Nervousness, tachycardia, dizziness, sweating, weakness… Does that sound like you? They are symptoms of anxiety, that state that many of us experience at some point in our lives. We help you keep it under control.
Feeling frustrated and confused is a symptom of anxiety. EFE/Sáshenka Gutiérrez.
Anxiety is a condition that more and more people experience and whose control becomes particularly complicated.
To give guidelines for anxiety, the psychologists Tais Pérez Domínguez and Sergio García Morilla have published “Your anxiety under control”a guide to managing it.
Understanding what anxiety is and its different faces, the disorders it generates, the similarity it has with stress, learning strategies to keep it at bay, as well as emotional management tactics to feel free are some of the aspects which we can find in the guide.
What is anxiety really?
Anxiety is one fight-flight response which actually protects the human being. “An evolutionarily inherited mechanism for our body to respond appropriately in potentially problematic situations”, the authors indicate in the book.
Anxiety makes us put ourselves on guard in situations in which we feel in danger or in which we want to run away, basically, it is an exercise in “survival”.
When anxiety appears at a specific moment, it is not bad, but it is alerting us to a possible danger. The problem arises when, after this danger has disappeared, this response continues to manifest itself.
What happens in our body?
When we feel anxious, our brain sends a message to the autonomic nervous system, specifically the nice systembreaking free adrenaline and noradrenaline. This system is able to regulate this response by itself, it does not need us to do anything to stop having anxiety.
Shortly after, the parasympathetic nervous systemreturning the body to a normal state of relaxation.
The systems are not activated at the same time, so the anxiety must always end and its symptoms will not be harmful, since this system is responsible for protecting you.
As the guide points out, the explanation of why we feel anxiety does not have a concrete answer, but will depend on biological, psychological and social factors, since its origin is multifactorial (it appears from the combination of a series of factors of various character).
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse
The experts make a comparison between the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the four behaviors or defensive responses of anxiety: safety, avoidance, distraction and reassurance. These answers are the ones that will make us suffer from anxiety, they are the real problem.
To begin to stop suffering from anxiety, the first step is to detect these types of responses.
The exposure of anxiety
“The only way to stop suffering from anxiety is to face it, to face the situations, sensations or thoughts that scare us”, explain the experts.
The exhibition suppose this face to face with reality, with these stimuli that generate us anxiety, without using any defensive response.
As psychologists clarify, feeling anxiety and suffering from anxiety are not the same. The fact that feel anxiety it is common, natural, a reaction of the human body. The question comes when these symptoms derived from anxiety begin to intervene in our daily life, to limit us, to disturb us, this is when we begin to suffer from anxiety.
The book reviews the possibilities disorders that can lead to anxiety: panic disorder and agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Stress and anxiety
“What is clear is that when we talk about stress we usually think of something bad. However, what few people know is that without it we would not be alive. Stress is an essential part of our lives, it is the inevitable result of the interaction between us and the environment around us. We need stress to be able to adapt to the constant changes that occur in our lives”, according to Tais Pérez and Sergio García.
The Stress and anxiety are not the same, since anxiety would be a response to the same stress. The problem of stress happens when it lasts a long time, giving rise to the distress or negative stress.
Stress affects each person differently, it is very subjective. It will depend on the situation we live in, the interpretation we make of the situation and the resources and skills we have to deal with it.
Learn to manage your anxiety
In conclusion, the guide points out five basic pillars which are part of learning to manage anxiety:
- Sleep enough and well.
- Eat properly.
- Play sport.
- Dedicate time to leisure.
- Practice relaxation and breathing strategies.
In addition, it also places special emphasis on the importance of learning to say no and knowing how to handle our emotions and frustrations.
The authors of the book: Tais Pérez Domínguez, psychologist Master in Clinical and Health Psychology and Master in Behavioral and Health Sciences Methodology, and his part Sergio García Morillapsychologist Master in Clinical and Health Psychology with specific training in cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy and third generation therapies.