Anxiety is a normal response to certain conditions. If it is a natural response and not a reaction to a learned response to a stimulus, then it is harmless. When it becomes excessive and severe, however, it can lead to a wide range of problems. It can interfere with normal daily functioning and bring on panic attacks.
At one time, anxiety played an essential role in controlling the body. We all had a physiological alarm system in the form of glands that were designed to send a message to the brain if they felt under attack. When the glands did not produce enough of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with calming and soothed the body, the brain sent out a different message. This body-wide alarm signal indicated that the situation was critical and the body had to react quickly.
As time passed, this reaction to a natural response became overused and our bodies stopped responding appropriately. These times when we feel anxious are called anxiety attacks. People do not need to feel that they are having a heart attack or a stroke in order to get help from a physician.
When this condition develops into a full-blown anxiety disorder, the body’s physical system can no longer respond to its natural defenses. If the environmental triggers are too great, we must now develop a way to deal with the onslaught of feelings that are generated as a result of an anxiety response.
There are many well-established physical indicators that could signal an anxiety attack. The patient may be feeling cold or clammy, experience hot flashes, hear chest pains, feel lightheaded, have difficulty catching their breath, or begin to sweat profusely. These symptoms, which the doctor may refer to as “anxiety attacks,” can indicate more serious problems.
Once the diagnosis has been made, the next step in a comprehensive anxiety disorder treatment will include different types of therapy. The goal will be to take control of your body’s normal bodily responses. So instead of getting “wooly-face” for no reason, you will learn to respond to whatever stresses you.
One effective method of self-help is to train your mind to ignore your own and other people’s thoughts and emotions. You will start to act as if you are the one in control. Once your mind becomes in command, you will be able to experience far less anxiety.
In addition to these techniques, you should also make sure that you continue to stay physically active. By exercising on a regular basis, your body will build up the endurance that it needs to function at its best. In addition, regular aerobic exercise will be good for your mood, too.
Remember, the most important part of any treatment plan is to do it on a regular basis. It is only when the anxiety begins to affect the daily life that you will want to seek professional help. Anxiety disorders are a progressive disease and unless treated properly, it can develop into something much worse.
People with anxiety disorders should also think about joining a support group for those who suffer from the same condition. This group may include professionals and friends, but it will also have an active membership that includes many who do not experience anxiety disorders. In fact, this is an excellent place to meet new people and expand your social network.
Many people do not realize that anxiety disorders are treatable. This disease is treatable and once the anxiety symptoms are eliminated, you can experience many new possibilities and opportunities. This will give you life purpose, increase your self-esteem, and allow you to return to the happy and fulfilling life you were meant to lead.