First of all, anxiety is an emotion often felt as unpleasant which corresponds to the more or less conscious expectation of a danger or a problem to come. Secondly, anxiety is a normal phenomenon, present in all individuals. However, it can take on an excessive and pathological character in different situations: we then speak of anxiety disorders.
People with anxiety disorders are overwhelmed by this feeling of discomfort or fear secondary to excessive anticipation of possible difficulties. Especially before the problems have even occurred, or before the subject has even identified precisely what he or she fears!
Psychiatrists sometimes speak of “fear without purpose”.
Role of anxiety
Contrary to what one might think, anxiety can be a useful phenomenon when it draws attention to real dangers or risky situations. Indeed, the concern, the worry are then used to take precautions to avoid these risks.
However, too little anxiety can put you at risk. Conversely, too much anxiety inhibits and exhausts the subject.
Sometimes, anxiety is no longer just a reaction to daily difficulties, but becomes a personality trait, a way of being: the person then has a vision of the world marked by anxiety, always foreseeing the worst, consciously or not.
Thus, anxious personalities are in constant anticipation: “what will happen next? These people tend to always think that the worst is likely or at least plausible and so they surround themselves with as many precautions as possible to avoid the difficulties they have thought of. The smallest everyday event can become a complicated affair.
What worries the anxious?
All the important or unimportant problems of everyday life can be amplified and worry the anxious person. Among these everyday events that are sources of anxiety are uncontrollable or unpredictable events such as the weather for the vacations, delays in transportation, concerns about the future or health or even more trivial events such as a bad grade for your child at school…
Anxious personality: advantage or handicap?
Being anxious most often results in difficulties in functioning that range from occasional discomfort to severe disability.
Being anxious is not all bad. Because of the hypervigilance to everything that can go wrong and the amount of precautions taken, the anxious person can perform better in certain areas. For example, a boss will rely more easily on an anxious employee, always concerned about doing well and anticipating problems…
But anxious people pay dearly for these constant efforts by a quasi-permanent tension that is often the source of a deterioration in their quality of life. This is particularly the case when anxiety becomes pathological.
Here are some quick and natural tips to calm your anxiety when you are in crisis:
- Do yoga or exercise.
- Breathe deeply and focus on your breathing.
- Drink an infusion of chamomile, which has a calming effect.
- Embrace aromatherapy.
- “Slow listening”
- If you need to cry, cry!
- Repeat a short, soothing phrase to yourself.
- Write down your feelings on a piece of paper.
- Call a friend or a support center
- Consult a professional (longer term)