At Beautify.tips, we believe that beauty comes from the inside out. If you’re feeling anxious, rest assured you are so not alone. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. What exactly is anxiety and how do you deal with it? We asked Bella Boroniec, a NY-based licensed clinical social worker to walk us through it.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear in anticipation of danger, explains Boroniec. Some types of anxiety include: social anxiety, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. People who suffer from social anxiety disorder usually experience worry and fear in anticipation of and/or during social interactions, for example public speaking, which is very common concern for many people.
“People with generalized anxiety disorder usually worry about many different aspects of their lives,” she says. “Anxiety is often accompanied with by physical symptoms like sweating, trouble breathing and palpitations. Anxiety is very common and can significantly interfere with daily life.”
How do you deal with anxiety?
Some of the great ways to deal with anxiety, according to Boroniec:
- Meditation: By helping your mind focus on the present moment you can significantly relieve internal symptoms of anxiety like racing thoughts and feelings of dread. Many people who experience anxiety have trouble with this.
- Focus on the breath: One of the ways to help with these symptoms is by breathing into a paper bag. Take deep breaths in and deep breaths out.
- Nature walks: Long walks in nature can do wonders for your mental health!
- Journaling: Make sure to keep a journal and write all of your feelings down. It’s a perfect way to let it all out. This practice will help with relaxation and calming your mind right before bed.
When should you seek help?
If you have tried all of the above coping methods and still have symptoms of anxiety that interfere with your life, Boroniec says therapy can be the next step. “Many people who turn to therapy for treatment of anxiety learn effective ways to manage their anxiety which tremendously improves their lives.”
What are some common myths about anxiety?
Myth: Anxiety is just a sign of weakness. Reality: Anxiety is not a sign of weakness or character flaw. It is a mental health condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their strength or resilience. It is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
Myth: Anxiety is not a serious condition. Reality: Anxiety disorders are real and can significantly impact a person’s daily life. They can interfere with work, relationships, and overall well-being. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can worsen and lead to other complications.
Myth: Anxiety can be easily overcome if you just “think positive” or “calm down.” Reality: While positive thinking and relaxation techniques can be helpful tools in managing anxiety, they are not a cure-all solution. Anxiety disorders are complex conditions that often require professional help.
Myth: Anxiety is only caused by traumatic experiences. Reality: Traumatic experiences can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders, but they are not the sole cause. Anxiety can also arise from a combination of biological factors, family history, brain chemistry, and ongoing stressors.
Myth: Anxiety is just a phase and will go away on its own. Reality: While anxiety symptoms may fluctuate over time, anxiety disorders are typically chronic conditions that require proper treatment. Without intervention, anxiety can persist and potentially worsen over time. It is important to seek help from a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management strategies.
MEET THE EXPERT
Bella Boroniec, LCSW is the founder of Long Island Therapy, and offers both individual and couples therapy. Long Island Therapy treats clients using integrated evidence-based approaches that encourages positive growth and lasting changes for individuals and couples. Their clinicians have specialized areas of training and have treated a multitude of psychological disorders, and they work with clients from all areas of life and backgrounds.