It doesn’t take much for me to worry. A news story. A sick child. An unexpected bill. A phone call late at night. Whatever the worry, I dwell and mull over it endlessly. I fret and think, “What if?” I search the internet for hidden solutions and anticipate all potential scenarios, sometimes to the point of losing sleep.
The problem of anxiety
We all know what it’s like to worry about something; it’s a regular companion for many of us. As it turns out, so is its close cousin: anxiety. According to NAMI, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue in the United States. Approximately 18 percent of adults and eight percent of children and teenagers have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety, while related to worry, is different in that it’s persistent, ongoing and broader in scope. While we can usually work through our worries to find a solution—not so with anxiety. Anxiety is excessive worry about multiple things, even when there isn’t anything wrong. Such anxiety fills people with dread, fear and apprehension. They anticipate the worst and are always wary and watching. It also expresses itself physically. They feel tense and irritable. Their heart races. Their stomach feels sick, and they can’t sleep. Some who struggle with anxiety have panic attacks—which often feel like a heart attack—bringing on even more anxiety...
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