Do You Have Anxiety?
Everyday Stress Vs. Anxiety
Have you been feeling easily irritable, restless or exceptionally worried? Do you find negative thoughts stubbornly stuck in your mind, unable to be reasoned away? You may be suffering from anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.
Anxiety and stress share an array of uncomfortable, and even debilitating, symptoms. Both may cause tension, headaches, difficulty sleeping and general uneasiness. The difference is, stress is often triggered by an external source, and anxiety is your internal response to stress.
For instance, it’s common to feel stress over meeting a tight deadline at work or getting in an argument with a loved one. Typically, addressing and overcoming these issues will help ease the associated stress. If needed, practicing stress-relief techniques like a getting good night’s rest, spending time outside or writing in a journal can help dissipate stress further.
Differently, anxiety sticks around even after the stressful concern has been handled. An internal issue, anxiety can often be described as a “persistent feeling of dread”, unaltered by external factors. With stress, we can identify exactly what is worrying us. Anxiety often manifests in a general feeling of excessive worry that can easily snowball into a bigger issue. Overall, stress can be a trigger of anxiety, but it’s important to know that anxiety and stress are two separate beasts.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The hallmark symptom of anxiety is excessive worrying. Incessant, intrusive negative thoughts that constantly remind you of the worst-case scenario. This worrying is often disproportionate to the problem that triggered it, and unable to be reasoned away.
Feeling Agitated and Irritable
Think about the last scary movie you watched. At a particularly nerve-wracking point in the plot, you might have experienced sweaty palms, dry mouth or even an increased heart rate. Anxious feelings tend to shift our sympathetic nervous system right into overdrive. This is our body’s way of preparing to react to a perceived threat.
While this physiological reaction is helpful in the event of true danger, the effects can be debilitating if the threat is actually all in your head. Heightened sense of fear and worry can lead to extreme irritability, In fact, one recent study including over 6,000 adults found that more than 90% of individuals diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder reported feeling highly irritable during periods when their anxiety was at its worst.
When we consider that anxiety causes excessive worrying and high physiological arousal, it isn’t surprising that irritability comes with the package. Individuals with anxiety often grow irritable with their loved ones, which can create an unfortunate cycle of lashing out, feelings of guilt and increased worry.
Restlessness and Difficulty Concentrating
With your mind busy constantly dreaming up the worst-case scenario, anxiety can make it difficult to focus on simple tasks. Many people with anxiety report feelings of restlessness and difficulty concentrating. A recent study of 175 adults found that almost 90% of the individuals had difficulty concentrating, especially during times of high anxiety.
Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety
Drink Water and Eat Right
While anxiety is busy wreaking havoc on your mind, it can be easy to forget to simply take care of your body. Staying hydrated and eating right can help improve your focus, stress levels and genuine feeling of wellness. Not to mention, some symptoms of anxiety like sweating, crying and urination can actually be dehydrating. When your anxiety peaks, practice reaching for a glass of cool water, taking a deep breath and sipping slowly.
Make hydration taste good with these infused water recipes. They make a water break feel like a refreshing treat.
On the note of self-care, exercise is just as important for your mind as it is for your body. Physical activity produces endorphins, little chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins can improve sleep and reduce stress, which is probably why researchers have found that individuals who get regular vigorous exercise are 25% less likely to develop depression or anxiety over the next five years.
Take Magnesium Supplements
Over 50% of people in the U.S. and Europe aren’t getting the recommended amount of magnesium. If we had to guess, almost 100% of people don’t understand the repercussions of magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is a busy little mineral involved in over 300 reactions in your body, including regulating neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are constantly firing, telling our body what to do and our mind how to feel.
Due to that connection, an extra boost of magnesium might just ease your mind’s anxious tendencies and manage its reaction to stress. When searching for magnesium supplements, look for the purest products possible. We recommend ProGlow Protein’s pharmaceutical-grade magnesium supplement Calm & Fit.
Take Control of Your Anxiety
Learning the negative symptoms of anxiety can be concerning. However, whether you are dealing with every day stress or a full anxiety disorder, it’s important to learn strategies to help you manage and move forward. Remember to start with proper nutrition, adequate sleep and physical activity. If your anxiety persists, do not hesitate to seek professional help.