Do you feel like anxiety is taking over your life? That it’s hard to cope with, and you don’t know what to do? You’re not alone. Millions of people globally suffer from anxiety disorders, but the good news is that there are ways to manage it, even when anxiety gets out of control.
In this article, these are the main points we are going to explore:
- What causes anxiety to get out of control?
- How do you know if your anxiety is out of control?
- What can uncontrolled anxiety lead to?
- How to keep anxiety from getting out of control?
What Causes Anxiety To Get Out Of Control?
Anxiety is a mental health condition that millions of people experience daily. Different factors can trigger it and make it seem out of control such as a huge life change or a buildup of minor stressful life situations such as work overload, family problems, money concerns, ongoing worry regarding health, and even a death in the family.
When left untreated, anxiety can lead to other mental health conditions, such as depression, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can also impact your physical health, leading to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. So it is vital to know when anxiety becomes excessive, so it can be managed before getting out of control.
How Do You Know If Your Anxiety Is Out Of Control?
Feeling nervous, restless, or tense is a common sign of anxiety. Usually, you will have a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom with an increased heart rate. An agitated person tends to have more of a fear response first, and they can be quick to frustration or anger, often feeling bothered.
Restlessness is a direct consequence of an adrenaline surge response that occurs when the fight or flight mode is activated in reaction to pressured circumstances.
Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced. In many cases, anxiety often leads to obsessiveness. For example, it makes it nearly impossible to stop focusing on things you don't want to think about, and these thoughts are often negative and related to distressing emotions.
Intrusive thoughts and obsessions can cause anxious people to shift towards certain behaviors, rituals, or routines, usually done repeatedly.
Overplanning stems from anxiety, offering a false sense of control. It is the desire to control outcomes and results, although that may be unrealistic. Sometimes this anxiety originates from a fear of failure or the quest for perfectionism.
Often, it is a way to deal with worry. However, if you are overplanning to the point of mental and physical exhaustion, you have lost control of your anxiety.
Poor physical health
Physical manifestations of extreme anxiety can be detrimental to overall health. For example, it can cause heart issues such as rapid heart rate, palpitations, and chest pain. In addition, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even weight gain. Also, sleep problems often develop when worry compounds in addition to headaches.
Other issues, such as weakened immunity, stomach problems, and frequent urination, can make it even more difficult for those with anxiety to function or work.
Anxious people can be susceptible to avoidance to the extent that it can interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school, or other activities. However, people prone to anxiety might have learned avoidance techniques as an unhealthy way of coping with anxiety-provoking thoughts and situations. But more proactive strategies can help reduce avoidance.
What Can Uncontrolled Anxiety Lead To?
Its symptoms can be so severe, causing symptoms such as nausea, muscle tension, excruciating headaches, elevated blood pressure, breathlessness, and increased heart rate to flare up.
Anxiety and depression often occur together, manifesting as insomnia, agitation, apathy, lack of focus, and feelings of anxiety.
Your risk is even greater if you have one anxiety disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, most people who die by suicide have been diagnosed with mental illness.
If you have severe anxiety, you are at increased risk for addiction to many substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs.
How To Keep Anxiety From Getting Out Of Control?
Identify and learn to manage your triggers:
These triggers can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking, which you can identify on your own or with a therapist. There may be less obvious stress sources but look for ways to reduce them. For example, limit the time using your phone, watching the news cycle, going on social media, or avoiding certain people.
Notice your mindset and focus on what you can control
How you think about things affects your emotions, so try to focus on what's in your control and accept that certain things are out of your control. You can also try journalling to avoid negative thoughts.
Learn about Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT)
Through adapting CBT, people can learn to think about and react differently to anxiety-provoking situations. A therapist can help them develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviours.
It is believed that aromatherapy can ease anxiety by activating specific brain receptors. Natural scents such as lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be soothing, whether in the form of essential oils, incense, or candles.
Take more breaks
It is crucial to take frequent breaks to minimize stress and enhance your mood if you are constantly building up tension without resting or relaxing. Decide to do something that makes you happy in your free time, such as a hobby, an enjoyable project, or even phoning a friend.
Slowing your heart rate by breathing evenly to help you calm down, so breathing in for four counts and breathing out for five minutes will also reduce anxiety.
Keep your body and mind healthy
Sleeping well, eating balanced meals or a more nutritious diet, practising yoga, exercising regularly, and staying connected to people who care about you are all excellent ways to keep anxiety at bay.
Do a daily or regular meditation
When done regularly, meditation can eventually aid your brain in dismissing anxious thoughts when they arise.
Ask your doctor about medications and supplementations
Depending on your anxiety symptoms, your mental health practitioner may recommend supplements or medicine if your anxiety is severe enough, so discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Are you worried about anxiety getting out of control?
Anxiety is a feeling of mild or severe unease, worry, or fear. Every person has anxiety at some point in life. Uncontrolled anxiety leads to restlessness, obsessiveness, and avoidance which can cause panic attacks and health troubles. However, there are ways to reduce anxiety such as eating healthy, having adequate exercise, and seeking professional help.
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