When you feel anxiety is taking over your life you may go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. You find yourselves anticipating disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day can make your heart race and your thougths spiral out of control.

Some of the challenges that accompany anxiety can make you expect disaster at all turns and you can't stop worrying. Daily life becomes a constant state of stress, fear and dread. Sometimes the anxiety can become so powerful that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities and relationships.

When struggling with anxiety it is hard to quiet concerns, even though you may realize that the anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. It may seem impossible to relax; you may startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.

If you think you have anxiety and find that it is interfering with your life, the first person you should see is your family doctor. A physician can determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to a medical condition.

The next step in adressing anxiety is to schedule an appointment with a therapist if the symptoms are interfering with your personal, social, or professional life

You should feel comfortable talking with the therapist you choose since the two of you will work as a team and make a plan to treat your anxiety together. Therapy is an active process where you will address the roots of your anxiety, become aware of how you can manage anxiety, and find ways to step off of the hamster wheel of worry.

Facing these fears and anxieties is easier when you have an experienced therapist to guide the way. It will allow you to explore the catalyst for your anxiety in a supportive environment as well as manage the stress in a healthy way to maintain your physical and emotional well-being.

Anxiety management skills including, relaxation techniques, stress reduction tools, meditation, and exercise can help people with anxiety calm themselves and will enhance the ability to work effectively in the process of therapy and in their day to day living.

Referral source - National Institute of Mental Health

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