Anxiety is a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms that often show up when dealing with difficult situations.
A few of the more common physical symptoms of anxiety would be shortness of breath, sweating, feeling dizzy or light-headed, digestive issues and headaches. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and if any of these symptoms persist, contact a health professional.
Anxiety can leave you very emotionally fatigued. You may find yourself overreacting to situations that ordinarily wouldn't cause you to feel so overwhelmed. You may respond to others with anger or frustration. Anxiety may even cause you to isolate from others in order to avoid situations that could possibly arise.
Symptoms of spiritual anxiety may include the sense that something is missing inside, that you don’t understand your place in the universe, or that you are uncertain of your purpose in life.
Depending on your personality (and which symptoms are strongest), anxiety may make you frantic and unable to pay attention. Or you may feel unable to cope to the point that you shut down and disengage from activities or relationships. No matter how you feel, you are not alone. Millions of people live with anxiety every day and still live happy, meaningful lives.
If your symptoms last for an extended period of time and don’t seem to depend on whether a situation is painful or stressful, your anxiety could be affecting your mental health. Reaching out to a doctor, therapist, or mentor for support can help you find clarity and develop a unique plan to understand and manage your anxiety symptoms.
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If you feel anxious to the point of being overwhelmed, or if you are on the verge of physical illness or emotional crisis (panic attack, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, etc), you’ve found the place to get help for anxiety and panic.
You may not be able to eliminate anxiety completely, but learning how to manage your symptoms allows you to enjoy your life and your relationships more fully. The next time you feel anxious, here are a few things you can try.
Writing about your anxiety can help you get to the bottom of what you’re feeling, and can keep you from bottling things up.
Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and it often gets rid of the jittery feelings that accompany anxiety.
Praying (or asking for prayer) when you feel anxious helps you remember to “cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
The stillness and deep breathing techniques common to most mindfulness meditation practices may help you feel calmer and more centered in moments when you suddenly become anxious.
Next time you feel anxious, see if you can identify what led to your anxiety symptoms. Noticing patterns (and identifying triggers) may help you prevent more intense anxiety in the future. For example, if you feel more anxious after your morning coffee, try half-caff (or enjoy your coffee with a little food), noting any differences in how you feel along the way.
Anxiety can be a frightening roller coaster ride causing you to feel out of control. As you search for peace, consider this; the Bible promises that God “…will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him…” Isaiah 26:3. There are people who care and who are ready to pray for you anytime.