Everyone feels anxious now and then. In moderation, anxiety can help you stay alert, focused, and motivate you to solve problems. It’s a normal emotion. For example, you may feel nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
It is when anxiety is constant or overwhelming when it interferes with your relationships and daily activities you’ve likely crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of an anxiety disorder.
One type of anxiety is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, this is the type of steady, all over anxiety. The other anxiety related disorder includes panic attacks, which is a severe episode of anxiety which happens in response to specific triggers. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is marked by persistent intrusive thoughts or compulsions to carry out specific behaviors example urge to washing your hands.
Other types are:
- Social anxiety disorder. Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You fixate about others judging you or on being embarrassed or ridiculed.
- Specific phobias. You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.
Anxiety can make a person imagine that things in their life are worse than they really are, and prevent them from confronting their fears. Often they will think they are going mad, or that some psychological imbalance is at the heart of their woes. What is important is the recognition that anxiety is normal and exists due to a set of bodily functions that have existed in us from the beginning of man’s existence.
Some people have a very identifiable cause for their anxiety, such as a traumatic incident or have undergone a significant life event, getting divorced, having surgery, major accident. However, some people have no identifiable cause for their anxiety and it causes them some distress.
One way of thinking about your anxiety is to imagine your stress levels as being like a bucket of water. If we keep adding stressors to the bucket, even tiny ones like catching the bus in the mornings to work, over time it fills up until one day it overflows. This can be a good way of looking at anxiety as it explains why sometimes it can seem to come out of the blue with no significant trigger.
In this episode Jake breaks down the different types of anxiety and provides great tips to help you to prioritize task and overcome situation where anxiety tends to take over.
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