Anxiety is no one’s friend and not something anyone wants to deal with on a daily basis either.
Over 19% of the US population states that they suffer from anxiety, and with global acceptance of therapy, this number is astonishing.
If you’ve dealt with anxiety before, you know how mentally drained and defeated it can make you feel.
Not only does it rob you of your social skills, but it can also cost you friendships, jobs, or even family members.
Each diagnosis varies from person to person as some may suffer from social anxiety, while others have full-on panic attacks, either way, it can be tiring handling it.
There are many sources, books, and online guides that offer to help.
Anything from online counseling to one-on-one therapy, struggling patients have many options to alleviate their anxiety.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to find the best online therapy for anxiety for a more mental-health-aware future!
What is Anxiety?
Every feeling of overwhelming stress, unease, feeling of impending doom, or fear in mild or severe amounts can be blamed on anxiety.
An anxiety disorder can be described as an unwell feeling which can either cause you to shake or worry incessantly.
Normal anxiety is applied if it appears before generally stress-inducing situations like exams or any preceding medical test and screenings.
If the worrying you feel interferes with everyday activities in your life, and you can’t control your emotions, you can call it severe anxiety.
Anxiety is known to be more constant, luring, unpredictable, and in some cases overpowering to the point of rendering you unable to function in everyday life or normal events.
Patients usually encounter anxiety as a symptom of other underlying issues and conditions, most often:
- Those struggling with panic disorders
- Those who experience anxiety in social gatherings
- Those who have phobias
- For individuals suffering from PTSD
If you have constant anxiety, no matter the event or occurrence, you might have the most well-known form called generalized anxiety disorder.
This type of anxiety is most common among patients, no matter their age.
It’s said that younger people suffer more from this anxiety disorder simply because the whole world has turned more digital.
Generalized anxiety is when you feel anxious because of a wide variety of situations, issues and things rather than just one thing specifically.
These patients also report that they don’t have a relaxing day of the week and can’t find a way to get calm without drugs or alternative medicine.
Another factor attributed to generalized anxiety is recurring thoughts or the feeling when you get one anxious thought and another quickly follows.
Symptoms of Severe Anxiety
If you or someone you know has trouble with obsessive negative thoughts, always feels restless, or complains about anxiousness, they might have a severe generalized anxiety disorder.
Other psychological or physical symptoms include:
- Non-stop worrying
- Unable to concentrate
- Disrupted sleep schedule
- Feeling dizzy and can’t hold still
- Hand-shaking or full-body tremors
- Heart palpitation, arithmia
If you feel like anxiety is affecting how you function in everyday life or any kind of distress, you should seek out online therapy or any other kind of treatment.
How Can Anxiety Impact Health?
Your body might be prepared to endure anxiety for short periods of time, but if it sticks for a prolonged amount of time, then it might cause significant negative damage.
Anxiety disorders cause a plethora of adverse effects on not just your body but mental stability and overall capability to function.
It can cause you issues at work, at family gatherings, parties and whatnot.
Anxiety is crippling, and that isn’t restricted to the one who’s suffering but to those who care about them too.
The first negative effect that many sleep-lovers may face due to anxiety is sleep disorders.
You can struggle to fall asleep or even face recurring insomnia.
Besides having trouble with sleep, anxiety disorders can interfere with hormones which can mess up your nervous system.
Prolonged emotional stress can also affect your blood pressure, sugar levels and triglycerides. This can lead to a wide range of health concerns, like:
- Triggering cortisol
- Short-term memory loss
- Concentration problems
- Digestive disorders
- Lowered immune system
- Increased risk of heart attack
This is why taking care of your mental health should be a priority, and getting your anxiety in check is the first step.
Besides the physical symptoms, anxiety can cause psychological damage as well.
It’s pretty debilitating to not be able to utter a word when one’s under an anxiety attack, and some can even end up having suicidal thoughts.
Some other common mental symptoms caused by anxiety include:
- Feelings of dread;
- Nonsense talking;
- Racing thoughts;
- Inability to relax;
- Negative attitude;
- Obsessive thoughts surrounding safety or death;
These are some of the distressing emotional issues that can be caused by anxiety, and on severe occasions, you can even feel like you’re losing your sense of reality or your mind.
The worst part is that no matter how hard the person tries, they can’t escape all-consuming negative thoughts, or they’re completely unable to control them.
Other physical symptoms that can be negatively affected by anxiety include your brain.
If you’re constantly obsessing over negative thoughts, you could decrease the size of your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
How Anxiety Can Destroy Relationships
Anxiety can ruin a whole bunch of relationships, and that doesn’t only go for your romantic ones.
You can feel anxious while hanging out with your coworkers, friends or family, so it’s like an unwanted looming friend or a dark cloud constantly hovering over your head.
Anxious disorders destroy relationships because they interfere with everyday life.
If you’re constantly thinking about negative thoughts, they could turn into patterns.
Once you give these thoughts significance, they can become larger than your everyday life.
Anxious thoughts can intrude on your reality, and you’ll lose the ability to connect or trust anyone.
