Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress, a feeling of fear or apprehension about elements of your day-to-day life. The first day of TAFE, a job interview, or public speaking may provoke some degree of anxiety, and while it’s natural to feel a general sense of worry about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking a test, it’s vital that we don’t allow our feelings to prevent us from doing what we need to do.
Anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes. It can be triggered whenever we make demands on our brain or body. However, frustratingly, anxiety can also occur for no obvious reason. Its physical side effects may include headaches, butterflies in your stomach, fast heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, muscle tension, rapid breathing and shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness, dry mouth, sweating, chills or hot flashes. Though the hallmarks of anxiety may be unpleasant, they may actually motivate us to work harder and do a better job. You might not feel totally in control, but that’s okay: you don’t need to have ultimate power over everything, all of the time.
What can I do to manage anxiety?
If you regularly experience issues with anxiety, healthy lifestyle changes can help, like getting enough sleep and regular exercise. Eating foods such as salmon, chamomile, turmeric, dark chocolate, yogurt and green tea can also be of some benefit.
While some people may be tempted to turn to alcohol or illicit substances in response to feelings of anxiety, getting drunk or stoned to deal with difficult feelings can very, very easily lead to dependency and addiction. In fact, reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake and quitting smoking would be a much better idea.
In severe cases…
Persistent anxiety is potentially debilitating. In extreme cases, anxiety may prevent a person from doing their job, being with other people, or even leaving their home. If serious anxiety is holding you back from doing what you want to do, it can help to talk with a professional to discuss how you can return to living a happy, healthy, full life.
As a final note, even if you’re feeling serious anxiety about something, it’s vital to remember that feelings and emotions on their own are not proof that you are incapable, or that everything will end in disaster.
By Grant J Everett
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