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What Is Anxiety – Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Written by: Luna Kalm, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Luna Kalm

Anxiety is a term often used in everyday conversation, but its true meaning and impact might not always be fully understood. In essence, anxiety refers to a feeling of unease, worry, or fear that can vary in intensity from mild to severe. It is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times, particularly in stressful situations. However, when anxiety becomes persistent, overwhelming and interferes with daily life, it may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.


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Understanding anxiety disorders

 

Anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions characterised by excessive and uncontrollable worry, fear, or apprehension. These disorders can manifest in various forms, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and more.

 

A small amount of anxiety is healthy as our body’s mechanism of protection. Our sympathetic nervous system is activated in response to stress or fear for survival. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there is more stress in our daily life than actual life-threatening situations and so our body can become stuck in this “fight or flight” state.

 

When this happens, we can fatigue the mind and body causing mental and physical health issues, making life more difficult and less enjoyable.

 

Symptoms of anxiety

 

The symptoms of anxiety can manifest physically, emotionally, and behaviourally. Physical symptoms may include heart palpitations, muscle tension, sweating, dizziness or light-headedness, nausea or change in appetite, and shortness of breath.

 

Emotionally, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience persistent feelings of apprehension, restlessness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

 

Behavioural changes can manifest as avoidance of triggering situations, seeking reassurance excessively, or engaging in compulsive behaviours. These can include avoiding certain situations or activities that trigger anxiety, brain fog or difficulty concentrating, poor memory, restlessness, sleep disturbances, change in eating habits, low mood and depression.

 

Causes of anxiety

 

Anxiety disorders can arise from a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders, meaning they are more likely to develop it if it runs in their family.

 

Traumatic life experiences, chronic stress, substance abuse and certain medical conditions can also contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Even smaller upsets as a child, which at the time would have seemed much more emotionally disturbing as we have less resilience at a young age, can develop into anxiety.

 

Many anxiety disorders stem from our subconscious belief system. Often, people with low self-worth or low self-esteem will develop anxiety disorders as their locum of worth is completely external. They require constant validation and worry too much about what others think. This is especially heavily linked with social anxiety but can also be linked to people-pleasing tendencies and rejection sensitivity in any situation, including in the workplace.

 

Treatment and management

 

Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable and several effective interventions exist. Treatment options may include coaching, therapy, medication, or a combination.

 

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a commonly used therapeutic approach that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours contributing to their anxiety.

 

Mental health coaching is a very effective way to incorporate CBT, mindfulness, therapy, psychological teaching models and goal-oriented coaching to heal anxiety holistically. Many coaches help you to heal at a subconscious level as well as create new habits to support your growth.

 

Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms in some cases, but be aware that these are not a long-term solution and can create withdrawal side effects if taken for too long.

 

Self-help strategies

 

In addition to professional treatment, there are several self-help strategies that individuals can incorporate into their daily lives to manage anxiety more effectively.

 

Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, practising relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption can all help alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

 

It has been scientifically proven that resistance training has anxiolytic effects and is especially good for relieving anxiety. Studies show alterations in neurobiological systems relevant to mental health and anxiety-related outcomes, such as a change in cortisol in the body, after implementing resistance training (weight training) into their weekly routine.

 

If possible, aim to work with a fitness coach who also provides mental health coaching support, such as IMPACT Muscle & Fitness. These coaches are often more knowledgeable on overall health and can help you achieve optimal physical and mental health through habit changes, mental support and a fitness regime.

 

Seeking support

 

It is essential for individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety to seek support from qualified mental health professionals. They can develop a tailored treatment plan and offer ongoing support and guidance throughout the recovery process.

 

Additionally, support groups and online forums can be valuable resources for individuals to connect with others experiencing similar challenges and share coping strategies.

 

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that becomes problematic when it becomes excessive, persistent, and interferes with daily functioning. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable conditions, and effective interventions exist to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

 

If you’re noticing these signs of anxiety and are ready to make a change, contact Luna Kalm at support@lunakalmcoaching.com for a free call to get started.

 

Luna can help you shift your mindset and incorporate new habits and strategies into your daily routine to cope with anxiety more effectively so you can heal and become happier.


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Luna Kalm Brainz Magazine
 

Luna Kalm, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Luna Kalm is a leader in mental health, related physical symptoms, and healing the mind and body naturally. She was previously diagnosed with depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia. After many years of suffering, Luna was finally able to heal herself through coaching, fitness, proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. Her purpose is to share her knowledge with other people, empowering them to do the same, and guiding them to their best health.

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