Imagine hiking on a forested trail where you are being watched by a cougar. Your mind is racing, your stomach aches and you’re short of breath. Your welfare and survival depend on the ability to sense danger and to feel fear and anxiety.
Anxiety Is A Normal Response
Anxiety is a normal emotional response to stress and the perception of danger. It is an adaptive response to the fight or flight system that tells us when we are in danger and prepares us to take action, defend ourselves, or retreat to safety. Your body has adapted to sense anxiety over thousands of years.
Although your current living, social, family and office environment are likely "cougar free," you still experience the same fight or flight physiological response in times of fear and distress. The goal is not to eliminate your ability to sense danger and experience anxiety, but to use tools and skills that help you slow down, assess the situation and regulate how you feel.
If you're looking for ideas to cope with stress and worry, here are five ways to build a healthy lifestyle that help reduce anxiety. Before trying out any of these activities remember: Start Small. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pick one or two things and try them consistently for 30 days. Be Patient. These strategies are part of a lifestyle change, and it will take time for them to have a positive effect.
It's important to remember that even though anxiety can be overwhelming and stop you from participating in activities that you enjoy, it is only considered part of a wide range of emotional responses and disorders when it is extreme and pervasive, and when it interferes with a person's ability to function normally (NIMH Anxiety Disorders).
Do you feel overwhelmed by daily worry or anxiety? What do you do to cope with anxiety?
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