Anxiety is often an unwelcome addition to your life. While for some it can be minor and occasional, for others it becomes debilitating. Many of us have experienced anxiety at some point or another, but if you’ve ever wondered what causes it or how to manage your symptoms better, especially if you suffer from chronic anxiety, then read on. Here are some things you didn’t know about anxiety.
It’s Not Always a Bad Thing
While anxiety is commonly viewed as something negative, it can actually be a good thing. Anxiety helps you take action and embrace new challenges. It can help motivate you to achieve your goals and feel more confident about yourself. For example, if you are having trouble organizing your life or cleaning up your house for the holidays, anxiety could make you motivated to get things done quickly before the holiday arrives so there will be less stress when everyone comes over. Anxiety explains how some people can procrastinate a college assignment and pull an all-nighter to get it done with excellence.
It Can Be a Result of Your Thyroid
While some anxiety is the result of external pressure, other times it’s the result of something happening inside. Your thyroid might be in play. The thyroid gland produces hormones that affect metabolism, mood, heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and weight. When thyroid levels get out of balance, either too high or too low, then people can experience symptoms much like those who have anxiety. In these cases, the only solution is to get tested for thyroid dysfunction and either through lifestyle changes or thyroid medication, get them back in balance.
Stress Is Not the Cause
Stress is not the cause of your anxiety. Stress can be a symptom of anxiety, but it’s not necessarily the root of your problems. There are many other causes of anxiety, including genetics and trauma. Stress can play into anxiety, but not everyone who has stress also has anxiety. Think of them as two separate things. Stress is something you need to learn to manage, but anxiety can also be managed. Many people find cognitive behavioral therapy to be beneficial in coping with anxiety so that they can lead normal lives. They might learn breathing exercises or way to talk to themselves to help them through their thoughts and feelings until they calm down again.
Genetics Can Play a Role
If your family has a history of anxiety, it may be genetic. It’s believed that genetics can play an important role in developing the condition and that some people may be born with the predisposition to it. Like many other mental illnesses, one or more genes may be involved. There are many different gene mutations that can cause anxiety disorders. Some people may have a mutation affecting thyroid function or a mutation affecting brain development. But just because it’s genetic does not mean you have to accept it. There are many different treatment options that can help people with anxiety.
Anxiety Affects More Than Your Mind
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. It can cause you to experience physical symptoms, too. For example, anxiety can cause stomach problems like nausea and diarrhea, or even headaches and muscle tension. Some people experience a burning feeling in their chest or throat that won’t go away. You might get a pounding heart when there’s no reason for it or find yourself sweating when there’s no reason for sweating.
Anxiety Won’t Go Away Overnight
For some people, anxiety becomes something they experience daily. Anxiety is not always easy to control and manage, and requires medical help for these people to function effectively. A combination of medication and specific therapies can benefit people who have daily anxiety or crippling anxiety.
You Can Rewire Your Brain
The good news is that you can actually change your brain’s wiring for the better. Studies show that meditation can help reduce anxiety, and exercise has also been shown to have a positive impact on your mental health. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders and boosts self-esteem, while CBT combined with medication is often used as the first line of treatment in clinical settings. The combination of medication and psychotherapy is highly effective at treating panic disorder and social phobia in particular.
There Are Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that can be disabling and difficult to treat. People may suffer from one or more of them depending on their situation. Generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are the most common types of anxiety seen in clinical settings.