Nowadays, simply tuning in to the daily news is likely to be stressful. Add on the stresses of daily life — such as handling work demands or adjusting to retirement, dealing with family issues, coping with illness, or caregiving — and you may begin to greet each day with apprehension and worry. In other words, you can become anxious. Good coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety can help you stay healthy during turbulent times.
More than forty million American adults suffer from some type of anxiety or panic, and for many, it has a very real cost to their lifestyle.
If you find yourself arguing with your partner more frequently than normal; catch yourself side-stepping social events; or perhaps even fostering unrealistic feelings of fear or apprehension there’s a good chance you are experiencing some type of anxiety disorder.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the term “panic attack.” The reality is that panic attacks are real, but they are just one of many types of anxiety disorders. One myth surrounding anxiety is that having an anxiety disorder somehow makes you a bad or weak person. Everyone has had feelings of anxiousness or fear at some time or another. How a person deals with those feelings is what determines if it is ruling your life or not. For a growing percentage of society, the impact of anxiety is very real, and that only reflects cases that are reported. What is really alarming is that many adolescents and children are also affected by stress and anxiety.
The body’s basic response to stress is significant in how a person protects themselves from perceived treats. It measures a person’s chances for survival when faced with danger or a potentially dangerous situation. A person can either face the stress and fight back, or retreat and take flight.
The fight or flight syndrome is a person’s reaction to stressful circumstances, even in the ordinary course of life. Such reactions or choices are inherent in your modern fight for survival. Your fight or flight reaction is stimulated the moment you are faced with a potentially dangerous situation. The smell of danger keeps the adrenaline rushing through your veins, and gets your heart beating faster. This is what makes you feel faint or weak. The strange thing is that it is your body’s way of preparing you for fight or flight! Just try running when you feel like this. You might be surprised at how fast you can run! At the fight or flight stage, you have a choice to make; you can either become aggressive and face the danger, or be passive and retreat.
Allowing yourself to become exposed to fight or flight situations regularly can be stressful and dangerous to your health. It can backlash and lead to heart ailments, migraines and soaring blood pressure, and for many it leads to social withdrawal.
However it doesn’t have to rule your life. If you or a loved one experience continuous bouts of fear, concern, or apprehension of some unknown event, now is the time to examine your lifestyle. Manage and eliminate your anxiety today.