What Does Anxiety Feel Like and How to Deal With It

Anxiety feels a bit different for every person that experiences anxiety. Some continuously feel on edge, internal shakiness, while others experience abdomen discomfort and a lack of calmness. Others feel an accelerated heart rate or have thoughts of the worst happening. Furthermore, some people interpret interactions with others as indications that they are unliked. There are many many ways that people feel anxiety. Anxiety also feels like you can't breathe, a sensation of pressure on the chest, and muscle tension. Anxiety is not a fun feeling and often causes sleep problems, a lack of focus, irritability, physical tension, and even social isolation.

One of the worst things about anxiety is that there is a feeling that nothing will go well and the worst case scenarios will happen, which is so overwhelming.

Here is a list of how to cope with the anxiety that involves both physical and psychological.

1. Exercise

Research has demonstrated that when we exercise, our brain releases amazing neurotransmitters that regulate our mood resulting in us feeling good. Care for your body by resting, getting enough sleep, and provide the nourishment that your body needs.

2. Meditation 

Have you ever heard of brain plasticity?  Stress, trauma, and aging damages, shrinks, or impairs brain cells (neurons) especially the areas that regulate our emotions and thinking. Brain plasticity research shows that the damage to our brain can be minimized or reversed through exercise and meditation. Imagine that! You can reverse adverse effects in your brain through meditation!
Meditation involves being present at the moment and concentrating on deep breathing, which impacts our limbic system. Meditation tells our system that we are out of danger. Meditation is also wonderful to practice when you have suffered trauma.

3. Reframing Thoughts:

Many times a key feature of anxiety is that we have thoughts that things will go wrong, bad things will happen, or that we are incapable of achieving our goals. Some of us refer to this as head trash. When you notice the head trash building up, take it out, just as you would in your home. I will provide the following example to clear this up:

Trigger=  Making a mistake at work

Head Trash (automatic thought)=  " I am going to get fired for this mistake."

Reframing Your Thought = " I did make a mistake, but mistakes happen. I can fix it, and this will not get me fired."

Reframing your thought is the same as taking out the trash!

4. Self-Care:

Develop healthy boundaries with people, at work, or any other areas in your life. Not only does self-care mean taking care of your needs, giving yourself space when you need it, scheduling relaxing time, but also developing a daily life that will not trigger high stress. This may mean not committing to an extra project at work that will overflow your workload. Implementing organization skills can also help reduce feeling overwhelmed.

I encourage to speak to your doctor, therapist, and your support system about your experience.