According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) Anxiety Disorder affects around 28.8% of U.S. Adults over their lifetime. This is roughly 80 Million people and “women are 60% more likely than men to experience” anxiety. Of those 28.8% only 4.1% of these account for severe cases.
Some common signs and symptoms of anxiety, as described by the Mayo Clinc are:
- Feeling nervous
- Feeling powerless
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than present worry
In general, you can boil down anxiety to the basic emotion of Fear or your expectation of something bad occurring in the future.
To a certain extent it is good to feel some anxiety, it means something is important to you and also means you are human and not a sociopath or psychopath. So, in that sense feeling a level of anxiety is a good thing.
For majority of individuals who deal with anxiety there are some simple solutions. Here are 3 solutions to help you deal with general anxiety in life.
1. Reframing – Instead of thinking of anxiety as bad, you can reframe what anxiety means to you or more specifically what it is signally to you. One way you can think about anxiety is that it is a signal for you to act. A signal for you to do something. Thinking of anxiety this way also gives you an opportunity to be courageous, which will add to your feeling of fulfillment and self image.
2. Mindfulness Meditation – A 2015 study found “that an abbreviated mindfulness-based stress reduction course can serve to reduce anxiety and improve quality of life.”(1) Mindfulness is a very simple exercise that can bring you back to the present moment and decrease your anxiety about potential future events. Which most likely will never occur anyways.
Now there is more than one way to practice mindfulness meditation. But here is a simple step by step process you can follow to start.
- Find a relaxing spot to either sit down or lay down.
- Start to focus on your breathing.
- Try to focus on a sensation that is occurring while you breath, such as your belly or chest rising and falling.
- Once you have gained this focus with your breath, widen you awareness and notice different sensory occurrences around you.
- Lastly, just except what sensory input you are experiencing without any judgement.
- Work on during this for a few minutes everyday.
3. Nature and Exercise – We humans are meant to move and be with nature. A great way to deal with anxiety is to make sure you are moving or exercising often and reconnecting with nature often as well. This could mean going for a hike or simply going for a walk around your neighborhood or local park.