Proactive solutions to manage anxiety can be a big help to those who suffer from anxiety. We as a society love to make sense of our world by putting things into neat little boxes. We do the same when it comes to our health. Placing illnesses such as anxiety or depression into an assigned box is much more difficult when you can’t see it as you would a fever or broken arm. However, just because you can’t wrap your anxiety in a cast does not mean it doesn’t manifest physically.
In this article, we discuss the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and proactive solutions to manage anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Our brain is the most complex organ in our body. The brain sends the body warning signals when it is in distress. When these warning signs manifest physically, they may be misinterpreted as something wrong with your physical well-being rather than your mental.
There are several categories of anxiety to consider regarding anxiety. There are also many causes of anxiety. These causes are often referred to as “triggers” as their presence can act as a catalyst for anxious thoughts and feelings.
Possible Triggers for Anxiety May Be:
- New living arrangements
- Changes or stress at work/ school
- Pregnancy and giving birth
- Chronic health conditions
- A stressful or traumatic event
- Trauma and abuse (physical, mental, verbal, or emotional)
- Relationship issues
- A traumatic brain injury
- Family history of anxiety disorder
So what does anxiety feel like in the body? The presence alone of the following physical symptoms of anxiety does not necessarily mean they are caused by anxiety. However, when present alongside mental symptoms of anxiety, it is pressing to consider the relation.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Shortness of breath
- Headaches on and off
- Unexplainable body aches
- Hair Loss
- Nausea or stomach pain
- Sleep problems (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
- Chest pain
- Changes in sex drive
- Increased heart rate
- Changes in appetite
When physical symptom are present alongside any mental symptoms below, it may be a good time to consider reaching out for professional help.
Mental Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Sense of impending danger or panic
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling restless or nervous
- Feelings of irritation
- Feeling trapped
- Racing thoughts
- Worrying that others are upset with you
Proactive Solutions to Manage Anxiety
Moments of stress are to be expected in our daily lives. But you don’t have to wait for the pot to boil over before taking action. Instead, try these proactive solutions to manage anxiety:
1. Pause and Observe
Take time daily to check in with yourself. Make note of how you feel both mentally and physically. Consider any potential symptoms or triggers of anxiety that you have experienced throughout the day. This activity is not meant to encourage self-diagnosing. But rather to help identify stressors that could lead to larger anxiety issues. Doing this allows you to identify the issue, make small changes, and give personal power back to your mental health management.
2. Distance Yourself From Triggers
This is easier said than done for many people. Especially if triggers are trauma-related, memory-based, or the result of situations you can’t get away from. However, when possible, consider making adjustments that give you the most distance from these triggers.
3. Check Medication Side Effects
Anxious thoughts or feelings could be the side effect of a new prescription or even recreational drug use. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of anxiety-increasing side effects of your prescriptions.
4. Seek Counseling and Support
Some anxiety can be managed by integrating these proactive approaches into your daily life. However, when anxiety goes beyond general nervousness, or you become highly dysregulated under certain situation, or it hinders day-to-day functioning, it’s time to seek help from a professional.
See more management tips in our past article on Taking Care of You: 10 Tips to Manage Anxiety
Contact Creative Counseling Center
Everyone – child, teen, and adult – may benefit from learning proactive solutions to manage anxiety. We want to help you manage anxiety, stress, depression or trauma so it doesn’t control you. If you or a loved one are struggling, complete the brief form below to Request a Free Phone Consultation. A member of our team will contact you to discuss whether our practice is the best fit for your specific circumstance. We look forward to connecting with you soon.