New times offer new opportunities, but with new opportunities often comes a feeling of unknown fear or negative thinking. Anxiety is not just worrying about everyday things, it’s a more profound connection than that, and it often culminates in instability and uncontrollable emotions.
Anxiety is universal in every day and age, but what’s also universal is its effects on physical health too! We witnessed it during Covid and have written a text about it too! Make sure to check it out!
Anxiety is a “slow killer” because it may lead to severe consequences if untreated! And that’s why we’re here today – to show you how to deal with anxiety and its effects.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”
— Kahlil Gibran
Drugwatch, a comprehensive resource about the side effects of commonly prescribed drugs, has also discussed about this topic in its article “How to Deal with Anxiety.” They stated that anxiety comes in many forms, from general to social anxiety, but the good news is that it’s treatable!
Where Does Anxiety Come From?
As mentioned, anxiety represents a fear of the unknown; therefore, scientists haven’t found a universal cause of anxiety. Why is that? Because multiple factors play a role in this – life stressors (social situations, sexuality, race), genetics, and environmental factors.
Life stressors are different from person to person, and their influence is as well! Let’s say you have social anxiety – you can’t give a speech to the public; you cannot sing in front of an audience – any social interaction is permitted and limited.
Learn more about social anxiety during covid in one of our previous texts!
Sexuality is a significant factor in anxiety. In 2016 research, it was confirmed that gender minorities (i.e., transgender) are more likely to develop mental health issues compared to cisgender people.
Bisexual people are more likely to develop social anxiety than gay and lesbian people, as concluded in a 2015 survey.
“We hypothesize that, similar to previous research, heterosexual individuals will report lower levels of social anxiety than all other groups (lesbian/gay, bisexual, and those in the write-in response group). In addition, we hypothesize that the bisexual group will rate higher levels of social anxiety than the lesbian/gay, and heterosexual groups, due to their added minority status within the lesbian and gay communities”.
APA, or American Psychological Association, stated that “socioeconomic deprivation and racial discrimination have been implicated in higher psychological distress.”
A New York City research (2014) studied the mental health of “young urban men.” The results have shown that responders were predominately members of ethnical and racial minorities (80% non-white), but also that they are more likely to only finish high school – not to mention the anxiety percentage, which is above average.
The factor that had a significant impact on the topic is that they have been stopped by police more than eight times in their life – those who were discontinued more than five times have reported a sharp increase in their anxiety.
Next year, in 2015, another research found an association between race and discrimination and anxiety.
“Over the past two decades, research examining the impact of self-reported experiences of discrimination on mental and physical health has increased dramatically. Studies have found consistent associations between exposure to discrimination and a wide range of DSM-diagnosed mental disorders, and objective physical health outcomes.”
Anxiety disorders may be significantly influenced by genetics. According to research, those with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop the illness themselves.
Many genes, particularly those controlling serotonin, a neurotransmitter essential in controlling mood and anxiety, have been linked to anxiety through genetic investigations.
Moreover, research has shown that environmental variables can work in concert with genetic ones to raise the incidence of anxiety disorders. Knowing who is predisposed to mental health disorders may be identified with using genetic knowledge, which might also result in novel interventions and therapies.
How to Naturally Deal with Anxiety?
- Stay Active!
When anxious, we think the best for is to lay in bed and do nothing. But professionals say otherwise. Research has stated that people who exercise tend to reduce anxiety faster and are protected mentally and physically.
“A number of research studies have pointed to the effectiveness of short-term, aerobic exercise to reduce anxiety sensitivity (Broman-Fulks and Storey, 2008.”
- Get good sleep!
Several studies have shown that getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining excellent mental health.
The CDC advises individuals to obtain 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day, despite a 2012 poll finding that nearly a third of adults sleep for fewer than 6 hours at night.
How to get a good night’s sleep?
- don’t read or watch television in bed
- don’t use any electronic devices in bed
- avoiding caffeine, large meals, and nicotine before bedtime
- keep your room dark
- create a cozy environment
- write down your worries before going to bed
- create a sleep schedule
- Practice breathing and meditation
Anxiety is not just fear; it also triggers physical symptoms such as panic attacks – your heart beats fast, you’re out of breath, and you’re shaking.
Here is a quick “tutorial” on how to breathe deeply (written by VeryWellHealth):
- Stand up and bend forward from the waist with your knees slightly bent. Let your arms dangle at your sides.
- Inhale slowly and deeply as you return to standing, lifting your head last.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Exhale slowly as you return to the original position, bending forward from the waist.
We hope you have realized the seriousness of mental health issues and some ways of coping with them. Acknowledging the problem is half the solution and you’ll get treated in no time by taking action!
A special thanks to Drugfree, who has given us the idea to write part two on this topic. Check them out, and let’s all work together toward creating an anxiety-free world.
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*An article was prepared and written by Balša Kićović, Textual Content Director.