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Anxiety: Where Does it Emanate from, and What Can You Do About it?

We all feel pressured from time to time, the cumbersome tension of a situation that seemingly outweighs our capacity to endure. It’s all intensified in turbulent times when we are struck with uncontrollable circumstances of a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and concerning environmental issues. Employment loss, life-threatening illnesses, and inevitable shock-inducing tragedies of life that take a heavy toll on our mental well-being. But however hard it may feel at the moment, we normally recover and overcome the stress and anxiety resulting from these tragic events. We manage to get back on track and keep moving on. But what if we feel we are always on edge? What if the dreads and worries are constant to the point of paralysis? What if we succumb to despair and just not care anymore? This might be indicative of more in-depth issues, the ones that might snowball into much bigger problems if they remain neglected.

Anxiety Disorders

Prolonged and excessive nervousness can disrupt everyday activities, weaken your ability to focus, and mentally and physically wear you out. Oftentimes it doesn’t seem to have a source or reason behind it, it’s just a general uneasiness that accompanies you throughout the day. Trivial issues may seem daunting. Neutral and unprovoking occurrences like a sudden call from an unknown person may build up a sense of dread and overwhelming anticipation. You get startled more easily and more often. Relaxation seems impossible while you suffer chronic fatigue and restlessness. Distressful thoughts loop inside your head and it can be difficult to break out of its vicious cycle.

While we all may have experienced a combination of these things down the line, if this state persists for the better part of a year, it alludes to some anxiety disorders like GAD. People suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder tend to over-analyze every possible scenario in a situation and have a difficult time handling uncertainty and making decisions. Around 3.1 percent of the US population suffers from GAD. Although genetic predispositions and chemical brain reactions are among the main causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, personality development and upbringing can heavily influence the susceptibility as well. People who were abused in their childhood are especially susceptible to GAD. Poor habits and lifestyle choices like alcohol and tobacco abuse and prolonged exposure to external stressors can also play significant roles. 

Work Environment and Burnout

Sometimes we are oblivious to the reason behind the root of our problems because we are too numb to notice. Excessive, continuous stress can deteriorate the quality of our life and cause mental and physical exhaustion. Environmental stressors such as toxic workplace dynamics and unrealistic expectations dampen our energy over time and make us feel unappreciated and undervalued. The chronic exhaustion turns into bleak indifference which in turn makes the simplest of the tasks seem like an ordeal.

Burnout does not only stem from a chaotic workplace. Our mindset, stress management, and social skills—or lack thereof— contribute as much. Lack of meaningful relationships, perfectionist tendencies, and undertaking too much responsibility are all inextricable parts of burnout. Sometimes we need to take a moment to step back, distance ourselves from our engagements to pinpoint the source of discontent, seek help if needed and take control. 

How to Take Action for Change

If you acknowledge the existence of the problem, you are halfway through. Try to be aware of your physical and mental state and take notice. If the signs and symptoms seem serious and beyond your control, seek professional help or at least reach out to those you trust and love to aid you through the process. Distance yourself from the source of negativity. Reflect on what cause brings meaning to your life and look for like-minded people to help you move in that direction. Start gradually developing healthy habits. Exercising is one of the most powerful means of lifting the mood and defogging the mind. Exercise modifies the secretion of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which help to treat depression and reduce anxiety and stress. You are what you eat; a healthy diet goes a long way in improving your mental state. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like carrots, spinach, and broccoli can lessen the destructive effects of the free radicals in the body. Several herbal stress relievers such as lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, and CBD are available in the forms of supplements, drops, and teas that help you unwind the tensions of your daily routine. However be aware that many states have complex regulations surrounding CBD cultivation and medicinal use. Whether you are interested in it for personal use or submitting a full New Jersey cannabis retail application, it’s important to understand the rules in your state before diving in!

Optimism is also another powerful habit to get into. With practice, developing an optimistic attitude is possible by training the mind to expect good outcomes out of any situation. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness can increase resilience which boosts our coping skills and is linked to lower stress levels and improved physical health.

Amidst the turbulence of our everyday lives, sometimes it is easy to get distracted by side issues and de-prioritize what should be the most important thing in our lives: Ourselves. It is always a good idea to plan a regular assessment of all aspects of our personal and professional life, to pause, and see if there is anything we can do to make things just a bit better. While escapism seems appealing to numb the pain temporarily, it is the act of self-care that we can rely on in the long run.

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