Have you ever found yourself short of breath, worrying about something irrationally or unable to think about something without feeling a knot in your stomach? You might have been experiencing anxiety. Anxiety affects millions of people in the United States, so it’s important to educate yourself on this condition to help both yourself and the people in your life affected by it.
Incidence of Anxiety
Anxiety is normal and many people experience it. In fact, 40 million adults in the US are affected by it. There are many kinds of anxiety; for example, people with diagnosed general anxiety disorder have a more heightened sense of anxiety and panic than those who experience anxiety occasionally.
Anxiety is your body’s natural reaction to a threatening situation, and is often referred to as fight-or-flight. When you feel anxiety, you’re experiencing the “flight” part of this reaction. Wanting to avoid a problem or stressor is completely natural, and there are many ways to calm yourself down during bouts of panic.
Panic attacks are a common side effect of anxiety. A person experiencing a panic attack may have shortness of breath, dizziness and sweats. If you find yourself experiencing a panic attack, remember to take long, measured breaths and to distract yourself from the stressor.
If you find yourself experiencing anxiety, never fear—there are ways to manage it. Anxiety can be mitigated through healthy lifestyle changes, journalling, counseling and/or prescription medication.
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