Written by Ginny Vose, Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Anxiety- Is It your Ally or your Enemy?
In today’s world of uncertainties, we all are feeling an increased sense of anxiety. In some ways, anxiety can be a good thing. In other ways, anxiety can be harmful. So how do you know when anxiety is healthy and when is it harmful? Let’s take a good look at anxiety to see what it is, how it can be beneficial, and when it can become harmful to us.
There are Different Definitions of Anxiety:
Anxiety is that it is a feeling of uneasiness that comes from something that is imminent or may have an uncertain outcome. Another definition says that it is an uneasy feeling that leads to a desire to do something about a problem. It is sometimes referred to as the “fight, flight, or freeze response” that all humans have as a way to be alerted to possible danger.
Anxiety can increase your heart rate, breathing, and send more blood to the brain to alert us about a potential threat.
These first two definitions share how anxiety can be helpful. A last definition of anxiety is that it is a disorder that is characterised by an excessive uneasiness and apprehension, compulsive behaviors, or panic attacks. When anxiety reaches this level, it may be time to reach out to a professional to get some help.
How Anxiety Helps Us
Anxiety has been described as an annoying friend with really good intentions. When you start to feel that uneasy feeling in your stomach, tingling in your fingers or toes, headaches, or dizziness, it is anxiety helping you to be a better version of yourself.
1) It lets you know through fear that there is the potential for you to be walking into a dangerous situation. This is the fight, flight, or freeze feeling that makes you react when you are in danger.
2) It can be that nagging feeling of something that needs to be addressed in your life. Anxiety can let you know that something should not be ignored.
3) It can also point you to the things in life that you value most. You can feel anxious when you get a sense that something is dishonest or when you are not being treated properly. Anxiety can be a virtual radar to tell you when something just is not right according to your own moral compass
4) Anxiety can help you to reach your own potential. A small amount of anxiety heightens all of your senses by allowing your heart rate and breathing to increase, which sends more blood to your brain to allow you to think more clearly when you are speaking to a group of people or participating in a job interview.
When Anxiety Becomes A Problem
How do you know when anxiety has crossed the line into a problem that is overwhelming? Anxiety can be helpful, but it can easily turn into something that is crippling and makes life something that is unmanageable. The following is a list of ways to recognize when anxiety is reaching an unhealthy level.
1) Persistent worrying that happens most days that you cannot control. This is a worry that is hard to get away from and is almost always on your mind. It could be a worry about a job, a family member, or school performance.
2) A restlessness or a feeling of being keyed up. It could be a jittery feeling or an inability to feel cal
3) Difficulty in concentrating or your mind going blank.
5) Muscle tension
6) Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or unsatisfying sleep
7) Difficulty in functioning in social situations, work situations, or school situations
8) Panic Attack
9) Fear of leaving the house or being seperated from a loved one
10) Phobias about a specific object or situation that keep you from functioning in your daily life
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms above, it may be time to seek some help from a professional. At Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling, we would love to help you to learn coping skills that will help you to manage your anxiety.
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Written by Ginny Vose, Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Offering play therapy for children, and trauma counseling for adolescent and adult women
Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling (#JCAC) is a warm and family orientated counseling practice in Alpharetta, Ga. We offer online counseling services in the states of Georgia and Florida. We offer in-office counseling service at our Alpharetta office which is conveniently located to serve Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell, and Cumming, Ga.
The JCAC Counselors specialize in counseling services throughout the lifespan! We offer play therapy, counseling for children, parental support, adolescent counseling, mental health services, couples counseling, premarital therapy, and individual counseling for adults.
To learn more about our practice, click here!
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