What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a chronic and exaggerated feeling of worry or tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke it. People who suffer with anxiety often worry constantly about their health, money, family, or career. Sometimes they simply experience feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and stress without knowing what is provoking these feelings. They may feel as if they are “keyed-up” or “on-edge” most of the time. Often they are unable to relax and enjoy pleasurable experiences because of their persistent worry. Even when they realize that they have no real reason to worry or that their level of worry is out of proportion to the situation, they are unable to relieve themselves of their fears.

Here are some of the symptoms associated with anxiety:

  • Excessive worry more days than not for an extended period of time about a variety of situations including work, school, or home.
  • The sufferer finds it very difficult to control the tension and anxiety.
  • The sufferer experiences physical signs of anxiety including restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances like insomnia or unsatisfying sleep.

People with anxiety may anticipate disaster looming around every corner. At its most severe, just the thought of going through the day may provoke intense worry and fear. While their anxiety might not impair their ability to perform their daily tasks, the feelings that they experience can seriously affect their ability to find enjoyment and pleasure in life.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety affects about 4 million Americans. Those who experience anxiety sometimes also struggle with depression or substance abuse. There is help available. Psychotherapy, prescription medication, and natural alternatives for tension relief are some of the options that may help those dealing with anxiety to cope.

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