Anxiety is a normal response to the typical stress of life, but it can develop into a far more significant and persistent problem for several reasons. Anxiety can be debilitating not only because of the fear and irrationality it can cause but due to the physical symptoms that can come with it.
Types of Anxiety
Many categorisations of different kinds of anxiety centre around general feelings of anxiety to stressors, phobias, and triggers. Below are two of the most common forms of stress:
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) causes anxiety over everything and anything. This can cause worry that persists no matter the circumstance and can make you feel nervous about everything in your life. If you have GAD, you may feel as though your anxiety is controlling or ruining your life.
Health anxiety refers to recurring prolonged fears of dying, having underlying health conditions, being ill. This is a relatively common form of stress and can be severely underestimated in its capacity to debilitate life.
What is the cause of anxiety?
Several different things can cause anxiety. Some may have fear due to a traumatic event or difficult situation they are struggling to process, and others may have concern due to stress or an overwhelming workload. There are endless specific causes for consideration, and no one cause is notably more common than the next.
Symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can be so life-altering because those who suffer with it experience physical, psychological, and behavioural symptoms that can feel overwhelming.
Examples of the typical physical symptoms of anxiety include an increased heart rate and palpitations, muscle tension and tension headaches, tingling sensations, jitters and shakes, a sensation of choking, a dry mouth, intense sweat and body heat, tightness in the chest, nausea, dizziness, increased urination, and difficulty breathing and so on. This list is not exhaustive. Psychological symptoms of anxiety include, but are not limited to, feeling like you might lose control, thinking that you may die or have a severe illness, fear of being perceived, lack of awareness of time, detachment, activation of ‘fight or flight’, feeling hyper-vigilant and hostile.
What is important to remember is that you are neither going crazy nor ill. You are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition that can be resolved, and the first step in easing such horrible symptoms can be to remember that it is all anxiety, not the real you.
Is there a cure? A psychological perspective.
There is no definitive cure to anxiety, making it seem particularly difficult and complicated to navigate. Unlike a physical illness, there is no easy way to explain it, nor much understanding from those who do not have it. While we should consult a medical practitioner and may be prescribed something to deal with anxiety, many people rely on holistic or alternative therapies to cope with their stress. This includes, but is not limited to, CBT and other types of therapy, meditation, yoga, journaling and exercise. What is important to remember with all these treatments is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to coping with anxiety. Different therapies are effective for other reasons in different individuals.
How can guided meditation help to deal with anxiety?
Guided meditation is great because it enables the individual to gain control of their thoughts and, as a result, turn the tide on their anxious thoughts by reassessing or replacing them using techniques such as positive thought, affirmations and visualisations.