WHAT ANXIETY IS REALLY?
Anxiety is a strong negative and unhealthy emotion.
It happens when you assume and are sure (often unrealistically) of a negative consequence of your actions (in past, present or future).
It happens when you believe that the extreme and worst thing has or will come true and that you will not be able to deal with it.
In simple words, it is the EXCESSIVE WORRY when you unrealistically believe that DAMAGE HAS HAPPENED OR WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN and YOU CAN’T DEAL WITH IT.
Example: It is that situation when you stress so much before an exam that the exam fear doesn’t let you study enough and effectively. This is the reason why many students blank out before an exam.
With reference to Be the Athlete of your life – ‘my cursing the bad traffic, the long signals, the cab driver and everyone and everything else’ while constantly thinking – Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! – was anxiety.
WHY IS IT BAD?
Anxiety is problematic because IT IS UNHELPFUL.
IT DOES NOT HELP YOU FOR ANYTHING, IN ANY WAY.
- It is an unpleasant experience
- It does not help you achieve your goals and solve your problems, instead makes things more difficult and complicated
- It physically and mentally disturbs you and may also lead you to feel exhausted and fatigued
- It impacts your behaviors negatively – You become agitated, cry, become restless, make more mistakes in the task at hand, work less efficiently, probably avoid important task all together
- It promotes unhealthy thoughts – You over think or think unnecessarily, you can’t think clearly, you don’t have mind space to solve the problem at hand, you are stuck in thought loops or vicious thinking cycles and continue thinking instead of taking the necessary steps
- It makes you feel worse – You feel more and more anxious, frustrated and stressed and you may feel angry, ashamed, guilty etc at the same time.
Example: It is that situation when you cry before an exam, keep thinking repeatedly that you can’t complete the portion and you won’t fair well and spend the studying time in crying and negative thinking instead.
With reference to Be the Athlete of your life – My panicking instead of actually doing a web check-in while in the cab. Anxiety stopped me from thinking of something as basic and simple as doing a web check-in!
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS?
Anxiety comes with a clear set of physical symptoms which include sweating, hyperventilation (fast shallow breathing), poor concentration, irritability, sleeplessness, agitation, restlessness, and trembling.
The thoughts are characterized by WHAT IF thinking and constant negative over thinking.
Example: When before an exam, you can’t stop constantly turning the pages of the book or move or walk or fidget continually
With reference to the earlier blog Be the Athlete of your life – When I was in the cab, I was sitting uptight and, constantly looking outside the window and fidgeting constantly.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Anxiety happens because of 3 factors –
- Biological factors such as genetic tendency, hormonal imbalances, problems with neurotransmitters
- Environmental factors or those triggers and situations that provoke anxiety i.e. when you have to perform, when you are waiting for an important outcome when you have to get to a goal etc
- THINKING PATTERNS i.e. your attitudes, perspectives, thoughts about all the triggers
HOW CAN IT BE TREATED?
The answer is simple. Control or change the causes that lead to anxiety!
- Medication controls the biological factors. It is however only needed when anxiety is a persistent, chronic or pervasive.
- Finding practical solutions to the problem may change the problem itself but more often than not, this factor is mostly out our control E.g. exam dates, flight schedules, other people’s reactions cannot really be changed or controlled in any way
- Psychotherapy can actually help you recognize and change those unhelpful negative thoughts that cause and worsen your anxiety. Changing and modifying thoughts may seem impossible; it’s definitely not easy and requires a lot of commitment and work but THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT PSYCHOLOGISTS DO EVERYDAY!
- Pain-Killer Solutions do not stop anxiety from happening but they help you manage anxiety for that moment. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT ANXIETY IMMEDIATELY!