Everyone experiences moments of anxiety from time to time, with one in every ten people believed to be experiencing varying levels of anxiety-related conditions at any one time. It is natural to feel anxious in certain situations or when faced with a problem. However, when anxiety symptoms become more frequent and start affecting your daily life, it's important to recognise the signs so that you can take steps towards reducing them. This article will help you identify different levels of anxiety, how to recognise the signs early on, and the steps you can take to help reduce your anxiety.
Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. It is important to understand the signs of anxiety so you can recognise them in yourself or in others, and take steps to reduce the effect anxiety and depression has on your life. Let’s discuss some of the different levels of anxiety and their respective warning signs.
Different Levels of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety can be experienced in different ways, and the effects are different for everybody. Being able to recognise when your anxiety is increasing empowers you to take steps towards reducing your anxiety levels. The following are some common symptoms associated with anxiety:
Mild Anxiety: Feeling restless or on edge, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and irritability.
Moderate Anxiety: Increased heart rate, sweating, feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
Severe Anxiety: Panic attacks, fear or dread, physical symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness.
Different Types of Anxiety Disorder
The most commonly experienced anxiety is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This condition is characterised by feeling anxious or worried about everyday activities and events. People with GAD often feel like they are “on edge” all the time, which can usually lead to mild symptoms of difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability and restlessness.
Social Anxiety Disorder affects many people around the world. People with this disorder experience extreme fear or worry in social situations, such as parties or work functions, where they may feel like they are being judged or scrutinised by others. Symptoms include feeling overly self-conscious, having difficulty talking to people, avoiding eye contact and physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling or blushing.
Separation anxiety disorder can be a profoundly challenging experience. Individuals with this condition feel an extreme fear of being separated from people or places that provide security, such as family or home. This fear can be so distracting and overwhelming that it negatively impacts their daily functioning and relationships. For example, someone with a separation anxiety disorder may not be able to attend school or go on a vacation because of their intense dread of being away from home. Along with supportive people in their lives, individuals living with this condition often benefit from professional counselling to help them find effective coping mechanisms for the symptoms of their disorder.
Panic Disorder is a type of anxiety that can cause intense physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, chest pain and shortness of breath. These episodes are usually accompanied by a fear that something bad will happen if you don't escape the situation quickly. People who suffer from Panic Disorder often dread having another panic attack so much that they start avoiding certain places or situations altogether.
Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Early On
It is important to be aware of anxiety signs and symptoms early on in order to prevent them from getting worse over time. Many seemingly normal situations can trigger anxiety. Some warning signs include increased irritability, restlessness and trouble sleeping, unexplained changes in appetite, avoidance behaviour, frequent worrying, difficulty focusing, racing thoughts, sudden mood swings, feeling overwhelmed or powerless, nausea or upset stomach or feeling excessively tired or fatigued. If you notice any combination of these symptoms persisting for more than two weeks it could be a sign of an underlying anxiety disorder and should be taken seriously.
People with anxiety can often be unaware that they may have an anxiety disorder. It is not uncommon for individuals with anxiety to have a hard time acknowledging their symptoms, or not recognising them even when they are present. If you or someone you know is experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety, feelings of fear, worry, fatigue or restlessness, then it might be worth speaking to a healthcare professional about whether they may have an anxiety disorder. There is no shame in seeking outside help; reaching out to a medical professional is the first step towards taking back control over your mental well-being.
Recognising Mild Anxiety
Recognising the symptoms of mild anxiety can be challenging, however, even mild symptoms can lead to more severe problems if left unaddressed. Common symptoms of mild anxiety include difficulty concentrating, restlessness or feeling on edge, increased body tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and uneasy stomach sensations. When these occur regularly or in conjunction with one another it is recommended that a person seek professional guidance from a qualified counsellor or therapist to help manage the symptoms and prevent them from becoming more severe. If you are feeling overwhelmed or completely taken over by your emotions you might consider reaching out to trusted family members and friends for support and advice. Mild anxiety is a normal response to many stressful situations and can usually be self-managed through simple relaxation and breathing techniques. However, if you feel overwhelmed by feelings of mild anxiety, there are treatment options available, you may find it beneficial to talk with a support group or counsellor who can help you reduce the risk of developing an anxiety disorder that is more severe.
