the perceived threat as assumed by the individual is much higher as compared to its original nature. Thus anxiety results in cognitive and emotional dysfunctionality among individuals and gives rise to one of the anxiety disorders that are based on types of imagined anxiety and have been classified by the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders as following:
- Social anxiety is related to public speaking and an inner belief of being negatively evaluated or judged by others.
- Specific phobia is a form of anxiety that is related to internal fears of specific things or objects. For example fear of airplanes, phobia related to monkeys, phobbai related to lifts, phobia related to heights, etc. If you’re fear of airplanes, you might use sedatives for Airplane Anxiety. Also, check the Best Airlines for Anxiety and things to take for airplane anxiety,
- Separation anxiety disorder is an intense feeling of anxiety that distorts functioning at personal, professional, social and occupational level, it results from getting separated or distant from a significant other. Here are the top books for people with high functioning anxiety.
- Generalized anxiety disorder is a constant and consistent feeling of tension and worry across all life spheres. It is an excessive and unmanageable tension related to general life routine that makes it impossible for an individual to function well in any area.
- Panic disorder is characterized by regular panic attacks with symptoms that are closest to a heart attack. Panic attacks are a result of getting around or in contact with an anxiety provoking event or situation and failing to manage the emotional and physical responses of the body.
- Agoraphobia is a state characterized by anxiety feelings related to getting trapped in any situation from which escape might be difficult.
- Post traumatic stress disorder results due to a traumatic event and leaves the person with constant worry and tension in all life spheres. The person often has flashbacks and dreams about the traumatic event as the anxiety makes them think repeatedly about the event on both conscious and unconscious levels.
- Selective mutism is a type of anxiety mostly reported among kids. The children feel anxious in communicating in any specific setting like school or tuition. Despite their appropriate communication skills, these kids are just quiet in such situations in response to their anxiety. If your child is struggling with anxiety, get one of these cuties home for them to have as a pet.
How to prevent oneself from anxiety?
In Order to prevent oneself from the detrimental effects of anxiety and the various factors that predispose a person to anxiety, following strategies are recommended:
- Reduce intake of caffeine related drugs
- Go for a regular walk to increase physical exertion
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Take an adequate sleep
- Avoid becoming addicted to any substance or non substance material
- Maintain healthy socialization skills
How to manage ongoing anxiety?
For individuals who have developed anxiety symptoms and suffer from any specific type of anxiety feeling that it makes life impossible for them, following strategies are suggested:
- Consult a psychiatrist for treatment through relevant medicines
- Consult a psychologist to seek cognitive behavior therapy to reduce anxiety responses to triggers.
- Learn stress management
- Adopt relaxation techniques like cycling, breathing, yoga or meditation. If you’re open to trying yoga for anxiety and stress relief, check out these top Yoga DVDs and the best meditation apps that have reduced anxiety in people.
- Establish alternate positive thoughts to the negative ones,
- Distract yourself from unpleasant feelings by focusing on alternate feelings
- Maintain a healthy social support network
The present blogspot discussed and elaborated on the vaiour facts related to anxiety. It explained the predispositional factors of anxiety. We learned the two major types of anxiety and the associated anxiety disorders. Anxiety prevention techniques and coping strategies to manage anxiety effectively were also discussed.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Anxiety
What is anxiety in psychology?
Psychologically, anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state characterized by a constant state of worry, fear and apprehensions.
How does anxiety affect life?
Anxiety affects life by making a person live in a constant state of worry and tension. The person is always fearful in taking new decisions in life and evaluates life in a negative perspective. He develops a habit of fear and apprehensions related to future events in life.
What are the health risks of anxiety disorder?
The health risks of anxiety disorder include:
- Dysfunctional thought patterns
- Disturberd heart rate
- Low tolerance level
- Emotional reactivity
- Hormonal imbalance
- Diturbed menstrual cycle among women
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Disturbed sleep. Add a cup of this Best Night Time teas to your sleep hygiene routine for anxiety-free nights.
- Headache or nausea