Peace is such a big term and a demand of the ongoing times. With a constant rut to meet with the expectations of everyday life, peace has long been forgotten. Do you often want to just let go and runaway somewhere where none of these things matter? Do you feel that your thoughts and emotions are in such a turmoil that you can’t seem to ease it out?
Although it sounds unattainable, but we know a secret that most of us fail to remember:
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
Let’s start by understanding what causes an hinderance to this peace
Uncertainties have been plenty in the past couple years, and that hasn’t helped our mental health at all. Worrying or fearing about uncertainties is but natural in times like these. And we know that you’re craving for nothing but peace.
Anxiety is something that is caused by the fear of uncertainty. Most of us feel huge strides of anxiety quite often. It may be an anxiety to perform well at a workplace or simply do well in exams or whilst anticipating a break up even.
You’ve probably heard about anxiety many times, but what does it actually mean to experience it?
Anxiety is a common mental health problem that refers to being in a persistent state of worry or displaying excessive amounts of fear. Everyone worries about things now and again, but to suffer from anxiety means that worrying has a debilitating impact on your daily life.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the world, with the World Health Organization (WHO) suggesting that 1 in 13 people globally suffer from an anxiety disorder.
So, if you’re dealing with one, know that you’re absolutely not alone.
Anxiety is more prevalent in women and young people, which could be for a number of reasons. While women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men.
Symptoms of anxiety will vary depending on the disorder, but most anxiety conditions will involve several or most of the symptoms detailed below. The following symptoms will be most accurate in depicting people suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Sweating or feeling hot
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
- Nausea or painful stomach
- Aches and pains in your body
- Feeling weak and tired
- Changes in sex drive
- Feeling nervous, irritable, or tense
- Low mood and depression
- Experiencing a sense of impending danger or fearing the worst
- Constantly worrying about things
- Needing reassurance from other people
- Feeling like everyone is watching you
- Derealization: a form of disassociation where you feel like the world isn’t real or you’re not connected to it
- Depersonalization: a form of disassociation where you don’t feel connected to yourself, as if you’re watching yourself from an outside perspective
Below we’ve listed some tactics you can use to help cope with symptoms of anxiety. These methods can’t replace professional help, but might offer a sense of calm to you when you need it:
- Breathing and mindfulness exercises.
- Distracting yourself with friends, family or hobbies.
- Using self-care strategies.
- Writing in a diary.
- Going to bed early.
- Eating healthy, balanced meals.
- Avoiding alcohol, drugs and caffeine.
Am I Anxious or Just Stressed?
Stress and anxiety are related, but not synonymous states. Both are normal, adaptive responses to life’s challenges — work, relationships, mortality, to name just a few — and share many symptoms, including worry, stomach aches, restlessness, muscle tension, racing thoughts, headaches, sleepless nights, or all of the above.
For these reasons and more, we often use the words “anxiety” and “stress” interchangeably. Yet despite their similarities, there are important differences between the two.
Determining what’s going on for you is the first step towards finding relief.
What’s the difference between stress, anxiety, and an anxiety disorder?
When left unchecked, both stress and anxiety can escalate into more severe mental health conditions.
Anxiety disorder, which includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the most common mental health condition in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million Americans. Globally, anxiety disorders are also the most common mental health condition, affecting up to one in 13 people.
The basic criteria for determining whether stress or anxiety have become problematic is whether they have begun adversely affecting key domains of your life — such as work or social situations. “Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, or have increased symptoms like irritability or sadness,” said Dr. Marques. “As a rule of thumb, those things have to happen for enough time consistently to qualify as an anxiety disorder.”
Whether or not your stress or anxiety feel manageable at a given moment is a highly personal question — especially since some degree of both is actually necessary for us to feel motivated.
“Most people can actually pulse check when stress or anxiety become too much,” Dr. Marques said. “When you start to see that regular interference [in your life], that’s usually when it’s time to seek some help.”
While, understanding where stress and anxiety come from, and the difference between them, won’t make your feelings go away, it’s the first and most important step to finding freedom from the discomfort — whether on your own or with a therapist. Because like so many things we do, feel, and think, stress and anxiety can easily become habits, well-worn paths most of us plod down on autopilot.
Make the choice to become aware of these things when they show up in yourself: how they feel, where in your body they live, what triggers them, and so on. When you do that, you’re opening yourself up to curiosity. Being curious is as close as you can get to the energetic opposite of anxiety. It is expansive, generous, humble. When you’re curious, there’s a whole world out there — an infinite number of paths you can take instead, including asking for support when you need it.
The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you.
Also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally, a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you’ve avoided because of anxiety.
CBT includes exposure therapy, in which you gradually encounter the object or situation that triggers your anxiety so you build confidence that you can manage the situation and anxiety symptoms.
Several types of medications are used to help relieve symptoms, depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have and whether you also have other mental or physical health issues.
- Certain antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorders.
- In limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe other types of medications, such as sedatives, also called benzodiazepines, or beta blockers. These medications are for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms and are not intended to be used long term.
Anxiety is a mere feeling that can be brought into our control.
It may seem otherwise, but using the coping strategies mentioned above and seeking proper treatment will help eradicate anxiety to a great extent. It is only a matter of taking one step towards betterment. Well, after all, nothing can bring you peace but yourself! 🙂