Coping With Anxiety In Uncertain Times
Many of us have been feeling a little more anxious since the events that began on September 11th. It's normal to experience increased feelings of anxiety, especially after traumatic events like the recent terrorist attacks and anthrax scares.
Most people experience anxiety as a fear of the unknown and an uncertainty about the future. It often affects our behavior, thoughts, feelings and physical well being. Some symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling keyed up, restless or easily fatigued
- Being highly irritable and short on patience
- Difficulty concentrating, losing your train of thought
- Feelings of impending doom
- Headaches, muscle tension, or shortness of breath
- Accelerated heart rate, chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea, diarrhea, other abdominal distress
It's important that we take steps to help overcome our anxiety so it doesn't begin to impair our daily living. Here are a few tips for coping with and overcoming anxiety:
Exercising can relieve nervous energy and help you sleep better. (always consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine)
Relaxation Techniques can help you reduce stress and focus on the "here and now." Try listening to some soft music in a comfortable chair, or concentrating on controlling your breathing in a quiet place.
Spend time with friends and family voicing opinions and expressing your feelings. Ask others how they are coping with their fears.
If you believe in a higher power, such as God, pray for strength and well-being.
Take part in activities that will help keep your mind off your fears. Instead of watching and reading excessive amounts of news about terrorism, try reading a good book, seeing a movie, or hanging out with a friend.
Sometimes no matter what we do, we cannot seem to get rid of our anxious feelings. When that happens, anxiety begins to affect our work and home life, and can sometimes lead to panic attacks. Severe anxiety problems can be treated though. Treatments may include a combination of the following: individual counseling, family counseling, and medical treatment.