Fitness Facts: Overcoming anxiety
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Anxiety can seem commonplace in today’s fast-paced world, but when should it be a cause for concern?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 44 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment even though the disorders are highly treatable.”
But how do we know what is normal and what is not? Below is a list of symptoms that could be signs of an anxiety disorder:
- Excessive worry – having persistent thoughts of worry on most days of the week
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, especially if you are lying awake with racing thoughts
- Irrational fears that are out of proportion to the actual risk involved
- Constant muscle tension – this could be clenching your jaw, balling your fists or flexing muscles throughout your body
- Chronic indigestion: stomach aches, constipation and/or diarrhea
- Worrying for days or weeks leading up to a particular event
- Experiencing anxiety in social situations, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating, blushing or difficulty talking
- Perfectionism – constantly judging yourself or you have a lot of anticipatory anxiety about making mistakes or falling short of your standards
- Persistent self-doubt
We all experience anxiety from time to time, but the key to understanding if it is a problem lies in how often and how much it interferes with our activities of daily living.
If you recognize that you are having any of these symptoms on most days of the week and the symptoms are interfering with your daily activities, it is important to seek medical advice.
It is also important to be aware that it can be treated successfully!