Anxieties and stresses occupy a large part of our lives. Minor irritants and worries often linger and grow to such an extent that they turn into severe stress and anxiety. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 18% of adults suffer from anxiety disorders in a given year. And the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that women are twice as likely as men to have generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Problems stemming from stress can be more serious than you might expect. The effects of anxiety disorder can be extensive and harsh, physically and psychologically. Symptoms of the disorder include nausea, perspiration, dizziness, trembling, stomach problems, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and headaches. People suffering from anxiety often feel a loss of control over themselves and their surroundings.
People who have high stress daily are usually at greater risk for developing stroke and heart disease. Ulcers are another manifestation of the physical toll that stress and anxiety take on the body over the long term. Additionally, if stress persists for a long time, the sympathetic nervous system stops being as active, leading to long-lasting depression.
If not treated, anxiety and stress can seriously damage your physical health and well-being. One way to help yourself reduce or overcome persistent stress and anxiety is to see a psychotherapist. The therapist will help you understand the sources of stress and equip you to deal with stress.
As a therapist, I know several methods of reducing stress apart from psychotherapy and medicine, such as mindfulness. The University of California, Berkeley says "mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment." It adds that mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them.
It is believed that focusing on the activity as you are performing it reduces the likelihood of anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness is only one of many techniques for reducing stress and anxiety. I can show you numerous approaches to reducing and managing your anxiety, depending on your situation and goals.