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Health Services

ANXIETY STRIKES!

EphNotes

Tips for recognizing and handling anxiety

Symptoms

  • tightness in chest
  • muscles feel tight
  • shortness of breath
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • lack of concentration
  • irritability
  • sweating
  • dizziness
  • loss of sleep or appetite

Though these symptoms may have some physical explanation, they are most often the result of anziety. Not everyone will experience all symptoms, though — each person needs to recognize his/her own specific combination of symptoms.

But what IS it?

Anxiety is not fear or stress (though it may be related to those two!). Fear and stress both have specific contributing factors that can be identified. Anxiety’s cause is usually much harder to find.

Anxiety is also a continuum, from everyday worry to panic, obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias, and post-traumatic stress.

Dealing

  1. Be confident that there’s a solution — though it may take work, anxiety can be managed
  2. Worry effectively: much of anxiety is worry. Pick a time to simply worry about everything, and try to use it to get all the worries out. Then try to not worry at other times.
  3. RELAX! Take a deep breath, get a massage, drink hot tea, do something laid back.
  4. Deal with reality, not fantasy. Time wasted wondering what MIGHT happen is lost and serves only to further stress you out. Figure out what IS going on, and be realistic, This also means facing what is actually making you anxious rather than what might be.
  5. Stay healthy. This works as an anxiety-proofer; regular exercise and a good diet help to keep you mentally healthy as well.
  6. Get Help! If you can’t solve it alone, share your anxiety and thoughts with your friends, or with a mental health professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Thanks to Concordia Health Services for supplying information.
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