Inside the Mind Of People With Anxiety And Tips On How To Cope With It

Inside the Mind Of People With Anxiety And Tips On How To Cope With It

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It's a beautiful day: the sun is out, the temperature is perfect, and the birds are chirping. It seems like a normal day of school, work, and hanging out with friends later. But, out of the blue, you start to worry: "What if I don't do good in school today?" "What if work is overwhelming?" "What if I'm too anxious to hang out with my friends?" At school, you begin to have racing thoughts and begin to feel jittery and tense. At this point, you aren't focusing on the lecture anymore and wonder if you will be able to make it through work. Then, work rolls around, and what should be a normal day turns into an anxiety-filled fiasco. You are shaking and you feel overwhelmed. Then, you start to feel alone because you don't know how to handle this situation; you even start crying. When work is done, you go home and cancel the plans you made with your friends because you can't handle any more stress for the day. Instead, you stay home feeling physically and mentally exhausted and have a constant thought that you ruined the day and feel absolutely terrible for doing so.

How menacing does that sound? This is what anxiety looks like: Constantly worrying when nothing is wrong. Some people experience this every day, while others have bouts of mild anxiety or panic attacks. 3.1 percent of the population meets the criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the most common of the anxiety disorders, during a given one-year period; 5.7 percent of people experience GAD at some point during their lifetime (Barlow, Durand, 131). Although there are several different branches of anxiety, this article will focus on GAD, what it feels like to have anxiety, and what people experience when they have an anxiety attack. This article will also mention non-medication ways that help people cope with their anxiety.

How A Person With Anxiety Feels

First off, many people don't know that anxiety is a physical problem as well as a psychological problem. "Anxiety is a negative mood state characterized by bodily symptoms of physical tension and by apprehension about the future, or a physiological response originating in the brain and reflected in elevated heart rate and muscle tension" (Barlow, Durand, 123). I'm sure all of us have felt this before, and in the right doses, anxiety is healthy for us. A good example is anxiety before finals, which drives us to do our best. However, when this anxiety becomes constant or chronic, you may have an anxiety disorder. An example is when anxiety lasts throughout the school year when you have light work and you are doing very well.

Savannah is a college student who has GAD. Despite being diagnosed with depression and anxiety at age 16, she has experienced anxiety as young as age 4. "I remember being as young as 4 years old, sobbing in bed in the middle of the night contemplating my many "mistakes" and how my life was going to turn out as a result of them," Savannah wrote. "I also get paranoid like I'm going to flunk school, die alone, or never be happy." Many people also experience this type of uneasiness, like Savannah has. Other symptoms of anxiety are muscle tension, which could lead to physical fatigue. This, plus sleep disturbances and overthinking, cause people with anxiety to be exhausted most of the time.

What An Anxiety Attack Feels Like

"Have you ever been dozing off for a nap, but then jolt awake because you felt like you were falling for a split second? An anxiety attack is exactly like that feeling in your chest, but it can go on for hours, or even days." This is what Savannah described as an anxiety attack. Sounds pretty terrible doesn't it? No matter how many times a person with an anxiety attack tells themselves to calm down and that there is nothing wrong, they still have the feeling. Chest pains, racing heart beat, sweating, shakiness, dizziness, and nausea are also symptoms of an anxiety attack. It is a serious detriment to their everyday activities, like school, work, and even hanging out with friends, which should be a relaxing time!

Non-Medicated Coping Methods For People With Anxiety

So how does one deal with constant anxiety on a day-to-day basis? Well, some people go through the day trying to ignore it with little success in getting rid of it, others self-medicate. However, there are healthier and more beneficial ways to deal with constant anxiety. Although it won't cure anxiety, it will help one cope with this problem.

Meditation! This is a great way to help bring one's mind to ease. Meditation takes some practice, but it is an excellent way to help calm and refocus the mind. Picking a quiet place in your house and listening to calming music or being in complete silence is the best.

When anxious, another helpful strategy is to touch your surroundings. This is what Savannah's therapist told her to do. "I thought it sounded ridiculous, but honestly, it brings me back to reality. Knowing my surroundings and literally feeling that I'm stable is a powerful argument against worries," she wrote. She also mentioned that keeping the brain stimulated is a great way to cope with anxiety. For example, reading, writing, doing puzzles, and maybe even playing a video game.

Exercise is also a wonderful coping mechanism. It doesn't have to be strenuous exercise to work. Just taking a simple walk through nature could calm anxiety. It's much better to "walk it off" than sit and think about it. However, exercise is not for everyone with anxiety, as it could heighten their chances of an anxiety attack.

For other options, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or medication, go to a doctor. By no means are these options able to treat anxiety and by no means am I a doctor! So for more information on the diagnosing of anxiety and treatment options, please see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Bringing Awareness To Anxiety

Anxiety is a serious issue for many people. It disrupts their daily lives and makes them a living hell. Unfortunately, people can't put their lives on hold for this issue, especially because it could go on for several years. I want to bring awareness to anxiety so that more people understand that it is a real struggle for people out there. If you know someone with anxiety, or you have it, understand that it isn't their fault and sometimes they can't control when they are anxious or when they have an anxiety attack.

