Anxiety, it`s a human emotion like happy, sad or even anger. However, if it persists, it could be a missed diagnosis of a chronic medical condition; it’s important to know the difference.
Whether it’s your mind racing, your feet tapping, or you just can’t stop moving, oftentimes we find our minds being in an anxious state. Most of the time, we want things to be perfect or go as planned, but unfortunately, they just don’t go our way all the time. Often, one’s lifestyle can be the main source of anxiety.
Anxiety is not limited by age, children can often show signs of anxiety as well. Anticipation is one of the greatest anxiety producers in children. For example, the excitement of Christmas, receiving gifts, spring break, or more importantly, the return of a parent to the family after a long term separation. Again, this is healthy excitement which in this case produces anxiety.
Some of the habits that we develop as children such as biting our nails, being fidgety or other non-verbal behaviors have been clear indicators of anxiety. These behaviors become more prevalent when associated with academics and the success or the lack thereof. Another example that can be linked to anxiety is emotional and verbal abuse at an early age. Bullying and other intimidation tactics used by grade school children are common contributing factors to anxiety. Knowing the commonalities and how to approach these anxieties can offset developing issues in the future.
Discussing your child’s day can open the gates to their mental health. At times, young children are not aware of bullying and the negative energy coming from their peers.
It is also important to educate those seen as “bullies” as well. Empathy is a common tool taught in therapy sessions dealing with individuals who are verbally and physically aggressive towards others. Understanding how one’s actions can affect others is a stepping stone to gaining more empathy. At times, we can get caught up with behaviors that we wouldn’t accept ourselves. Listening more instead of talking can help us gain an understanding of how to treat others within our social realm. This is a common tool that is taught during therapy sessions to help with individuals who display abusive behaviors.
Anxiety is a condition that is common in society, so it is important to know what can cause it, what can help calm it, and how you can identify your triggers. A host of contributing factors can cause the mind to become anxious. As a precaution, becoming more self-aware of our triggers is one of the stepping stones to combat the nervousness condition. Self-calming techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rest and relaxation are some of the traditional tactics to help with anxiety. Yoga and being “zen” is the new wave concerning good health. We’ve seen the beach bodies in the Speedo’s in the ’80s on Venice Beach, but with the world so advanced in technology being conscious of our mental health is imperative for the longevity of life.
A common contributing factor to one’s behavior and anxious state is an individual’s environment. In some instances, our environment can become a trigger for anxiety and cause it to become more frequent. Often, we are not aware of the triggers, hindering us from being able to identify our feelings. Becoming familiar with your triggers enables you to learn to identify your feelings of anxiety and to cope with those feelings.
When dealing with mental conditions, being proactive rather than reactive is key to staying ahead of the game. Sometimes when we are at peace and everything is flowing together, an episode or a panic attack can be right around the corner. Identifying our triggers is one way of becoming proactive with anxiety. If it is a person, place or thing that makes one anxious, we can set aside time to mentally prepare before we engage with the trigger. We could avoid the situation if it becomes too much to bear. If one continues to identify their triggers, they are continuously practicing the consciousness of mental health and the factors around them.
With any health condition, but in particular, mental health, it is important to connect with the interpersonal issue within ourselves. “When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do no harm” is an African Proverb that comes to mind when dealing with mental health conditions and the external world. We can look externally, but at the end of the day, the most beneficial tactic will be self-reflection. We cannot always control everything in our lives, but we can control ourselves. Stressing over what we can’t control is a burden that is oftentimes too common within our society.
Focusing on ourselves and our reaction is a practice that helps with our coping skills. I encourage everyone to make the best of the resources available in the New Year with a positive perspective and outlook. If you or someone you know is having feelings of anxiety, contact us today at 606-676-0638. We can help. Intrust has dozens of highly qualified counselors on staff who are trained in identifying and coping with anxious behaviors and coping skills.
By: Darren Burrell, M.A., Mental Health Counseling, Intrust Therapist since 2016