When it comes to romantic relationships, overwhelming anxiety can become a problem for both partners.
If one is constantly overcome with negativity, the other can form a relationship or any kind of attitude with them.
The other person can become distant rather than caring and observant, and the whole attention will be placed on the anxious issue.
In dire cases, an anxious person can cause the other to feel mental anguish too, most commonly in the forms of:
You and your partner might talk sweetly to each other, but those sweet nothings can turn into mean arguments when anxiety is present.
Self-doubt is anxiety’s best friend, and those irrational thoughts can cause an array of complications in your relationship.
Common anxious thoughts connected to your partner can come in feelings like:
- Undeserving of the partner’s love;
- Not good enough;
- Fears of abandonment;
Anxiety can be pushed aside if it concerns only your thoughts. But unfortunately, anxious disorders melt into emotions and behaviors.
Some annoying behaviors that stem from anxiety include clingy behavior, codependency, and a number of attachment issues.
These issues can cause boredom in the relationship, and that’s one more reason that calls for anxiety.
Other relationship issues that can be caused by anxiety include:
- Jealous fits and rages;
- Possessiveness over the partner;
- Suspicion of infidelity;
- Withdrawal in self;
- Isolation of oneself or the partner;
- Coldness in communicating;
- Rejecting the other’s opinions, behaviors, help;
- Shunning and other types of punishment;
- No open, heart-to-heart conversations.
Anxiety causes most of these attitudes, but sometimes the other person can adopt them as well as a reaction to the anxious partner.
You can say that anxiety ruins relationships in the fact that it intrudes on the nice parts of being in a relationship, like closeness, fun, intimacy, and adoration.
If you and your partner become aware of how anxiety can influence communication in relationships, you can build some ground for reconnecting.
Anxiety can ruin relationships to some degree, but it doesn’t have to completely crush them to no avail.
How to Tackle Anxiety on the Spot: Useful Tips and Exercises
If you feel a lingering anxiety attack, you can try some simple tricks and exercises that will help you calm down quickly.
Some of these tips may be difficult on the first try, but with practice, anything can become perfect.
The first step towards calming down is being aware that you’re experiencing an anxiety attack.
1. The Art of Breathing
The next and probably most important step towards curbing your anxiety is breathing.
If you’re starting to feel panicky, just breathe in. It might sound simple and not at all helpful, but it can do wonders.
Just ask yoga practitioners. Make sure to breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8.
You’ll notice your heart rate slowing down, the interrupted breathing getting stiller, and your body stops shaking.
2. The Magic of Jogging
If you give your heart something to be racing for, then you can switch your anxiety to a helpful habit.
Going for a run around the block whenever you feel like you’re having an attack is a good way to reduce your anxiety.
If you’re into speed jogging, make it one of good use and jog every time you feel a luring trigger.
If you feel like your anxiety is still there, just keep running. Not only is this healthy, but it will increase your heart rate, and you’ll eventually stop feeling anxious.
However, maybe jogging isn’t your thing, and if that’s the case, you should try walking for 5 minutes and use 1 minute for jogging. Don’t forget to breathe while running too.
3. Wash Away the Trouble
If the anxiety is on the verge of becoming very intense, you should slip right into your shower.
You have no idea how much of an effect a cold or steamy shower can have on your anxiety.
Not only will it snap you back into reality, but it will also give you something else to think about.
You might not be in the mood to get your whole body wet, but you can try filling a whole bowl with ice cubes and dunk your entire face in it.
Stay like that for at least 30 seconds. By doing this you trick your heart into thinking that you’re going for a swim, and with that, your body will become much calmer.
No matter what you decide, or if you’re not into cold showers or ice cubes, you can always go swimming if you have a lake or pool nearby.
4. Visualize a Funny Story
Another way to decrease anxiety levels is to imagine a funny situation, humorous movie scene or moment that always cracks you up.
No matter if the funny thought came from a movie, sitcom or a real situation when you joked with friends or during watching childhood cartoons, if they make you laugh out loud, it’s probably a funny story.
If you can’t focus on something positive at the moment of your anxiety attack, try arranging a couple of memories beforehand, so you can visualize them when you’re experiencing anxiety.
Momentarily shifting your attention to funny situations snaps you out of the negative loop and places you back into present circumstances. It makes your mind focus more on the now.
5. Distractions are Your Friend
Some individuals never get tired of cleaning their house, and this could be an awesome distraction when you’re facing anxiety.
It will draw in focus and keep your thoughts away from what you’re worried about once you see all that dust and spider webs in every corner.
Other fun distractions from anxiety include listening to calming music, watching your favorite TV show, reading, painting or writing. Others argue that brewing a cup of tea can turn your day around.
6. Overcome Anxiety with Online Therapy
Don’t forget that even if you’re not a people person, you can turn to online therapy for guidance and treating anxiety.
There are a plethora of licensed professionals eager to help you with any anxious issue, and the only thing you should do is feel free to reach out.
Don’t forget that you’re not alone, and in times of digitalization, your helpful answer can be a click away.