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What Is Anxiety & How to Manage It

Reviewed by Heather Dunn, FNP-C


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America approximately 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, unease, or fear about something. Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life and doesn’t last long. However, an anxiety disorder is when anxiety lasts for long periods of time and can interfere with your day-to-day life. There are many different types of anxiety disorders.   Individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns and constant worry. They might also show physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, feeling weak or tired, or a rapid heartbeat. 

There isn’t a specific cause of anxiety, but it can be traced to a combination of environmental factors, stress, genetics, and brain chemistry.  Anxiety disorders can also be caused by traumatic events, drug misuse, chronic pain, and respiratory disorders.

Factors that increase your risk of developing anxiety disorders include:

  • Trauma 
  • Stress related to an illness
  • Stress buildup
  • Personality
  • Mental disorders
  • Drugs or alcohol

When an anxiety disorder is triggered, it can cause complications that lead to, or worsen, other mental and physical conditions.

Those complications could include any of the following:

  • Depression
  • Substance misuse
  • Trouble Sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Digestive or bowel problems
  • Headaches and chronic pain
  • Social Isolation
  • Problems functioning at school or work
  • Poor quality of life
  • Suicide

Dealing with anxiety can be overwhelming and hard to manage. Here are some tips to help manage anxiety and stress. 

  • Take a time-out: complete a workout, listen to music, get a massage, or meditate. 
  • Eat healthy balanced meals
  • Stay active and exercise
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Get enough sleep
  • Get involved in your community
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety

Having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Anxiety disorders are treatable with lifestyle changes, therapy, medication, or a combination of the three. At Galen Mountain View Medicine, we pride ourselves in developing meaningful relationships with our patients that create a space for patients to feel comfortable asking questions. If you think you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, or you have been diagnosed with one and would like to talk to a healthcare professional, call (423) 551-3562 today to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.