Be aware and care!

Citations

Durand, V. Mark. "Anxiety, Trauma- and Stressor-Related, and Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders." Abnormal Psychology. By David H. Barlow. 7th ed. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2015. N. pag. Print.

Savannah. Message to the author. 4 July 2015. E-mail.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.mommyedition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/anxiety-disorders.jpg?f8b79e
Cover Image Credit: http://wotguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/hello-my-name-is-anxiety-1.png

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13 Gross Things Girls Do That Boys Don't Know About

From a girl, about girls.
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There's always talk about how gross boys are all the time, it's now time to talk about how gross maybe even how much more disgusting girls can be. It may not even be disgusting, but just weird, but we are girls. What can we say?

1. Gorilla legs.

It's not that we don't want to...okay, that was a lie. Every girl can agree that they only shave during bathing suit season when you're wearing a dress, or when you're gonna get it on. Basically, If she shaves her legs you're special.

2. When did I last wash this bra again?

We wear the same exact bra, for days, and weeks, and who knows for how long.

3. It's not just the bra's, it's the pants too.

We wear jeans and leggings like twenty times before we think about washing them.

4. We don't wash our hair every day.

Because unwashed hair is the best styling hair. Also because looking good takes too much work.

5. We are always picking at our faces, especially pimples.

As soon as we walk by a mirror, its a must. Car mirrors are awesome to pop those suckers and pluck rampant eyebrow hairs. We pop pimples like its our job.

6. We will live in your clothes.

If you somehow let your significant other or friend wear your sweatshirt you're never getting it back... and she's never taking it off. Girls will wear that sh*t until your scent is gone because we love it.

7. We poop.

Believe it or not... it happens to us too. Women don't make it as much as a show as boys do. We hide it from you and will hold it until you're not around. And you've probably received a lot of selfies on the toilet.

8. The dreaded monthly gift.

Probably the most disgusting thing to ever happen to the human body. But everyone knows about menstruating, but most guys don't understand the other things that come along with it, like the cramps that bring period farts and the nasty bowel movements and blood clots.

9. Finding hair from our head in our butt cheeks.

Yeah, it's a thing. Your head hair crawls it's way down there occasionally.

10. We smell ourselves a lot.

We are super conscious about how we smell...especially down there.

11. We let it fly.

We will hold in our farts from you, but as soon as we are alone... that's a different story. You better hope we don't get too comfortable around you too quick.

12. Sometimes we have to improvise.

Sometimes mother nature likes to come when we aren't ready, or prepared with the supplies. There are numerous occasions where we start bleeding and have to create this bundle of toilet paper and just shove it down there.

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Cover Image Credit: Buzz Feed Blue

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To the Ones Who Somehow Made It Through High School And College Without Ever Dating

There is nothing wrong with you.
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There is no crime in being single—in having always been single. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

There are very few high school relationships that last; those rare high school sweethearts that make it, in the long run, are very blessed. Most of high school dating is a game of fitting in and being just like everyone else—“the cool kids date, so I should too.” Really, not dating in high school has saved you (and me) a lot of heartaches. This is not to say that high school dating is bad or wrong; I’m just saying that it’s not necessary.

Being single is actually very beneficial. It allows you more freedom and independence to better understand yourself and to explore your own dreams and desires before adding someone else’s into the mix. How can you take part in someone else’s dreams and desires without really understanding your own? When you do end up dating, you’ll be a lot more confident with what you want and need.

Being single also gives you the chance to invest in intimate friendships that you otherwise wouldn’t develop. Friendships can be just as beneficial (or more so) than romantic relationships. Need someone to lean on, to understand you in all your crazy, to not run away on the bad days? That’s what true friends are for—and close friendships tend to last longer than most romantic relationships. You should not ever underestimate a good friendship.

People in relationships are not necessarily happier than people who are single. You can be just as content and happy single as you can be in a romantic relationship. The reverse is also true. You can be just as miserable in a romantic relationship as you can being single. Being in a romantic relationship is not going to suddenly and magically cure or solve all your problems. “Happily Ever Afters” also don’t work the way all the fairytales and stories would have us believe. Relationships are a lot of work - you have to take into consideration not just your own dreams and your own problems but also your partner’s, and that’s not a bad thing because two heads are better than one and all that, but there is a reason for such a thing as “timing.”

Dating is a lot about getting the timing right. You’re not always going to be in a good headspace for a good, healthy relationship. There have definitely been moments in my life where I strongly desired to be in a romantic relationship (especially because all of my friends were), but looking back, it was a good thing. A romantic relationship would have added a level of stress and distraction in my life that I was not ready for and probably still am not ready for. Dating is partly a waiting game, so don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance yet

From One Single Person to Another

I promise there is nothing wrong with you or me, and our time will come.

Cover Image Credit: @finduslost | Instagram

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