The Holidays can generate emotional stress and despair for many of us. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the ways anxiety may be presenting itself.
Anxiety can present itself in numerous ways. Here are ten signs and some tips for reducing holiday anxiety and stress.
1. Constant worries/dread. You feel anxious nearly all the time, although you may not know why.
2. Impaired thinking. You have difficulty forming thoughts, concentrating, remembering, or learning new things.
3. Fatigue. Anxiety increases the production of stress hormones, which can leave you feeling exhausted. Adequate nutrition, hydration, and sleep can boost energy.
4. Irritability/anger. Coping with stress and anxiety can be overwhelming, leading you to overreact to everyday situations.
5. Fear/Terror. You may be plagued with irrational fears—in such a simple everyday activity, for instance, as going to the mailbox. You may experience an impending sense of doom or believe that danger lurks around every corner.
6. Panic Attacks. These are often unexpected spikes of terror so strong that you may think you’re losing total control or having a heart attack. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger, but sometimes they come out of nowhere.
7. Controlling behavior. In this strategy for coping with anxiety, you believe that you will find relief and keep anxiety at bay if you can control situations and people.
8. Stomach/digestive upsets. These may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
9. Sleep issues. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, nightmares and night terrors, or waking up in a panic attack are common. Your anxiety may also be worse in the morning.
10. Phobia. This is an exaggerated fear of an object or situation. Common phobias include heights, flying, spiders, and public speaking.
If your anxiety interferes with normal life functions, it’s essential to seek professional help. Our approach to anxiety management is to help clients overcome maladaptive behaviors, develop a healthy personality that can overcome fear, worry, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression and do this without the use of therapy, drugs, or alcohol.
To help reduce anxiety and stress, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days. In addition, deep breathing can calm you whenever anxiety presents itself. Eating good quality food and less sugar, caffeine, and alcohol helps, too.
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