Understanding Anxiety: A Complex and Common Condition
Anxiety is a widespread and prevalent problem among people. It changes the thought processes and feelings of an individual, leading to mistakes that are counterproductive to curing anxiety. Many people make the mistake of turning to alcohol to reduce anxiety, but it only makes anxiety worse as it replaces the mind’s ability to cope with stress. Another common mistake that people make with anxiety is moping. Moping is the idea that you need to “be alone,” and the idea that you need to go home after a tough day at work and just sit and think so that your stress and anxiety get better.
However, moping is a common mistake that has the potential to make anxiety much worse.
It is important to stay active and try to get out there, exercise, and have new experiences. Avoiding experiences because you want to cope with your anxiety alone causes several issues that make anxiety worse. Inactivity is a big problem, as exercise and staying physically active and moving are crucial for not only physical health but mental health as well. Movement and exercise improve hormone function and neurotransmitter production, and drain the body of excess energy that would otherwise cause the mind and body to become more stressed.
Anxiety changes the way you think, and unfortunately, it often means that your own thoughts are your worst enemy.
Many people don’t realize that anxiety and anxiety attacks are often caused by letting yourself sit and think because the mind eventually starts thinking about negative things. Staying active gives your mind distractions, and distractions provide you with a mental break that can reduce future anxiety symptoms. Also, “giving in” to anxiety lets your anxiety win and controls the way that you react in the future. If you often keep to yourself when you have anxiety, then every time you have significant anxiety, your body’s reaction is to want to give in again. It becomes your coping mechanism and makes it harder to stop moping in the future.
Being around people that you like and make you happy is an important tool for combatting anxiety.
Obviously, those with social anxiety disorder are at a bit of a disadvantage here, but in general, if you can spend time with people and talk to others, you’re more likely to find life more enjoyable, and the more you enjoy life, the easier it will be to treat your anxiety. Happy memories are also essential in reducing anxiety. Anxiety makes you focus too much on the present. One of the strategies to help reduce anxiety is goal-setting, specifically because it gives you something to look forward to in the future. Staying active with enjoyable activities provides hope, and hope is important for committing to anxiety treatments.
Moping behaviors are not the only mistake people make with anxiety, and it may not even be the worst.
But it is an extremely common reaction to anxiety and stress and one that needs to be stopped to control anxiety. Other anxiety mistakes include listening to negative/moping music, rather than upbeat and happy music, purposely subjecting yourself to anxious and stressful situations like horror movies, spending time with those that are generally negative, taking medications without combining them with a long-term treatment, and quitting an anxiety reduction strategy when it doesn’t work right away.
Anxiety is not easy to solve, but those that push themselves through and try to stay active and distract their minds from negative thoughts are more likely to see the results when they finally commit to an anxiety treatment.
However, it is important to note that every person’s experience with anxiety is different, and what may work for one person may not work for another. It is important to consult with a mental health professional for personalized treatment.
According to Dr. Steven Seay, a licensed psychologist specializing in anxiety treatment, “Anxiety is incredibly common, and everyone struggles with it at some point in their lives. It’s important to recognize that anxiety is a normal human emotion and everyone experiences it to some degree. However, when anxiety becomes excessive and starts to interfere with daily activities and quality of life, it can be considered an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders and can range from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Symptoms of anxiety disorders can include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
Treatment for anxiety disorders can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of therapy used to treat anxiety disorders, which involves helping individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines can also be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms.
It’s important for individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety to seek help from a mental health professional. With proper treatment and support, anxiety disorders can be managed, and individuals can improve their quality of life.
Updated: April 24th, 2023