Anxiety or Anxiety Disorder?

What is this anxiety? Anxiety, which is one of the basic emotions we are born with, means ‘anxiety’. It is a problem that we encounter, hear about, and maybe even have in the modern world. Anxiety, also known as anxiety, can be defined as a state of unreasonable fear and uneasiness that something bad will happen. However, this feeling activates some mechanisms that help us to be unprepared for the threats we may encounter and to defend ourselves. Everyone can face different problems in their life. Anxiety about health problems, work/school stress, relational problems, economic problems as well as a tough job interview or a tough exam is common. Anxiety can also be an emotional response to an unknown threat. For example; When you walk alone on a dark street at night, the feeling of restlessness and tension you feel is normal for you to worry that something might happen to you. The anxiety you experience in this situation is normal, functional, even beneficial. Anxiety helps us identify and respond to danger in ‘fight or flight’ situations. An appropriate level of anxiety can even help improve performance. Even though anxiety is a beneficial feeling when it is at an appropriate level, it can cause negative effects when it rises above the required level. In other words, when worries and fears become irresistible and begin to affect our daily lives, anxiety may have turned into an anxiety disorder problem. At this point, distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy anxiety and reviewing the events that cause an increase in anxiety help in coping with anxiety. Let’s not forget that while healthy anxiety helps us, unhealthy anxiety can disrupt our function. If I give an example that can help us to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy anxiety; You have decided to go to your hometown for the holidays. An example of healthy anxiety is that your car is well-maintained, your seat belt is fastened, you have your belongings ready, and you can focus on the road if you are sleepy for the journey. Worrying about these issues prepares you to go. As an example of unhealthy anxiety, thoughts such as thinking that your tire will burst on the road, thinking that you will stay on the road, thinking that you will have a heart attack on the road, etc. can be given. These thoughts are a kind of disaster scenario and it is not possible to take precautions on these issues. Such disaster scenarios create high anxiety, tension and restlessness. Therefore, it is a dysfunctional or even dysfunctional way of thinking. Symptoms of anxiety disorder? Common physical symptoms of anxiety disorder include difficulty in breathing, rapid heartbeat, hot flashes, sweating, chest pain, muscle tension, nausea, headache and dizziness, dry mouth, and sleep problems. Other symptoms include restlessness and feeling nervous, irritability, feeling tired, crying spells and eating problems, and concentration problems. Although these symptoms differ from person to person, they can also differ according to the severity of anxiety. How can I deal? It is very important to first recognize the anxiety and learn what you are trying to deal with. Recognize the anxiety so you feel better equipped to deal with it. Then, as soon as you realize your anxiety, focus on the thoughts in your mind that are worrying you. If your anxiety is healthy, accept it and focus on what you can do. But if it sounds like an unhealthy anxiety, focus and remind yourself that it’s something out of your control. Acknowledge the anxiety you are experiencing, along with all its physical symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques (Take a deep breath. While doing this, take care to squeeze all your muscles one by one from your toes to your head. While squeezing your muscles, hold the breath for 5 seconds and release your muscles by exhaling at the end of the time. Feel all your muscles relax.). Write down your worrying thoughts. It will be helpful for you to take note of your thoughts and watch them. You can develop alternative thoughts for the thoughts you have written and add them to your notes. Take time to worry and reflect on what you’re worried about. Work on controlling your anxiety. On the other hand, if anxiety occurs as a result of a stressful event, developing skills to cope with stress and anxiety, restructuring unrealistic thoughts and gaining awareness about the issue are also very important in combating anxiety.

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