Recognising Moderate Anxiety
Moderate anxiety can present itself in a range of different ways, both physical and mental. Common physical signs may include stomach aches or headaches, chest tightness, increased heart rate and sweaty hands. Mental symptoms of moderate feelings of anxiety may come as restlessness or nervousness, trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping. It is also possible to experience a range of negative emotions such as fearfulness and feeling overwhelmed. If you are feeling any form of these symptoms it is beneficial to reach out to a professional for support in managing your anxiety.
Recognising Severe Anxiety
Recognising the symptoms of severe anxiety is a crucial part of understanding how to manage it. Generally speaking, people may experience intense anxiety, including panic attacks, extreme apprehensions or intense fear, feelings of disconnectedness from reality and intense physical sensations such as nausea or sweating. Additionally, those with severe anxiety will often experience specific phobias or compulsive behaviours that are more pronounced in comparison to milder cases. Knowledge about understanding these signs early can lead to receiving help to both manage and treat serious levels of anxiety over time. With this warning system in place, sufferers can work on controlling their most debilitating reactions before they get out of hand. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from severe anxiety, it is important to seek help from a qualified medical professional.
Steps for Reducing Anxiety
Feelings of anxiousness can make it extremely difficult to function in life, yet there are steps you can take to reduce your anxiety. The most important initial step is to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns as they occur. Setting small achievable goals can help create a feeling of accomplishment and direction. Daily exercise and proper nutrition are essential for reducing stress and improving physical health, which in turn can help lower overall levels of anxiety. Taking time out for relaxation downregulates the body's stress responses by releasing feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin. If these strategies prove unsuccessful or it feels like anxiety is affecting your everyday life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help from a mental health care provider. They can provide more tailored treatments framed around individualised needs and specific mental health concerns.
If you have successfully identified the signs of anxiety early on, it’s important to take action in order to prevent your symptoms from escalating further. Here are some steps you can take towards reducing your anxiety levels:
Seek professional help if needed - talking through your concerns with a therapist can really help manage excess worry and stress levels.
Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation - these techniques can help bring down your heart rate and relax tense muscles which will make it easier for you to think clearly again.
Exercise regularly - exercise releases endorphins which help boost moods naturally without any additional effort on your part.
Make sure you get enough sleep - lack of sleep increases stress hormones which can lead to heightened anxiety levels.
Getting Help with Managing your Anxiety
Anxiety affects everyone differently and recognising the signs early on can empower you to take action before things get worse over time. From recognising different levels of intensity in your own individual experiences with anxiety all the way through taking actionable steps towards reducing your symptoms. With proper diagnosis and treatment, anxiety can be something that you take control over.
When it comes to managing your anxiety, you don't have to do it alone. Talens Health Support Services provides online counselling with qualified counsellors who have extensive experience in helping those living with anxiety. Through our secure video conferencing software and experienced team, you can get the help and support that you need in an affordable way and in the comfort of your own home. Our online sessions make reaching out for much-needed support easier than ever before, making help accessible to you exactly when you need it. Suffering from anxiety is often an isolating feeling - but know that you don’t have to go through this alone.
Disclaimer: At Talens Health Support Services, we strive to provide knowledge and support related to mental health support. However, it's important to understand that this article is not intended as medical advice or mental health treatment. Anxiety has many causes and can be the symptom of another underlying condition, so it's important to speak with a qualified medical professional about any concerns you may have. The information here should not replace any medical advice you receive from your doctor or therapist and should only be used in conjunction with professional guidance.