Anxiety is "an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure."
- American Pyschological Association definition (source)
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder.
Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States. It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only 36.9 percent of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
from Medical News Today (source)
Talking with my medical care provider to come to a solution, and to keep adjusting my treatment as life takes its course, has made an enormous difference in my day-to-day life. If you are struggling with anxiety, I encourage you to speak with your medical provider about it. With doctor visits getting shorter and shorter, I recommend preparing beforehand with a list of questions and answers and being sure to initiate the conversation.
This article has information on what to expect when you go to the doctor to discuss your anxiety, and ways you can prepare beforehand.
Before we get started I wanted to make another point. Anxiety looks different for different people (and often is not visible at all). Talking about mental health is important to remove stigma and break down barriers, but realize that if you do find someone else with anxiety, their symptoms and treatment options may not be the same as yours. This article outlines the varied signs and symptoms of anxiety - take a look.
Now, let's talk about some lifestyle changes you can make to manage your anxiety (with and without other treatments). Lifestyle plays a large role in our physical health and wellbeing as well as our mental and emotional state.
You may feel like you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions, trying to balance family life, work deadlines, financial pressures, and personal wellness.
By identifying your priorities and taking concrete steps to take back control, you can feel better both at work and at home.
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