Let’s know about anxiety and us. – By Nisal Rukshan

Let’s know about anxiety and us. – By Nisal Rukshan


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Nisal RukshanAnxiety is a word we generally hear in our day-to-day lives. But when it comes to reality, this word has a serious impact on human life, especially regarding mental health. Even though anxiety seems very common in the long term, this prevalence can impose a high impact on an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Such impacts may result in mental health issues, physical illnesses, family issues, economic issues, and much more. Hence, early identification of the affective factors of anxiety helps to cure or control its consequences. This article discusses anxiety and us and its salient points too.

What is anxiety?

It can be simply explained as an emotion described by tense feelings, worried thoughts, and physical deviations like increased blood pressure. In explanatory terms, the American Psychological Association (APA) states, ‘Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.’ Further, they explain, ‘Anxiety is not the same as fear, but they are often used interchangeably. Anxiety is considered a future-oriented, long-acting response broadly focused on a diffuse threat, whereas fear is an appropriate, present-oriented, and short-lived response to an identifiable and specific threat.’

When considering all of these explanations, it is obvious that anxiety creates changes in the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals. The way one thinks and feels finally diverts behaviors like withdrawal from family and friends, dislike of going to work, needing to stay isolated, or avoiding certain places. Hence, it is important to know the symptoms of anxiety, to cure ourselves or to give a helping hand to someone in need.

How does the anxiety start?

Simply, we all experience anxiety daily; sometimes when we face exams, new situations or places, new relationships, or the loss of someone or something. It’s like the gap between fear and confidence – difficult to face and keep hurting. In most such events, we overcome those challenges. But it becomes a troublemaker when such situations become uncontrollable and they negatively affect our day-to-day lives, connecting with the way we think, feel, and behave.

What are the symptoms?

These symptoms can be mental or physical. Mental symptoms include sensations of nervousness, agitation, or anxiety; staying with the feeling of danger, doom, or panic; trouble in concentration; an inability to control worry; and the avoidance of everything possible to increase anxiety.

Physical symptoms include an increased heart rate, rapid breathing (hyperventilation), sweating, being unsteady, a sense of weakness or difficulty, sleeping disturbances, suffering from gastric difficulties, escaping behaviors, etc. What are the types of anxiety?

According to mental health specialists, the following anxiety disorders exist:

Agoraphobia: It explains the fear of being in a situation from which one is unable to escape. For example, such individuals are afraid to drive, air travel, attend limited-space locations, cordial gatherings, etc.

Generalized anxiety: means such individuals are afraid of events like health, work, money, and family. This worry shifts from one reason to another continuously making the anxiety level higher.

Panic: Panic disorder comprises undergoing intense and persistent panic attacks that arise unpredictably with little or no notice.

Selective Mutism: This is an anxiety disorder that occurs in childhood. It contains anxiety, discomfiture, or fear. Such situations prevent kids from communicating in precise settings, like school or with nearby outsiders.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): SAD was earlier acknowledged as a social phobia. It is a fear that arises in different situations, like speaking in front of the public.

More anxiety disorders can be found which exist in the communities, than the general anxiety disorders mentioned above.

What can we do about this?

Medication and psychotherapy can prevent anxiety or reduce its effects. Hence we can follow the following to get rid of or to maintain the significant level of mental health during day-to-day life.

Know about anxiety (how it occurs, how it can be controlled, etc.) Practice relaxation techniques (counting and breathing).

Have a good sleeping cycle . Always have a balanced diet. Go for physical exercises (at least a good walk). Practice mindfulness (yoga, religious rituals) Quit smoking Meet a qualified mental health professional (psychiatrist or counselor).

We are passing different milestones of happy and sad moments in life. But any of these moments are not permanent if coping with them confidently and reliably for the situation. The coping strategies are available in the books mostly, but experiences will make you more qualified if you are ready to face the challenges. According to the Lord Buddha’s teaching, mindfulness can prevent most mental and physical illnesses.

Nisal Rukshan, MHRM, BA (Defence), BSc (Hons.) Counselling Psychology, DCPsy

Email: rukshan4slsr@gmail.com

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