Some people are blessed with traits of calmness and view themselves as ‘easygoing’ others, however, have the burden of excessive worry and the tendency to over-think things and different situations, which may also be accompanied by distressing thoughts and intense bodily sensations most commonly known as anxiety.
A combination of nature and nurture is the most likely cause of anxiety, they both conspire together and make us prone to excessive worry. Sometimes we feel unsafe, other times we can only focus on bad situations that may or may not arise. You may find yourself feeling like a ‘failure’ or ‘unwanted’ or you may just feel like you just don’t ‘fit-it’ within the norms of society or more excessively you may be struggling with a fear of potential illness and/or death, a fear of tight or small spaces or you may be struggling with a fear of cats and/or dogs. All of these struggles and fears affect the way we feel and how we behave. Anxiety is very good at deterring us from being able to relax and be content, but most of all anxiety is different for everyone.
Approximately, 14% of Australians struggle with anxiety which is those that we know of, however, the actual percentage may be higher considering not all individuals know that they are affected by it. It is interesting to note that while anxiety is common in both men and women; women have a 6% more of a chance of being affected by anxiety over men. However, that being said, some people are prone to worry which increases their chance of panic attacks and/or anxiety.
As noted above, anxiety is well and truly different for everyone, maybe anxiety is written into your genetics, or maybe it is a symptom of a different condition you are currently tackling, such as post-natal depression, bipolar disorder, pain and/or restricted movement. Anxiety could also be driven by environmental factors such as a stressful job, school or finances. With all this in mind, it is important to note that anxiety is usually a reaction to our fight-or-flight instinct which is triggered when we feel threatened or when we are in a situation in which we feel challenged.
Take a moment to reflect on the above message, then spend time considering the questions below, if you can answer 3 or more of these questions with a yes, then you may be also one of the many people in the world living with anxiety:
- Do you feel tense or on edge most of the time?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and/or have difficulty concentrating with work, school and family commitments?
- Do you often think of irrational scenarios excessively?
- Do you avoid certain situations because you are worried something bad may happen?
- Do you have to do things a certain way to avoid bad things from happening?
- Do you experience nausea, diarrhoea, or irritable bowel syndrome without any dietary changes that might explain it?
- Do you feel like you are in danger most of the time?
- Do you wake up feeling drained after sleeping straight through the night?
- Do you have trouble sleeping due to excessive worrying?
- Do you find yourself tensing muscles for no ‘apparent’ reason?
After reflecting on these questions how many can you answer with a ‘yes’ If you can answer yes to three or more of these questions you are likely suffering from anxiety and the ‘likeliness’ goes up with every yes answered.
However, you are not alone!
Living with anxiety can be hard and very overwhelming, however, the good news is; you do not always need to feel like this, you are in control.
There are plenty of ways you can manage and treat anxiety and I will go through some of my favourites, in-depth, throughout this blog!
Check out: Anxiety about Anxiety?