Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in America, affecting nearly 20% of the population every year. Despite anxiety disorders being so widespread, people who struggle with anxiety might be afraid to talk openly about it for fear that others will misunderstand them or make light of their concerns. That could partially explain why many people living with anxiety fail to seek help, even when they know it could improve their quality of life.
As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, how can you tell if you have anxiety, and what are some healthy ways of talking about it?
Anxiety vs. Daily Worries
Everyone experiences occasional stress and concerns over things like having to deliver an important client presentation at work, taking an exam or running late for an appointment. However, the anxious person’s mind blows these everyday worries out of proportion to a point where they seem unmanageable.
Someone with anxiety might experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart rate, sweating and fast-paced breathing at the mere thought of doing an activity they fear. Some circumstances might even trigger a panic attack, which is a sudden, overwhelming onslaught of terror that can cause shortness of breath, shaking, crying, nausea and chest pain.
Untreated anxiety can cause isolation, as people who fall into one of the five primary categories of anxiety disorders might avoid situations that worsen their symptoms. Anxiety disorders like OCD and PTSD are especially disruptive because of their ability to take over a person’s life.
How to Manage Anxiety
Many people with anxiety have found relief in mindfulness activities like journaling, meditation and yoga. However, if you find you are feeling too anxious or jittery to sit still and focus your attention inward, you might prefer a physically challenging exercise that redirects your nervous energy into something positive.
One thing many people have found helpful is to know they are not alone in their struggles with anxiety. Check out these anxiety quotes from well-known people who have been where you are, and you may find some that resonate with you.
“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” –Jodi Picoult
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” – Deepak Chopra
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” – Dan Millman
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” –Charles Spurgeon
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Once you realize there is life after mistakes, you gain a self-confidence that never goes away.” – Bob Schieffer
Finding Health and Healing
Untreated anxiety often causes people to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, thus compounding their mental health problems. If you are in recovery from a substance abuse disorder and want to give yourself the best chances of attaining and maintaining lifelong sobriety, Segue Recovery Support is here for you. We help people transition gracefully between a formal treatment program and a return to the outside world with our structured sober housing. To learn more about the benefits of this high-accountability environment, contact us today.