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This Is The Real Life People With Anxiety Experience Every Day

This Is The Real Life People With Anxiety Experience Every Day

Anxiety is normal. Any time we are facing a stressful situation that carries with it the possibility of failure or a negative outcome, we all feel a little anxious. In fact, anxiety is a helpful and useful emotion. It alerts us of danger, keeps us out of harms way, ensures that we are properly prepared for challenges and spurs us to take action.

However, for people with anxiety issues or disorders, anxiety is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, overwhelming  and can become debilitating. It is an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, and it can interfere with daily activities.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.

What is Anxiety and what are it’s causes?

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. Mild anxiety is tepid, unsettling, and is usually short lived. Severe anxiety can be extremely disabling and is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or function normally.

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Simply put, people with anxiety have reactions and feelings disproportion with what would be normally expected in that situation.

The exact cause of anxiety is unknown and can be caused by a host of factors including:

  • Environment
  • Medical issues
  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Substance abuse
  • A combination of any of the above symptoms

More often than not anxiety is triggered by external circumstances, but it is possible that people with anxiety can enhance feelings of anxiousness with “negative self-talk.” And, while the exact cause of this disorder cannot be pinpointed, scientist do know that it is not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing, which is the case with other mental disorders.

Daily life for people with anxiety

Creative Commons 2.0
    Photo Credit: darcyadelaide via Flickr

    It can appear that people with anxiety lead normal and worry free lives but the reality is they face daily struggles that may not be apparent to others.

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    People with anxiety can feel incredibly isolated, lonely, and afraid. The only escape from the grip of anxiousness is during sleep and even then, true rest evades the sufferer many nights. The anxious mind is so clouded that it can barely distinguish reality from the perceived reality created in the mind.

    Here is a glimpse of just some of the pain people with anxiety disorders endure

    Worry and fear are persistent and relentless

    There is no break from the feelings of fear and worry. As these feelings linger, they grow and then morph into hoplessness and depression. The constant thoughts seep into your mind invading your thoughts and chasing away any type of peace. Once it’s claws are locked into the mind, it doesn’t let go. It dictates your thoughts and haunts your dreams.

    Anxiety manifests itself physically as well as mentally

    Along with the mental and emotional torment, people with anxiety can experience a host of physical symptoms including:

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    • Burning skin
    • Trembling
    • Churning stomach
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Backache
    • Heart palpitations
    • Numbness or “pins and needles” in arms, hands or legs
    • Sweating/flushing

    Because each body is chemically unique, the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person may experience just one or two mild symptoms, whereas another person may experience all of the symptoms and with greater severity.

    The inability to differentiate between a stressful and harmless environment

    Eventually the brains of people with anxiety can not distinguish between true stress and harmless situations. The brain adapts and becomes used to the continuous agitated state produced by anxiousness and process all situations the same way. Everything becomes stressful.

    Those who deal with anxiety frequently develop depression

    As if living under the constant mental strain of an anxious mind isn’t enough, people with anxiety frequently develop and battle depression. The isolation and hopelessness that develops and clutters the mind consumed with constant stress can easily turn into depression.

    Many people with anxiety disorders understand that their thoughts are irrational, but they still can’t stop them

    This is by far one of the most difficult aspects associated with battling anxiety.

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    Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, a therapist at Couples Counseling of Louisville in Kentucky told Everyday Health:

     “It’s a cycle. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem and you feel bad about it. Then you feel like you’ve failed, and you move to depression.”

    You try to correct these thoughts and feelings but anxiety is a tough beast to tame. It is a silent monster, sabotaging your mind and no matter how hard you fight, it does not let go.

    Getting Help

    Anxiety disorders are treatable. The exact treatment approach depends on the type of disorder. One or a combination of the following therapies may be used for most anxiety disorders:

    • Medication: Certain drugs can be used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders such as antidepressants and other anxiety-reducing drugs.
    • Psychotherapy: This is a type of counseling that addresses the emotional aspects of mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a particular type of psychotherapy in which the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.
    • Dietary and lifestyle changes
    • Relaxation therapy

    People with anxiety can live a full and productive life if they seek help.

    Featured photo credit: Sander van der Wel via commons.wikimedia.org

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    Last Updated on January 3, 2020

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

    The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

    1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

    Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

     I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

    To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

    And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

     2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

    Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

    3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

    Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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    4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

    The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

    5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

    Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

    6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

    Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

    7. Positive people smile a lot!

    When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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    8. People who are positive are great communicators.

    They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

    9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

    One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

    10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

    Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

    How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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    I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

    Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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