Understanding and Managing Anxiety Disorders

It is estimated that 19 to 30 percent of the US population has had some form of anxiety disorder over the course of their lives. With such a common disorder, coping with anxiety seems like a necessity for our society.

Some anxiety disorder symptoms may include:

  • Excessive worrying about a variety of things, most days for at least six months.
  • Difficulty controlling worry.
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge.
  • Easily fatigued.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep.

One of the ironies of current Western society is that we not only have day-to-day stressors and emotions but also have feelings about our emotions! Anxiety is innately a survival instinct that is often misplaced. For example, you may feel anxious around certain sounds or environments, or in a conversation that would have otherwise been a pleasure. The good news is that just as your mind has wired you to misplace anxiety in a way that does not work for you, it is possible to rewire your mind in the other direction as well.

While many believe that healing from anxiety is a lifetime process, with the right approach, it does not need to be. You may sometimes feel anxious, but it doesn’t need to be a life sentence! There are three things to consider:

  • Does what you are anxious about require action or resolution? Sometimes, we are anxious because it’s our body’s way of saying that it’s time to take action, to protect ourselves or our loved ones. This is our survival instinct. It should be listened to, and we should take action. If you take action but the anxiety doesn’t resolve itself, feel free to reach out to Earth’s Edge Wellness for more ways to get your body and mind back into a better space.
  • Are you feeling disconnected from your body or feeling “too much” to your body? Sometimes, our nervous system can’t handle what we throw at it, so it just shuts down, only to later get overwhelmed and leave us in a highly anxious state. Others may feel “too much”; their body doesn’t numb out, so they are constantly in a state of panic. They may constantly have to use the restroom or have off digestion. In both of these scenarios, taking a good look at how to access and develop the nervous system is the best place to start. With a stronger nervous system, your body won’t have to numb out because it will be able to handle your emotions. To learn how to balance your nervous system, start with this video.
  • How do you feel about anxiety? To cope with anxiety, we have to have a better relationship with this part of ourselves. One of love, one of boundaries, and one of progressive growth. When we are anxious, see if you can at least notice what it physically feels like just for a moment, instead of just responding with fear to the feeling of anxiety. Perhaps there can be space for curiosity, love, or compassion for ourselves during these times.

*At Earth’s Edge Wellness, we offer a holistic approach to eating disorder recovery, as well as many other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and borderline personality disorder. Earth’s Edge Wellness combines evidence-based therapies with holistic modalities to support comprehensive healing. Contact us today to learn more about our personalized treatment programs.