Learning to Deal With Anxiety

If you are someone who has a sense of dread and fear for no apparent reason, you may be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder. GAD can disrupt your life.

Anxiety is marked by feelings of worry, nervousness, fear, apprehension, concern or restlessness.

Normal feelings of anxiety can serve as an “alarm system,” alerting you to danger. For example, if you find a burglar in your living room, your heart will probably beat fast, your palms will get sweaty and your mind may race.

In more normal, but busy situations, anxiety can give you the energy to get things done.

GAD occurs when your body mistakenly triggers your alarm system when there is no danger.

This may be due to a chemical imbalance in your body. It may also be related to an unconscious memory, to a side effect of a medicine or to an illness.

About 4 million adults in the U.S. have GAD. Women are more likely to have it than men.

GAD symptoms include sleep problems, muscle tension, irritability, trouble concentrating, tiring easily, restlessness, edginess and trembling.

Plus, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, dizziness and nausea.

Your family doctor or counselor can help determine the  cause of your tension and help you cope with your anxiety.

Suggestions include:
* Learn to relax.
* Exercise regularly.
* Get plenty of sleep.
* Avoid alcohol and drug abuse.
* Avoid caffeine.
* Confront the things that make you anxious.
* Take deep breaths.
* Count backwards from 100-0.
* Try muscle relaxation. Start by choosing a muscle and holding it tight for a few seconds. Then relax the muscle. Do this with all of your muscles, one part of your body at a time. Try starting with your feet muscles and working your way up your body.
* Talk about your anxiety with your doctor, and use medicine if your doctor prescribes it.

People who have GAD can get better.

The most important thing is to take action. Action can help you gain a sense of control over your anxiety. Y