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How to Recognize Anxiety Symptoms, and When to Get Help

How to Recognize Anxiety Symptoms, and When to Get Help

Experiencing anxiety is a normal part of life. In fact, some of our anxiety is beneficial. Anxiety is a natural response to stress, and pressure and alarms our bodies when we feel threatened so that we can act accordingly. For example, we can feel anxious when waiting on exam results, before an interview or when we are stuck in traffic. Anxiety before an exam result or an interview is beneficial. This encourages us to work harder and stay focused or motivated. However, when anxiety becomes too intense and affects our daily life, that is when anxiety becomes dysfunctional, meaning it is disrupting your regular behaviour.

Current statistics show that around 28% of U.S adults reported symptoms of anxiety (1). Further statistics show that most people choose to discuss their symptoms of anxiety with friends and family, rather than talking with a therapist (1). However, research suggests that talk therapy with a psychologist or counsellor is more effective as it teaches you how to work through anxiety, rather than brushing it to the side, and how to develop strategies that will allow you to work through anxiety independently, without often relying on others (2).

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • You wake up with an uneasy feeling in the morning, and often decide to skip out on work and/or other events.
  • You find it hard to establish or maintain a relationship.
  • You experience physical discomfort, like constipation, gas, or an upset stomach.
  • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia and fatigue.

The following are a few methods to boost your happiness and reduce anxiety:

  1. Try to adjust your sleeping habits to get enough sleep. You’ve probably heard this one repeatedly but try to have a fixed time for sleeping and waking up. Inadequate sleep and chaotic lifestyles can drastically impact your mental health (3).
  2. Try not to be hard on yourself. If you are going through something that others may not comprehend, try not to use negative self-talk for feeling that way.
  3. Try not to let others be hard on you.
  4. Don’t underestimate the basic pillars of wellness, eat the right food, have the berries, and have the greens, and get moving. Even a short walk can tremendously impact your overall mental health.
  5. Get professional help (Therapists). Some cases may need support from professionals. There are some things that you can't control. Reach out to a therapist, even if you book an introductory session. Remote therapy is often the cost-effective way to find a therapist that’s available immediately.