Jenna is a part-time blogger who advocates for Mental Health Awareness. She is currently working towards her BSA in behavioral science.
What is Anxiety's Purpose?
Anxiety is a confusing emotion. It can be dreadful. Annoying. And even scary. But have you ever stopped to think of why we have anxiety as an emotion?
Anxiety is connected with our fight or flight instinct. When we are in an unknown or uncomfortable situation, anxiety pops in and causes symptoms, such as...
- Sweaty palms
- Intrusive/racing thoughts
- Racing heartbeat
- Feeling an impending zoom
- panic attacks
If you have experienced any of these symptoms and think you may have an anxiety disorder, make an appointment with your care provider to evaluate your concerns.
Why do I have these Symptoms?
This is pretty much anxiety's way of telling you to protect yourself. But this doesn't always have to be in an unsafe environment. Anxiety can occur anywhere! The gym, a grocery store, a birthday party, a parking lot, etc. There are so many things that can cause anxiety. But remember, you are in control. You have the power to shut the anxiety pity party going on in your head.
Now I know that is something that you as an individual with anxiety do not want to hear. Do the thoughts like it's too hard or I don't know how to stop the anxiety cross your mind? Well, stop right there my friend! That is anxiety talking to you right now! Now, it is okay to be unsure or nervous about learning how to control your anxiety. These things take time. Healing takes time.
If you're interested in learning more about anxiety and how it affects you and your life, I recommend checking my other article, How Anxiety Affects your Day to Day Life.
(There are also some tips for coping with anxiety linked in the article!)
I have no idea how not to think.
The Weight Anxiety makes you Carry
If you are a person who lives with anxiety, you may know the feeling of being scared of your own mind. The racing thoughts. Overwhelming environments. All of these are valid things to feel. After all, anxiety is tiring and heavy.
Which brings us to our next topic. Anxiety should never have to be something you face alone. No matter what. Finding someone you can trust and will listen to you is a great first step to release some of the weight on your mind. Remember, it's all about being comfortable with who you're talking with. You shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable or forced when seeking help.
Here are some ideas of people to go to.
- A therapist
- A friend
- A pastor
- A trusted adult
- A family member
- A teacher
This can be anyone who makes you feel safe and that you can trust when sharing delicate information.
What Exactly causes Anxiety?
Here is a short video that explains anxiety on a deeper level and what triggers your fight or flight response.
In the video, the narrator explains what triggers your fight, flight, and freeze response (FFFR). An important part I noticed while watching the video myself was how anxiety gets the FFFR mixed up with a survival situation and a non-survival situation. "Your amygdala doesn't know the difference between getting eaten by a hungry lion, or public speaking." So, when were in uncomfortable situations, our brains interpret, say, public speaking as the same as being attacked by a lion (even though these are two completely different scenarios, it triggers the same FFFR as would be triggered in a dangerous situation.)
In Conclusion, Anxiety is just another Emotion...
Sometimes we get so caught up in our mental state (usually caused by anxiety) that we forget that anxiety is just another emotion. It's a completely substantial emotion just like happy is, angry as well, jealous, joyful, and sad. Anxiety fits in with all the rest of the emotions we feel. I know that it is hard to accept that anxiety is another emotion, but it is possible to overcome your fears and concerns. Anxiety shouldn't be something we are scared of or want to get rid of. Keep in mind that anxiety is not a bad thing. It can actually protect you in the correct situations.
Managing anxiety is definitely a process and takes tons of time, but I can assure every single one of you who is suffering from GAD or other anxiety disorders, that you can get through this. You will. Just remember to breathe, take time for yourself, talk with someone, and trust the process. Also, keep in mind that anxiety is not a bad thing. It can actually protect you in the correct situations.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Jenna Collins