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What Is Anxiety? and Will Anxiety Go Away?

Updated: Mar 13

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Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It's a normal and often healthy emotion, but when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it can become disabling.

But there is hope! While it may not always be easy, anxiety can be managed and eventually go away. Here are some ways to start feeling better:

1. Identify the cause of your anxiety. Sometimes, it's obvious what's causing anxiety (like a big exam or a job interview). Other times, it may be less clear. Taking the time to think about what might be causing your anxiety can be a helpful first step in finding a way to manage it.


2. Seek support. It can be helpful to talk to a therapist about your anxiety. They can help you identify the causes of your anxiety and work with you to develop coping strategies. You can also seek support from friends and loved ones. Sometimes, just talking about your anxiety with someone you trust can be extremely helpful.

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3. Practice relaxation techniques. There are many relaxation techniques that can help reduce anxiety, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you.

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4. Get regular exercise. Physical activity can help reduce anxiety by releasing endorphins (feel-good chemicals) in the brain. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, every day.

5. Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help support your overall well-being, which can in turn help reduce anxiety. Aim for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in processed and sugary foods.

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Remember, everyone experiences anxiety differently and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to be patient and to try different approaches until you find what works for you. With time and effort, it is possible to manage and overcome anxiety.

Here are some common questions answered:

How does anxiety manifest in unexpected ways?

While many are familiar with the classic symptoms of anxiety, such as racing thoughts and palpitations, it can also present in less obvious ways. For instance, procrastination, irritability, and even physical symptoms like unexplained aches can be signs of underlying anxiety. It's the body's alarm system signaling that something is amiss, often related to stress or fear.

Can anxiety have positive effects?

Interestingly, anxiety isn't just a source of discomfort—it can also serve as a motivator. The right amount of anxiety can heighten awareness and improve performance by keeping individuals focused on their goals. It's when anxiety becomes overwhelming and persistent that it starts to hinder daily life.

How does social media influence anxiety?

Social media can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it connects us with friends and family, providing a platform for support. On the other, it can exacerbate anxiety through constant social comparison, fear of missing out (FOMO), and exposure to distressing news. Setting boundaries around social media use is crucial for managing its impact on mental health.

What's the relationship between diet and anxiety?

Emerging research suggests a strong link between diet and mental health. Foods high in refined sugars and saturated fats can increase inflammation and stress in the body, potentially worsening anxiety symptoms. Conversely, a diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can support brain health and reduce anxiety.

Can anxiety be inherited?

Genetics play a role in anxiety, with studies indicating that it can run in families. However, it's not just about the genes you inherit; environmental factors and learned behaviors also significantly influence the development of anxiety. This interplay between nature and nurture means that while you may be predisposed to anxiety, it's not a foregone conclusion.

How does mindfulness combat anxiety?

Mindfulness, the practice of being present and fully engaged with the moment, can be a powerful tool against anxiety. It helps break the cycle of worry by training the mind to focus on the here and now, reducing rumination and the tendency to catastrophize about the future. Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply being aware of your sensory experiences.

What role does sleep play in managing anxiety?

Sleep and anxiety have a bidirectional relationship. Anxiety can lead to sleep disturbances, and poor sleep can increase anxiety levels. Ensuring a healthy sleep routine—such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, and avoiding stimulants before bed—can significantly improve anxiety symptoms.

Is it possible to overcome anxiety without medication?

Yes, many people manage their anxiety through non-pharmacological methods. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), lifestyle changes (like exercise and diet modifications), mindfulness practices, and support groups are effective for many. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to develop a tailored approach that suits your needs.

Saleha Choudhury | WWW.WeCounsel.CO.UK

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