Anxiety in Our Daily Lives

I’m sure most of us can identify times where we have felt worried, nervous or uneasy about something; however these feelings usually pass and once the stressful situation is over we tend to feel at ease. Anxiety is something different, these anxious feelings are ongoing and don’t subside once the stressor has passed. Sometimes these feelings occur without any particular reason or cause. Some may brush anxious feelings under the mat, which can make everyday life feel demanding or overwhelming. These emotions may feel out of control, or perhaps you’re just finding it difficult to cope. There is a fine line between experiencing anxious states of mind and anxiety. Being able to recognise the difference, and when you, or someone else, may require assistance is important; not only for your mental wellbeing but also for daily functioning and quality of life.

The symptoms of anxiety often develop over time, making it difficult to notice straight away. Especially because we all have patches in our lives where we experience extra pressure or distress; knowing when these emotional states are too much or have gone on for too long is a key indicator in recognising anxiety. People dealing with anxiety may all experience different forms or symptoms of the condition. There are a range of characteristics associated with anxiety, some of which include panic attacks, hot or cold flushes, tightening of the chest, or quick breathing. Slightly hidden symptoms include restlessness, feeling tense, excessive worrying, obsessive thinking or avoiding situations that make you feel nervous. All of the above can severely impact on relationships, work, study and overall health and wellbeing.

It is also important to note that anxiety can branch into a range of conditions, such as generalised anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorders, PTSD, or OCD. The above listed symptoms and categories are simply some examples that may identify with aspects of anxiety. If you’re unsure of whether you’re experiencing day to day stress or an anxiety disorder then it is always best to seek professional guidance. There are a range of services and treatments available to treat anxiety conditions; some of which you can implement yourself. Most treatments focus on coping mechanisms and how to manage your anxiety, so that it doesn’t take hold of your life. Treatments vary depending on each individual; some cases are tended to with minor lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise or meditation. In other circumstances psychological or medical measures need to be taken.

The chief concern is that those suffering from anxiety or related conditions find suitable guidance to tend to their needs. For those that don’t relate to the above circumstances; it is still crucial to remember that some may be struggling with various emotional states. We should try to be mindful, gentle and understanding, providing a supportive environment that lightens and assists people coping with anxiety.

Anje’ Delport

Melbourne University Psychology Student

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