As a psychotherapist that provides Laguna Hills Therapy, it is safe to state that everyone has experienced “anxiety” one or more times in their life. According to Merriam Webster, anxiety is a “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill”. Does that mean that we all share the same anxious feelings as the next person? Or that we get anxious over the same situations? No, there are many different types and degrees of anxiety that present for a variety of reasons. Our past experiences and genetic make- up contribute to our perception of situations and how we react.
Anxiety is clearly an uncomfortable and inconvenient state of being. However, it is not only mental but also physical uneasiness. Under many circumstances, we may not be aware of the physiological signs such as increased heart rate, shallow and rapid breathing, sweaty palms/armpits/neck or dry mouth. Yet, when anxiety is severe as in a panic attack, physical symptoms such as hyperventilating or feeling lightheaded are hard to ignore.
As human beings, we either consciously or subconsciously subject ourselves to anxiety in our daily lives. Over the last few decades, as life has become increasingly complex, our levels of anxiety have followed suit. The result of excessive exposure to stress, anxiety has become known as a bad thing, a disorder or condition to seek medical and/or medicinal treatment to cope.
Despite anxiety being so uncomfortable, anxiety serves a purpose. It is a very basic instinct that has served us since primitive man. It maintains our livelihood. Anxiety works to warn of a usually novel and possibly life threatening situation. It is a way to get us prepared for the unknown. The unknown may be negative or positive, familiar or unfamiliar. We need to pay attention to these signals and respond accordingly. By taking action, we will decrease and even eliminate stress. Denial or burying with medication is likely creating more harm than good.
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