What is Anxiety? Busting Myths, Coping Skills, and Mindfulness

Anxiety is something that is often self-diagnosed for constantly having this worried feeling. However, studies have shown that approximately 3.6% of people are actually experiencing what is known as Anxiety Disorder. Yes, it is completely normal to have anxious thoughts, but the difference between the disorder and the feeling is pretty large. I thought that in this article I would cover some of the truths and myths of anxiety, some different coping skills, and a way to incorporate mindfulness in your life.

Myth: It’s not a big deal. You just get kinda stressed, but that’s fine. 

Fact: This is actually quite wrong. Anxiety is a mental illness that can cause a lot of health issues, including the creation of another mental illness. It can cause people to go to hospitals, and it’s really freaking hard to deal with. Very few people with anxiety actually end up getting treatment for it, which is especially tough when dealing with it. Each case of anxiety is different. It’s not something that follows any specific rules. Some people get panic attacks, some people feel their anxiety all around their body. It’s not something that can simply be ignored.

Myth: I have anxiety because I’m worried about my test.

Fact: I’m sure you are probably feeling anxious and having stressed-out thoughts, but these thoughts don’t mean that you actually have anxiety. Some of the symptoms of anxiety include constant obsessive thoughts about a certain problem, hyperactivity, dizziness, chest pain, dry mouth, sweat, and heart palpitations. However, getting clinically diagnosed is the best way to determine if you actually have this disorder.

Coping skills are ways that people are able to cope, or deal with, their certain situation. They are different skills that you can learn and acquire to feel okay with your emotions. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT is extremely important in being able to cope with your emotions. The different sections of DBT include interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Each of these sections of DBT includes extremely helpful skills to deal with your emotions and to live a value-based life. Doing more research on DBT can be helpful for coping with anxiety. In terms of other coping skills, a lot of it depends on yourself. Thinking about the things that you enjoy and that calm you down is best for finding your coping skills. Some people enjoy using stress balls, drawing, coloring, knitting or crocheting, journaling, and practicing meditation. Yoga and exercise are also helpful coping skills if used correctly.

Anxiety is something that is incredibly tough to deal with. Whether it is the terrible, unexplainable worry that comes in at random times or the panic attacks that come and screw up your day, anxiety is not easy thing to deal with. However, with the right medications and therapy, it can be solved or coped with. It is especially unhelpful when people tell others with anxiety to “calm down.” If anxiety is one thing, it’s hard to stop. A lot of people get anxious, and there isn’t always a simple solution.

If you personally deal with anxiety, I’m sorry. And I don’t mean this out of pity. I get it, it absolutely sucks. I wish you luck in your journey. And for those of you who don’t deal with anxiety, appreciate it. You can always do your part by spreading awareness on anxiety by sharing this article. Thank you!