Anxiety can be defined as an intense feeling of excessive and persistent worry characterized by rapid breathing, fast heart rate, sweating, etc. It is our body’s natural response to stress. The feeling of worry and nervousness before examinations, performing on stage, before an interview is what we call anxiety. Anxiety is normal and is faced by each one of us at times. A certain level of anxiety is natural when trying to achieve goals in life however, anxiety which exceeds a certain level can be harmful for the individual. Common symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, fast heart rate, racing thoughts, sweating, and trembling.
What causes anxiety?
Common causes of anxiety are:
- Stress at work or at home
- Excessive substance intake
- A side effect of medication
- As a symptom of illness
- Stressful event
However, the cause of anxiety differs from individual to individual. While for one person it may be a result of a combination of these factors, for another it can be caused by some unknown odd factor. In some cases, a person is not able to find out the cause behind their anxiety. In such cases, people should seek support and advice from professionals in the field.
What are the stages of anxiety?
Based on the severity of anxiety, it can be divided into four stages namely, mild anxiety, moderate anxiety, severe anxiety, and panic level anxiety.
- Mild Anxiety
It refers to the amount of anxiety that can be managed easily. This anxiety is faced by almost all of us because of the stressors we have in our daily lives. A person in this stage of anxiety can be seen enjoying his/her social life. However, he/she might be seeing some irritating symptoms. Symptoms in all stages of anxiety remain almost the same, they only differ based on severity. This level of anxiety, if not managed well, can transform into moderate or even severe levels of anxiety.
- Moderate Anxiety
Individuals facing this type of anxiety have frequent symptoms than those with mild anxiety. Their anxiety problems last more than those with mild anxiety. This level of anxiety disrupts the individual’s everyday living. If proper measures and self-help strategies are taken at the right time, one can even learn to handle it by themselves. However, this cannot be the case with everyone; some people might also need professional help.
- Severe Anxiety
This is a higher form of anxiety which severely affects an individual’s overall well-being. People in this stage of anxiety have difficulty in leading normal lives. Symptoms in this case are persistent. Increased heart rate, breathlessness, sweating, nervousness, sleep deprivation, social withdrawal are faced by people in this stage of anxiety. Severe anxiety is difficult to handle alone and one needs professional support and help in this case.
- Panic Level Anxiety
This can be termed as the highest level of anxiety. It is characterized by panic attacks, nausea or dizziness, and even fear of death. Such people have suicidal tendencies. This disorder is very dangerous in itself. If it occurs with disorders like depression, it can lead to serious consequences. One’s life is totally disturbed in this case. Thus, professional support and help must be taken at the right time otherwise it can lead to serious health consequences.
How long can anxiety last?
Anxiety can last from a few hours to a few days. In a few cases, it may even last for months. After this, it becomes extremely necessary for an individual to get these anxiety issues resolved in any way possible. It depends upon a lot of factors ranging from personality type to the extremity of the disorder.
How can I calm my anxiety?
Anxiety can be calmed depending upon the severity of the disorder. For mild and moderate levels of anxiety, one can take the help of self-help strategies such as exercise, relaxation techniques like yoga, exercise, etc. One can even speak to a trustworthy person and try to find better ways of coping with stress. In the case of severe and panic level anxiety, one needs to seek professional help along with self-help strategies.
Who is prone to anxiety?
Anxiety can be faced by any one of us. In fact, normal anxiety is a part of our lives. However, a problem occurs when this anxiety is prolonged and starts disrupting our normal functioning. It is difficult to pinpoint a particular reason but the following people can be more prone to anxiety:
- People who have faced trauma.
- People with a mental disorder.
- People who see extreme stress in their daily lives.
- People whose parents have had anxiety.
- People who do substance abuse.
- People who have lost a loved one.
What helps anxiety naturally?
In some cases, anxiety cures itself, here’s how:
- If the cause of anxiety starts diminishing, anxiety goes away itself.
- If one does more of what makes him/her happy, anxiety lessens itself.
- If one practices yoga or relaxation techniques, anxiety automatically reduces with time.
However, this is not the case with everyone, and for a good number of people, anxiety doesn’t go away itself. Some even require professional help and support.
How are you diagnosed with anxiety?
Like all other illnesses, anxiety can be diagnosed with the help of symptoms. Symptoms are almost the same in all stages, they just differ in severity. Common situational symptoms are seen in mild anxiety. More frequent symptoms are there in moderate anxiety. More persistent and dangerous symptoms indicate severe anxiety, while the unbearable and most frequent symptoms indicate panic level anxiety.
Can anxiety be cured completely?
As mentioned above, some amount of anxiety will always be there with us. Thus, we can reduce the level of severity of anxiety but we cannot really finish anxiety. It can definitely be reduced to a level where it doesn’t bother the individual and he/she can function normally.
Can positive thinking cure anxiety?
A positive attitude is said to be a cure to almost all the problems we know. It might not end anxiety but gives confidence and support to the individual. With an optimistic approach in life, one starts believing in the success of everything. This automatically helps in living a happy and satisfied life. Thus, not only to cure anxiety but in general also, one should learn to have a positive approach in life to solve 50% of any problem that exists.
Find a BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.